Editorial: Cruise-In kerfuffle likely a case of crossed wires

Kerfuffle, as defined by merriam-webster.com dictionary, refers to a “disturbance or fuss.”

We had a lot of both earlier this week when it looked like the annual Cruise-In in Langley City might get cancelled.

The issue was, thankfully, resolved with agreement that the City would cover the extra cost of substituting paid full-time officers for unpaid volunteer auxiliary officers who have assisted with traffic and crowd control in the past.

This was the result of a change in policy by the RCMP that has considerably restricted the use of volunteer officers.

Now that some of the dust has settled, the Cruise-In kerfuffle looks like an unfortunate case of crossed wires, where certain staff at the City assumed the Cruise-In people had agreed the charitable event would shoulder the extra policing cost while the Cruise-In volunteer board had a different impression.

So when the City presented a bill for the new policing costs by emailing an invoice just before

7 p.m. on a Tuesday, the reaction was roughly similar to the response a bill collector gets when they call around dinner time.

The Cruise-In president went public, releasing the email from the City along with his response, warning the entire show could be called off.

It should be understood that, as a general rule, when City staff believe they have negotiated a deal that doesn’t cost the municipality any money, there is no need to involve council.

Which is why the mayor and members of council were caught off guard when critics flooded social media and city hall phone lines to protest.

It only took one phone call between the Cruise-In president and the mayor to settle the issue.

The City issued a statement to make it clear the municipality understands and appreciates the value of Cruise-In, which brings in around 100,000 people who spend millions of dollars in local stores.

The statement also mentions both sides will meet after the event “to ensure improved communication and more positive outcomes in future years.”

That would be good.