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Letters section: Cross about Roger Creek crossing, city hall spending suggestions and more
New crossing not needed
To the Editor,
Re: Referendum would decide Roger crossing: Chopra, Feb. 6.
What is this lovely city of ours coming to? Does Port Alberni’s city council think that the people in this fair city have extra funds for tax increases to fund another crossing or some other great idea?
I do somewhat disagree with Coun. Hira Chopra on the idea that the people who grew up here, and some us who came like myself in the early 1960s would want a second crossing to North Port.
This should have been dealt with in the 1970s-1980s when this city was booming, lots of people were working here and young families were moving here.
That Age Friendly Alberni survey I did on hard copy, I’m pretty sure there was no mention of a second crossing being needed in this valley unless there was a place for comments.
If you want to spend that type of funds it should be on our water, sewer and roads. How many more seniors and families that are on a fix income are going to live here when this so-called idea will probably push them out of the homes that some of them built?
I was glad to see our councillors have voted to a raise and that they’re looking at cutting services. When I worked for Catalyst Paper Corp. I will get “0” raise this May. I still get that I’m paying taxes to keep my job. I could go on but I think a few more people in this great city will write in to the paper about the same great idea.
Just remember election day, Nov. 15, 2014 .
With budget comes tax hike
To the Editor,
Our mayor and councillors are elected by the citizens of Port Alberni. We must somehow make them understand that a zero tax increase is the only acceptable option.
When will our elected officials understand the basic budget process? Most of us know the difference between the “must haves” and the “nice to haves”. Council must return to the very basic needs for our city.
We must sustain our police and fire services, ensure our basic need for safe water and maintain our roads. We must honour our present negotiated contracts with unions.
All management wage increases should be based on individual performance review—not on an automatic salary entitlement.
In my opinion, a beach or a chicken coop for lost or abandoned chickens are not “must haves”.
It was reported by council that a review of all departments at city hall was a part of the budget process. This is a start.
In addition, council should consider the following:
• Eliminate trips to China and the like; replace conference attendance by utilizing accessible technologies.
• Re-assign and share duties among departments and eliminate new hiring. Review current procedures and cut unnecessary tasks. It broadens staff knowledge of the organization.
• Review all aspects of new equipment acquisitions. Review street maintenance and snow removal sessions. Start an “Adopt a Street” program and expand it to sidewalks or parks.
• Cut all “on contract” persons hired to conduct surveys, projects, etc. Surveys could be done by volunteers. Projects and surveys could also be assigned to students as part of the curriculum. The experience would be valuable towards their chosen careers while saving money for taxpayers.
• Review the need for the economic development position. The chamber of commerce could take on the challenge.
•Revisit the tax policies for small and large businesses. The global economy is in declining mode; the city’s residents can no longer support the inequitable tax burden.
We must let our elected officials know that we can no longer sustain their lifestyles on our dime.
Snow joke on sidewalks
To the Editor,
I think we should all give a big thank you to the residents of Port Alberni who diligently shovelled their sidewalks after this week’s snowfall and a big raspberry to the businesses who did not.
One of them told me that they pay taxes and that the city is responsible for sidewalk snow removal. Well, folks, here’s a flash: we all pay taxes and yet all of us are responsible for clearing the sidewalks around our properties so get with the program, please.
To refresh: CIty Bylaw 4670, section 8.7. Snow Removal from Sidewalk states “the owner or occupier of any premises in any business district shall remove all snow and ice from any sidewalk in front of or adjacent to such premises not later than 12 noon of any day except Sundays and other holidays.”
Be drought resistant
To the Editor,
As we watch California enter its third year of major drought and read of the lack of water in farming areas that provide much of what ends up in out shopping carts, it’s more important than ever that we consider alternative solutions to getting food on the table.
To that end, the public is invited to a film presentation and discussion at Char’s Landing on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. The film in question is Edible City and looks at both home and commercial food production in urban settings.
The public is welcome without charge, though anyone wishing to make a donation to defray costs will be able to do that.
The film presentation will be preceded by the monthly meeting of the Alberni Valley Transition Towns Society, a group working to bring sustainability and resilience to local communities through a variety of strategies in various phases of life in the community.
The public is also invited to sit in on the meeting starting at 6 p.m.
Young should hold tongue
To the Editor,
18th century philosopher Voltaire is noted for his quote “I disapprove of what you say but would defend to the death your right to say it”. Many have died for this democratic principle.
Though you have the rights and freedoms to speak your inflammatory words, please acknowledge the rest of majority Canada. We need the economy from natural resources. We cannot afford the “stuff” Neil Young can, nor is 99 per cent of the world population able to afford the Green economy yet.
Our reality is on the auditorium floor, not on Mr. Young’s stage. He has said that he can say what he wants when he wants. In Canada, yes he can. Bully for democracy.
Bruce E. Hornidge,