Ideas needed after vote

Re: Preliminary results show 80 per cent ‘no’ vote for Nanaimo events centre, March 11.

Re: Preliminary results show 80 per cent ‘no’ vote for Nanaimo events centre, March 11.

Like the majority, I voted ‘no.’

But as I stood at the booth last Saturday I very nearly filled in the ‘yes’ bullet. Not because I think spending $80 million on an events centre and subsidizing it for eternity is a good idea, but because I believe Nanaimo must work on being the best community it can be. That will mean spending public money. We cannot forever say ‘no.’

The priority is downtown, with its derelict buildings and shopping district split by the Terminal Avenue canyon. Parts of downtown, like the waterfront, are great public places. Others, not so much. Diana Krall Plaza has all the sterile appeal of a prison courtyard.

Sorting out downtown will require the city, business people, police, social services and shoppers to cope with the reality that attracting people to the streets means a percentage of them will be street people. No ignoring or escaping it. Nanaimo is not unique.

I think the very strong ‘no’ referendum vote reflects a breakdown in trust of city officials brought about, in part, by their poor handling of the Colliery dams issue. Job one, starting this week before they start their next plan, should be to rebuild public confidence.

Norm WagenaarNanaimo

 

Re: Preliminary results show 80 per cent ‘no’ vote for Nanaimo events centre, March 11.

If Nanaimo city council has millions of dollars in slush and contingency funds, that they claim could have serviced an $80 million debt, why not return this money to the people who provided it – taxpayers?

This should be done quickly, before council has another ‘grand plan’ for these funds. Having excess cash hanging around often leads to frivolous spending and Nanaimo’s White Elephant Safari Park doesn’t need any more inhabitants.

Hundreds of thousands of tax dollars were wasted planning this ill-advised scheme and conducting the referendum. Returning the excess funds to taxpayers requires neither – just a reduction in the mill rate.

S.I. PetersenNanaimo

 

Re: Preliminary results show 80 per cent ‘no’ vote for Nanaimo events centre, March 11.

The ‘no’ vote confirmed that we have a lot of savvy and intelligent people in Nanaimo, of all ages.

It seems that we still have to keep a firm rein, and watch, on the council and those working at the offices of the City of Nanaimo – those people who feel that our tax money is suddenly theirs to toss around and spend wildly.

Judith ScorgieNanaimo

 

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