Letters on Telkwa’s million dollar question

Letters addressing Telkwa's referendum to borrow $1 million for the new municipal building's renovations.


Question, when election times come along and supposing the mayor and the present council were to be replaced with new people, would those new people have been required to present to the voters/tax payers resumes outlining their previous experience in managing millions of dollars in taxpayer’s money? (That’s including grants from various sources.) They would also need experience in town planning, purchasing, real estate, etc.

Historically, “Joe Blow” comes along, puts his name forward for council election, together with the other hopefuls. As is often the case, the voters have very little knowledge of these people. The voters put their mark on the election form and away they go. And existing business, handling millions of dollars would never clear out all of their upper management, recruit a bunch of unknowns and give them free reign to do pretty much whatever they liked. That would be inviting disaster on a huge scale.

But we do that every few years. In Telkwa the beauty of a position on council is the privilege of playing with money with no risks attached, because its not your own money. If a poor decision is made, an increase in taxes will solve the problem and, listen to this, no explanation or apology is required.

The present council is at the moment intent on building an empire by gambling a million dollars on a building that they think might make money, or at best break even. But with no promise that in any way the lives of the tax payers will benefit.

But will that expensive gamble ensure that the grass and weeds that grow in and around the riverside hockey rink, to the top of the boards, gets cut down? Or that the vintage pot holes around town get repaired?

As a couple of visitors said this summer, “we can see that the council, or whoever, have some plan to beautify the village, but fall down by putting expensive flower planters on the derelict town offices, while ignoring the fact that grass and weeds are growing up the stairs.

Those same planners plan to spend a million dollars on an old building?

Jim Harrhy




I’d like to share some simple math with the citizens of Telkwa regarding the Village Office proposal.  Council states that a 4,000 square foot building is required, and that the cost to construct that building would be $300 per square foot. When asked why a 4,000 square foot building is needed, a councillor stated that the council chambers need to be 750 to 800 square feet. The cost of this room, where an average of 10-to-15 people meet twice a month, would cost $225,000 to $240,000 to build.  The average value of a house in Telkwa, where families gather, recreate, cook, eat, bathe, entertain and sleep, is $170,000. This value also includes a yard where gardens grow and dogs run and children play. And there’s even parking!

Entire house with yard…$170 000. Council chambers for bi-weekly meetings…$240 000.  We need to vote no on the Million Dollar Loan Referendum and then hit the chalkboard and draw up a better plan!

Darcy Repen


Smithers Interior News