Cut city wages, not greenspace

City greenspace should be spared and city wages cut instead, one reader says.

To the Editor,

Our city parks and recreation director seems to have an edifice complex, and little respect for parks, trees, and green spaces. He chose the horrendous site for the unnecessary new high school which destroyed playing fields and part of the Echo woods, and the latest city “triumph” is the annihilation of the green space and trees of Stirling Field, an area of sports and recreation for decades.

It’s now going to be the home of a Ford dealership which will gobble up most of the paved parking lot and the trees, leave just 28 spots for parking, and destroy the ambience of the dike area around the bridge.

Of course in all these disasters,  senior city staff and successive city councils stubbornly resist  listening to and acting upon public opinion and wishes.

We all knew the present high school with its fine auditorium and gymnasium could be saved, but we were ignored in favour of building a very ugly new high school off Roger Street which is cramped into an area that’s too small, features a swamp, and looks hopelessly cluttered.

At the public hearing for relocating the Ford dealership, there was significant opposition voiced which was totally ignored (except by Wendy Kerr), and 60 minutes later, council  approved the rezoning. This is democracy in action?

In sum, whether the issue is rezoning or the call for input on the city budget, everything is decided well in advance and the public’s views and suggestions are ignored by city staff and by arrogant, dictatorial city councils past and present.

I have put forward a suggestion that the wages and salaries of all city staff and unionized employees be cut 10 per cent. If Catalyst survives, it would be given a further tax reduction of $1 million. But that idea is also unlikely to succeed.

Richard Berg,

Port Alberni

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