Dam money saves city’s bacon

The only way the city tax increase is below ten percent is because of a $300,000 transfer from McLean Mill dam repairs to the city.

To the Editor,

It’s important to realize that the only way the city residential tax increase is below ten percent is because of a one-time $300,000 transfer from the McLean Mill dam repairs to the city coffers.

Otherwise, the tax increase would be closer to eleven percent.

My specific recommendations for cost cutting were ignored: a museum admission charge, an end to the money-losing summer hockey school ($60,000 to $70,000 per year), and a big reduction in the travel budget for city councillors who all want to attend out-of-town conferences all the time.

The specific reason for the unnecessary, costly boondoggle of a new high school at the new location was to poach on city facilities such as the track.

As a condition of school relocation, the school district should have been required to pay for the maintenance of facilities such as the track and any ball fields, etc. that they may use.

That didn’t happen, so were stuck with a $700,000 bill for the track alone.

There has been no attempt to bring city managers to heel, including the Parks and Recreation and museum directors.

The museum budget and salaries,for example, are grossly inflated. And the McLean Mill and steam train operations have been a bad, expensive joke for over ten years.

Again, my experience in the museum field has been ignored. Specifically, I’ve said that McLean Mill needs at least 25,000 visitors annually to come close to breaking even, not 12,000 to 15,000.

Yet the very expensive farce goes on year after year. Well over $5 million dollars have been spent since 2000.

Others have commented upon our Cadillac fire department,  economic development office (which should be in the regional district), and very high wages, none of which are being brought under control.

The simple truth is that nobody at city hall cares about the bloated city budgets and the severe financial difficulties they create for some homeowners (and renters as their rates go up).

Who cares if some people are having great trouble in making ends meet? We bureaucrats and councillors are alright.

Let them eat cake.

Richard Berg,

Port Alberni

Just Posted

Two Alberni Valley hockey players win bronze at NAHC finals

Team BC male awarded a bronze medal after controversial decision

Port Alberni to hold Walk for Dog Guides on May 26

Fundraising event one of 300 across Canada

Mattress recycling program provides work experience in Port Alberni

Recycle Matters was started by INEO Employment Services

Port Alberni’s Five Acre Shaker announces first headliner

Canadian rock band Harlequin will take the stage on Sunday

Two new developments approved for Port Alberni

Rental apartments and new retail space proposed

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Most Read