To the Editor,
I think the Gaigas’ pocket park is a great idea. Inner city green spaces have proven beneficial track records.
I think it’s great that two private property owners want to to enhance the quality of life in Port Alberni’s Uptown area because they can afford to.
If managed properly, the private park could represent a meaningful gesture of understanding and somewhat address the deepening economic inequality that exists in our city and across the country, with the Gaigas willingly sharing their privilege.
Unfortunately there is a catch; asking the city taxpayers, of which I am one, as a homeowner and mother to another, to pay for any part of the pocket park takes away from the gesture, making it feel more like a tricky scheme.
This council has set a dicey precedent by agreeing to the five year maintenance of the privately owned park, putting in place a public private partnership without the consent of the public.
Asking the city’s taxpayers to subsidize the speculation of this privately owned property with a tax break is wrong on so many counts.
The taxes are city revenue required for other services. I can guarantee this will come back to bite us all soon enough.
Both Stephen and I disagree with all facets of this arrangement and want to express our feelings of being exploited by council’s naivety. Shame on you.