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LETTER: Consider state of city as election approaches

With local elections approaching, we will soon be hearing self-praises and accomplishments…
The west side of Kitsuksis Dyke walkway, by Blair Park along Margaret Street in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

To the Editor,

With local elections approaching, we will soon be hearing self-praises and accomplishments from those seeking re-election, then promises of greater things to come.

One only has to look around the community to evaluate how well the incumbents have done with maintaining and improving our current assets.

Roads need paving. Sidewalks need replacing. City parks still have not been upgraded with new playground equipment. City trails are overgrown. Reserve funds have been drained. No funds have been saved for a new pool.

Instead, council would rather build a path along the tracks for $7.5 million, which includes $5 million of our tax dollars. It is not near the water and users will have to cross Victoria Quay, Gertrude Street, Roger Street and Stamp Avenue along its path. Will you park at one quay then walk along the tracks to the other and then back?

Comparably, the Kitsuksis Dyke walkway—arguably the most popular and well-used walkway in the city—is actually along water. It has parking at multiple locations providing easy access from many areas. It is a nice loop, quiet and shady, with rest areas and a washroom and you don’t have to risk your life crossing busy streets.

You would think the city would keep it well-maintained. However, regular users know the number of trip hazards, cracks and settling in the walking surface, not to mention the overgrown brush. Nothing has been done for years as far as maintenance or improvements. It took citizen complaints to get some of the overgrown blackberries cut back.

Elections have consequences. We need a council that will work to improve what the city already has for those who live here, and not waste money on trying to be like other cities.

Randy Fraser,

Port Alberni, BC