Uptown graffiti everyone’s problem

A collaborative approach is needed to deal with the growing graffiti problem in uptown Port Alberni. And it needs to happen soon.

A collaborative approach is needed to deal with the growing graffiti problem in Port Alberni. And it needs to happen soon.

This is not a new problem: Kamloops has a non-profit Graffiti Task Force that operates in concert with the city to remove graffiti on city property.

In Saanich, the police, municipality, businesses and residents work together to combat graffiti. The municipality has free graffiti removal kits available, consisting of paint, brushes, gloves, disposable coveralls and visibility safety vests.

Residents have taken a vested interest in the program, taking on small projects such as painting over tagged telephone poles.

While their efforts have not eradicated the problem, there is evidence that their efforts are making a definite difference.

And they are achieving this not through threats, but with elbow grease and pride in their community.

The Coulson Group of Companies, whose two buildings on Third Avenue have been hit multiple times since their purchase last year, have said they will sell at least one of the buildings if the city doesn’t move on this. We ask: why is this solely city council’s problem? Where is the Uptown Merchants’ Association’s voice on the matter? How about the RCMP? We know from social media that residents are fed up but what are they doing to help?

The mayor has been quoted in radio reports as saying beautification is important in drawing business to the Alberni Valley. We would agree: it’s time for a more formal graffiti reporting and removal program in our city.

City councillors should not be the only people rolling up their sleeves and cleaning up graffiti.

— Alberni Valley News