Writer bemoans Alberni city hall loan

To the Editor,

After learning about city council’s recent decision to loan $300,000 at one per cent interest to the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, I say it is time for the fleecers at city hall to return all tax monies collected to offset Catalyst’s failure to pay its taxes.

Rising food prices are crippling young families and senior citizens are suffering in this valley.

This one per cent interest deal is way too sweet. In his long career as a bank manager, I speculate that Dewayne Parfitt (secretary/treasurer for the chamber) did not make loans at one per cent or he would have been replaced at his branch.

Our city council is notorious for poor management of taxpayer dollars, e.g., the firesale of the old RCMP building, the “always in the red” McLean Mill and on and on.

Ken Watson wrote in the City of Port Alberni Draft 2011- 2015 Five Year Financial Plan that there is now a budget surplus of approximately $1.4 million. Once Catalyst paid their outstanding 2009/2010 taxes, an immediate decision should have been made to return this money to the citizens of Port Alberni.

We, the people of Port Alberni, demand our money to be returned.

We are not okay about using this surplus to keep money-losing ventures like McLean Mill afloat. Public service is a sacred duty—emphasis on sacred. Port Alberni taxpayers are not lemmings.

Jacques Savard,

Port Alberni