City overpaid for park purchase

We give the City of Nanaimo our hard-earned Canadian dollars and the majority of the council then spend them like pesos.

To the Editor,

Re: Parkland bought without public process, May 20.

I have reviewed the information that the City of Nanaimo and B.C. Assessment have on the Linley Valley property the city has options on to purchase and I was hoping the information is wrong.

The information I have indicates that the majority of council approved paying over three times the assessed value for the Linley Valley properties. The total assessed value is $2,536,000 and the majority of council believes paying $8 million is good use of our tax dollars. This is when councillors told us after careful line-by-line searching of the 2014-15 budget they could find no savings and had to increase our taxes by 2.5 per cent. Then we find out that the funds for this purchase are not solely from parkland acquisition funds but from 21 different accounts and reserve funds emptying just about every cookie jar in the cupboard.

We give the City of Nanaimo our hard-earned Canadian dollars and the majority of the council then spend them like pesos. We are only getting 30 cents’ value for every dollar spent. Council should purchase property to improve the city, but do it using a 100-cent dollar so we get full value. I am sorry to say this is not the first ‘30-cent purchase’ the majority of council approved and I am afraid it may not be the last.

Terrance WagstaffNanaimo

 

To the Editor,

Re: Parkland bought without public process, May 20.

I certainly would not bemoan the purchase of this acreage in such an ecologically sensitive area and it is a worthy addition to the exceptionally diverse park facilities in our city.

What is concerning is the fact that this was done behind closed doors, leaving so many questions. Why is the city paying in some cases three to four times the value for these lands? Under whose guidance was such a figure arrived at? And why now, when just months ago Mayor Ruttan stated there was absolutely no money available for the purchase of these lands?

The use of in-camera meetings have their place, but have increased to the point that not only have they created mistrust in both our city council and staff but the idea that ‘we the people’ seem to be held in total contempt.

Robert FullerNanaimo

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