To the editor,
Councillor Brown’s late motion for a $1.3-million bike path which was not recommended by staff passed 4-3 after the mayor and a councillor had left the meeting. A bargain at only $3,700 per metre. No problem – the cycle track will be funded out of reserves, so it will not impact property taxes in 2021.
Then, council approved spending up to another $400,000 out of reserves, just to hold the property tax increase to 3.0 per cent.
In case no one has noticed, we are in the midst of a pandemic with unprecedented buckets of federal and provincial dollars flowing out. We have not yet seen the economic impact that will arrive when those wells run dry. It might be prudent to keep our reserves in reserve for when those funds are needed, not when they are politically expedient for something we might want.
Ted Steven, Nanaimo
To the editor,
Re: City budgets for $1.3-million bike lane, new staff positions, Dec. 9.
The news that Nanaimo city council is fast-tracking bike lanes is wonderful. However, more cycling-related infrastructure is essential and at little cost to the city.
Basic infrastructure is part of any sound ‘green’ transportation strategy and I urge council to make cycling a viable option in our growing city by mandating bike racks at all city parks and facilities. With the pandemic still raging, many are opting for pedal power and e-bikes over public transit and ridesharing. Cycling promotes active, carbon and pollution-busting lifestyles our region desperately needs.
We want to get out of our cars, but it’s hard when there’s nowhere to put your bike upon arrival at Blueback Beach, Neck Point, or Buttertubs Marsh, to name only a few lacking such amenities. There needs to be safe, easy and convenient end-of-trip infrastructure like the Clean B.C. mandate specifies.
Dalia Levy, Nanaimo
To the editor,
I am finding it very hard to support this council, many whom I voted for in the last election. In 2020 many citizens (aka taxpayers) haven’t worked a full year and are having a hard time day-to-day and will not be receiving pay increases or pension increases anywhere near 3.0 per cent if any increase, and yet this council figures we can.
How are we expected to find this additional money? This council and previous councils just spend on their pet projects (for example if we have a spare million to spend on bike lanes). Whether this is coming out of reserves or not, we know as taxpayers you’ll put money in the budget to go into reserves now or at a later date.
You must stop this unnecessary spending. Bike lanes are not a necessity. Street lights are on all day, 24/7 (which I reported to public works for my neighbourhood, yet I’m sure it’s happening all over the city).
This spending increase is not only a Nanaimo problem, councils all over B.C. are always increasing taxes, it’s time we put a stop to it, we as citizens cannot afford it.
Citizens will remember at the next election who listened to taxpayers’ concerns. I for one will not be getting a 3.0-per cent increase in 2021 or any other year.
Malcolm Atkinson, Nanaimo
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