New stage doesn’t make business sense

Since the theatre society needed a $2-million co-sign from the city, it means banks do not believe expansion is financially sound.

To the Editor,

Re: Councillors support $12-million Port Theatre expansion, Sept. 11.

Since the theatre society needed a $2-million co-sign from the city to get started means banks do not believe expansion is such a financially sound idea. So why are taxpayers being set up to hold the bag?

Two years ago the group came knocking when they dug themselves into a $114,000 deficit. The city obliged, transferring money from the capital reserve even though taxpayers fund the theatre by more than half a million dollars per year.

Would you give more money to your child if they failed to manage their allowance properly?

Would you give them even more money to expand their tree fort after they screwed up managing the current one?

And if the group reneges on paying back the $2 million of up-front money, does it mean taxpayers will have to cover this as well as the $4.6 million council has already approved?

If there is a business plan for this madness it must not make sense or the theatre society would have gone to the banks on its own.

R.C. StearmanNanaimo


To the Editor,

Re: Councillors support $12-million Port Theatre expansion, Sept. 11.

I see that Christmas has come too early yet again. But it’s not for the much-needed relief of taxpayers of Nanaimo, but but to the arts and culture idealist whose too-obvious agenda is to tun Nanaimo from a blue-collar town into the artistic and cultural centre of Vancouver Island, using tax dollars.

The patrons of art and culture should have raised the money for their own expansion, not just resort to political panhandling to get what they want, never mind the effect that it has on the overburdened taxpayers of Nanaimo, more so with this very hard-hitting economic recession.

Al MunroNanaimo


To the Editor,

Re: Councillors support $12-million Port Theatre expansion, Sept. 11.

The provincial government needs to re-write laws which govern municipalities. If Victoria restricted cities to only manage basic services like police, fire, water, sewer, roads and garbage, for example, it might stop our taxes from rising to pay for all those other projects.

Re-writing laws might make some people think twice before running for office. Those who run and get a helping hand from their special interest groups which love a little extra attention once their candidates win.

After Nanaimo council voted 8-1 to kick start the $12.6-million Port Theatre expansion, the city finance director presented the municipality’s 2014-18 financial plan. He raised an alarm bell warning the city has long-term planning challenges; for one, the theatre expansion they’d just approved had not been budgeted for yet.

Our taxes are not being managed properly. And I don’t think we’re being governed properly, either. It’s time for many on council to leave willingly or be voted out, and their departures can’t come soon enough.

Kevan ShawNanaimo

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