Letters to the Editor

A pain in the pocketbook

I read Kristen Douglas’ Jan. 17 article on council expenses with interest and a certain sharp pain in the area around my pocketbook.

I often read of municipal expenses and costs but seldom read about the margin, the area between revenues and expenses. Council seems to be entranced by single-stop shopping for revenue.  It continues to come knocking at the ratepayers assessment and sometimes adding the proverbial straw to the business balance sheet, forcing the mill, hotel, homeowner, or business to examine other options in location than River City. Is the council working on the long-term sustainability of Campbell River’s financial system and investing the public’s money in creating alternative revenues?

I think it could do more than invest $75,000 in a ‘hook-up’ fee with area D ratepayers or a $50,000 charrette to get the first-take on the public’s issues and concerns about improving Campbellton and the downtown areas.

Maybe an excellent starting place is a review of the 2013 Union of BC Municipalities report, “A Blueprint for Strengthening BC Local Governments’ Finance System?”

Also, council could learn from towns like Port Alberni, Mission and Revelstoke and other forest-dependent communities that are suffering because of changes in provincial forest policy and suggest to RiverCorp that it assess the ideas associated with a working waterfront and regional community forest tenure.

William L Wagner, PhD, RPF

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