How fiscal responsibility can co-exist with a social conscience

Dear editor,

Congratulations to Mayor Stew Young and the people of Langford.

Dear editor,

Congratulations to Mayor Stew Young and the people of Langford on a clear demonstration of how local, provincial, and federal branches of government can and should work together to accomplish forward looking undertakings that speak to the need for fiscal responsibility with a social conscience.

The City of Langford is getting a $14.1-million Sportsplex for a $4.7-million investment while the City of Courtenay is about to spend $5.4 million to fix up Lewis Centre Recreation Centre under the auspices that it will be more accessible and that plant upgrades are 20 years overdue.

The additional recreation spaces will create a greater demand for staff and patron parking and the transportation artery along Lewis Park will see increased traffic congestion.

Solving these issues will cost us much more than what the good people of Langford have obliged themselves to spend.  Transparency in local government can only occur when citizens are apprised of as much of upfront costs as possible. Municipalities and all levels of government must consider sustainability particularly in their use of taxpayer dollars.

It brings to mind an advertising slogan of some years back: “You can pay me now or you can pay me later.”

We must stop the propensity for some community administrations to adopt a paraphrase of that philosophy:  “You can pay me now AND you can pay me later.”

I applaud Langford on their foresight and responsible use of taxpayer dollars. They have provided their citizens a rare opportunity in these challenging times by doing more with less. Bravo!

Bill Bate,

Courtenay

Editor’s note: Bill Bate is one of three candidates for mayor of Courtenay in the Nov. 19 municipal elections.

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