LETTER: Complaint from Courtenay taxpayer about City spending misses several points

Dear editor,

Apparently we’ve embarked on pre-election municipal politics already.

While most folks dislike paying taxes, the June 28 letter from Larry Wenezenki of Courtenay (Taxpayer says City is spending at an unsustainable rate) misses several points.

Taxes represent the collective investment from all citizens for the common good – fire protection, water, sewer and garbage collection, recreational opportunities, policing, parks, road maintenance, etc.

Individuals cannot independently afford these services. While there has been debate regarding a zero tax increase, this was never tied to what areas would likely be compromised. We certainly get better value for our taxes than from the performance of the Canucks/BC Lions!

Evaluating affordability must logically encompass housing, and in my view city councils (not just Courtenay) are controlled by developers and refuse to place any controls on profit; i.e., like it’s sacrilegious to do so. When developments are approved, there is no requirement for the business plan to be filed, including anticipated rents and no limitation on ‘what the market (inflated by speculation) will bear.’

What I see from some council members is some grandstanding, but no consistent approach or voting pattern to establish more responsible spending. This would entail denying some legitimate requests, and voters need to evaluate the consequences first.

Councillors need to be financially prudent, but also have a belief in social justice and a vision for a livable community. It’s easy to balance budgets by selling off public assets, but usually it results in a false economy.

Fred Muzin

Courtenay

Just Posted

Police presence at Anna Place in Courtenay

Situation resolved peacefully

Summer seasonal farmers’ markets now open in the Comox Valley

Downtown Courtenay and Cumberland hosting outdoor markets

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Greenwood Trunk sewer line construction continues

Work on Ryan Road portion of project Monday

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read