LETTER – Letter writer’s jab at Comox full of errors

Dear editor,

Please let the facts speak.

Mr. Maingon’s vitriolic letter to the editor in the Jan. 31 Record (Town’s reluctance to help flood victims part of a recurring pattern) is full of mistakes, that as a Courtenay resident he may honestly not be aware of.

First off, Comox has the LOWEST municipal residential tax rate in the valley (in 2018 $6.10 per $1,000 of assessment compared to $6.93 in Courtenay and $7.35 in Cumberland). That is partly because (as Mr. Maingon himself notes) Comox councils have historically been careful about spending.

If you look at the Town’s audited 2017 Financial Statements (2018 isn’t published yet) you will note that its reserves are just over $10 million, plus retained operating surpluses totalling around $6 million. That is, admittedly, a substantial amount of money, but is a far cry from the $100 million Mr. Maingon alleged.

Also, with regard to the Mack Laing Trust, there were funds taken out of it by council in the 1980s and 1990s for items like erection of the cairn honouring Mack Laing, compiling a biography on him, painting the nature panels, and improvements and maintenance of the park and building.

But since 1999, not one cent was removed from the trust, and interest was compounded on the trust’s funds annually.

The money that council contributed to the reserve in 2017 was a good faith offering to make up for decisions made by councils decades before them.

Finally, I am hopeful that there will be a welcoming, respectful, and safe space for the care of those suffering from dementia in the Comox Valley. I hope that no one else will use it as a cheap jibe.

Donald Jacquest,

Comox

Do you have an opinion you’d like to share? Email letters@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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