Public services should be doing more with less
I am writing to support the comments made by Will Husby in his excellent letter (March 8 issue) regarding the ferry marshalling Plan Q. The lack of public process and community engagement (as opposed to public ‘information’ sessions – at what cost? - about a project and expenditure already approved by council) on the ferry marshalling infrastructure as outlined in Plan Q is shameful. The exorbitant expense for this $ 5.5 million public works project, never mind $650,000 just for the traffic circle at Cardena Road, is appalling. In these recessionary times when public services should be doing more with less (and that includes staff levels), and prioritizing what taxpayer’s money is spent on (and most of us can’t afford the tax increases that would be needed for such a project), that such an expenditure is even being considered is unbelievable.
Most of us did not come to Bowen for the amenities of a city. Stop spending money on more consultant’s reports. Ferry vehicle ridership is going down. We should be encouraging people to use public transit.
As I see it the priorities (both short and long term) of our municipal government services should be: water quality, quantity (storage capacity), and distribution (when will water metre readings start?); sewage collection and treatment, garbage collection (again, leave well enough alone, they are doing a great job) and recycling; on-island composting facility, and road and ditch maintenance.
These are all costly services not only to set up, but to maintain, but they are critical services to the community (and to our environments), never mind climate change.
These are less glamorous but more pressing issues for Bowen Island that have to be addressed, and at a Bowen Island scale, not at the scale of expensive public works projects of a city. Let’s stop going around and working in small circles, leave well enough alone, and get on with responsible spending of taxpayers dollars with community engagement, thank you!