Letter: Plus one/minus one for City of Powell River Council

Plus one: Powell River city council, thank you for listening and heeding the message you heard from a groundswell of Powell River citizens. Receiving over 200 letters indicates there are a lot more than 200 voters who say no to the corporate commodification of BC water [“City of Powell River reverses water bottling decision,” June 19].

“Coastal By Nature” Powell River attracts many new residents because of the city’s advertised respect for a pristine coastal living environment. Of note here: May 2020 is now the warmest May on record since planet temperatures first started being recorded in 1880.

Promoting the manufacturing of more plastic by inviting bottling companies to take residency in Powell River would have demonstrated you are a council which was both uninformed of current scientific data, and one not interested in acting upon a large oppositional outcry from its citizenry.

Jobs? Yes. We do need good jobs here.

We need a citizen group who have outside professional and vocational connections to band together to aggressively head-hunt Canadian entrepreneurs and businesses to set up shop in order to rebuild Powell River’s dwindling tax base. Add to that, a  4.7 per cent tax increase during the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be a tough burden to bear for many residents. 

Minus one: As mentioned more than once at the June 18 meeting, city council is transparent. Unfortunately, this statement was made in retaliation to citizen letters stating city council is not transparent.

Therefore, it was no surprise when Pat Martin presented data for the second year in a row which demonstrated a profound lack of transparency within the public/private partnership of PRSC [“Resident calls for greater transparency from Powell River city council,” June 26].

Last year she was derided after her presentation. So, she took a closer look at PRSC accounting books. They revealed that during its 12-year life, there was no auditing for 10 years, and the true cost to taxpayers remains unknown. It appears city expenses had not been factored in.

Hopefully council will find the final total, as citizens of Powell River deserve to understand how much the partnership ended up costing them. After her measured informative presentation, council’s response was mute, with the one exception by councillor Cindy Elliott, who observed that some of Martin’s recommendations made good sense, and that her letter be received for consideration.

Backyard chicken bylaws generated lively conversation during at least two council meetings, while a potentially large public  financial loss supported by chronological spreadsheet data did not elicit a single question. Chickens trump millions is the moral of the story here, I guess.

Lesley Armstrong, Maple Avenue
Powell River

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