Letters to the Editor

Not ours to spend

I read with some interest editor John Harding’s editorial ‘Spend to make money’ (The NEWS, Feb. 6).

Harding, along with others, really miss the point when it comes to spending and raising money. I thought the editorial was very good. However, we must have this conversation about spending taxpayers money on special interest groups.

Harding states “you have to spend money to make money.” Of course you do, when you are spending your own money. I was in business for over 40 years and spent thousands to make money, and I did make money. I also was a volunteer on many organizations and raised thousands of dollars for those groups. At no time did I or my organizations ever approach the city for money.

Let me say, I believe the benefits of most volunteer groups are a big plus for the community, whether they bring in big dollars for the businesses or they are just looking after the needs of a small number of people. These groups are vitally important for any city. Without them, we would have little connection with one another and at the end of the day our city would suffer big losses. However, with a little effort, all these groups could raise this money on their own before coming to council.

My point is: groups should be responsible to raise their own money and not take the easy way out by asking council for donations. On the other hand, council’s mandate is roads, sewers, water, parks etc. and the strain on city finances is greater every year. We must be more prudent with tax dollars and take it serious where the money is coming from and going. It is my opinion, and I have a great number of supporters, if we are extremely careful with tax dollars, there are years we need not raise taxes. Raising taxes does the exact opposite  of the phrase “spend more to make money” when it comes to the public purse.

We need people in municipal politics who have some business sense and have experience in how to spend money to make money. It is far too easy for those on councils to spend other people’s money. Our mandate is not to collect dollars from everyone in the city to give away to a few groups that find it easy to address council for donations.

Being an old publisher and editor of my own newspaper in the early years, it is good to see Harding attend council meetings and report on them. He must keep in mind council is not spending our own money, but his.

Coun. Al Greir

Parksville

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