My friend and I take long walks through Parksville, down to the beach and usually end up in one of the city’s coffee shops.
Lately our conversation has been centred around the state of many of the properties, private and public. And lately other citizens have been sharing what we’ve sadly observed.
A few of us have contacted the city either by phone or e-mail to complain about the horrible condition of the former Parksville Elementary School, which has been allowed to, shall we say, follow nature. I e-mailed the director of operations at the city and he promptly replied.
His response was basically non-committal, non-proactive and very political. He said he would forward my concerns on and when I queried about the unsightly state of some of the grounds of retail businesses, it was more like splitting hairs in that the so-called fine line between ‘untidy’ and ‘unsightly’ will determine bylaw action.
He also said that budget and staffing constraints determine what gets maintained and as a slap on my wrist, commented that happily they receive more compliments than complaints (oh dear, my bad).
City sidewalks and many boulevards or even already-landscaped areas are pocked with weeds, empty lots are laden with debris and waist-high with every imaginable noxious, invasive species.
On Jenson Avenue the empty building lot has blackberry bushes crawling onto the sidewalk and as to the high weeds and grasses at the former public school, dog walkers comment they could lose their pets in there and never see them again. Would any of this be considered ‘untidy’ or ‘unsightly?’
If the city is ‘constrained’, perhaps it can contract our senior and/or student workers to address the ‘untidy.’ Surely some solution can be put in place?
Is it my imagination or is this sad state only since the installation of a new administration?
Are these so-called ‘budget constraints’ a lack of pride or apathy or both? Whatever the case, we as citizens pay with our taxes for the maintenance and beautification of Parksville. Otherwise, where is the money going?
If you can’t think of us, think of the tourists who will be arriving en masse, but the thing is, it is not just our beach and parks they will want to visit.