Re: John Harding’s editorial ‘Less government’ (The NEWS, Aug. 30).
As a resident of San Pareil, I must respectfully disagree with the rationale and conclusions drawn in this editorial. My observation is that the majority of citizens who choose to live in the quiet rural residential areas of the RDN do so precisely to avoid more “big government” and to have more direct input into their own affairs and spending of their tax dollars.
There are constant pressures in many adjacent urban areas for more development, higher densities and often large unwanted projects that citizens must shoulder higher taxes for. Sadly, these pressures and urban sprawl are usually accompanied by higher crime rates and social problems. This is also one reason good local planning imposes urban containment boundaries.
In the interest of less government and controlling taxation, our San Pareil residents have deliberately foregone, by choice, the many costly improvements preferred by many urban areas including such conveniences as streetlights and sidewalks. Residents maintain their individual own sewer systems and looking to the future, voted a local tax increase to undertake expensive modifications to upgrade their own independent water system within the Regional District. We pay for our services and are proud of our fiscal responsibility. While carrying our own weight, the hundreds of households and citizens living here contribute large economic benefits and spin offs that are welcomed happily by the merchants, restaurants and services that contribute greatly to Parksville’s economy and tax-base.
San Pariel residents every day share and use these local public roads, trails and nature openly with Parksville community members along with thousands of visitors and nature lovers from around the world. There is no linkage or access problem to the nearby park or estuary lands as some have tried to infer over the years. We value the interests and input of neighbouring Oceanside communities and have welcomed the recent statements of Mayor Marc Lefebvre that Parksville will not impose plans in our area without our agreement.
Our San Pareil residents have strongly and consistently supported remaining in the RDN and planning their own future and quality of life as a distinct community.
Roy AlexanderSan Pareil