Spending must stop in Lake Cowichan

Where is the Lake Cowichan town council hiding the money trees?

It would seem our current town council has become very adept at spending money on decorations and things the community can’t afford! Like a town square with ANOTHER band shell? Why? Oh I forgot, the mayor says this will encourage people to move to Lake Cowichan! Not likely, particularly when you note how many empty commercial buildings there are, not to mention the businesses hanging on by a thread. Worst of all, where are the jobs to bring people to town, particularly families?

Then there is the long line of plantings down the centre of the main thoroughfare requiring watering and weeding. How much extra water are we going to pump through the dozens of sprinkler heads now in place while the residents are leaving their lawns brown to ensure we don’t end up with extra bills made possible by the water meters? On this note, I just received my bill for overuse of water. I have not watered my lawn. Our garden and lawn are suffering severely with lack of watering. What makes it even more painful is to drive up past Irly Bird heading to the intersection and see the sprinklers watering the median and the road literally running rivulets of water while the residents do their best to conserve water. What hypocrites our council is. Taxpayers pay while the council spends!

Now let’s talk about the new library. Property given away, taxpayers funding the library board. No tax revenue from the property. In other words asset gone, no return.

Previously there was a proposal to build a combined town hall/library and health unit on the library site, which would have retained ownership of the property and building. The library and health unit lease revenue would have paid for a large percentage of the project.

Now we are hearing $1.2 million for an upgrade to the old town hall. That old town hall site should be bulldozed and begin a process of elimination of all buildings along the foreshore of the river not adding structures.

I also find it laughable that up near the arena we have double sidewalks, old sidewalks 10 feet from the curb and an ugly gravel area in between.

Oh and then there are the fancy new street lights while the old ones still light up. Up goes the electricity costs!

Please don’t let anyone tell you that tourism is the answer. Never will the tourist dollars take the place of real, decent paying jobs that the forest industry used to provide. Any and all efforts should be put into finding ways to encourage and promote Lake Cowichan as a place for some light industry to locate to.

The time is now for some new blood around this council table and probably the bureaucrats’ offices as well. Whatever, a stop must be put to the useless spending.

We have recently been hit by parcel taxes purported to upgrade sewer and water systems. So where is the hundreds of thousands of dollars coming from for all the frills and foolishness? Now we see mayor and council are getting raises. Have they earned them? I think not!

Time for change folks and for the right reasons. Fun and games are over.

Jack Peake Former mayor and councillor

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