Letters to the editor 

This week's letters

Follow the Squamish model

Re: Privatize away (Pique letters Feb. 10)

Privatization of the Meadow Park Pool Facility is not the answer.

Squamish workers who maintain the "Sparkling and clean" facility which the writer describes are members of CUPE Local 2269. Thanks for the recognition of the condition of the facility. Meadow Park workers are non-union, although working for the Resort Municipality of Whistler. One can only imagine the sorry state of affairs if the facility were privatized.

Follow the Squamish model, not the "let’s make a buck" off swimmers, private sector mentality.

Jim Allan

President, CUPE 2269 Squamish

Save our money

To quote ING's TV ad: "Everyone wants Your money! Someone's hand is always in Your pocket!" In this case, Squamish council's hand in our taxpayers’ pockets. Why? To pay for a bunch of "amenities" about which:1) we have no information: 2) we don't know the individual project costs; 3) don't know the interest charges; 4) don't know the yearly operating and maintenance costs; 5) don't know the likely cost over-runs; 6) don't know which will have priority. We are being asked to buy a pig-in-a-poke and trust in this council and its lack of transparency.

Undoubtedly any one of these amenities would be a boon. But would you run your house or business this way? Would you go out and incur a huge debt, without any idea as to what you were buying; without comparison shopping; without figuring out if you could afford the project/item, plus its monthly interest costs; and without knowing what it would cost you long-term? Think Tom Hanks and "The Money Pit". Would a reputable financial institution even give you a pre-approved mortgage – often fatuously cited by certain council members – without sufficient back-up assets, planning, analysis, and financial projections? That's wishful thinking.

Contrary to what certain council members try to make us believe, there is a big difference between council seeking a "pre-approved mortgage" (i.e. the $20+ million loan) and you as an individual seeking one. What is that? Well, individuals actually have to rely on themselves to pay off the mortgage (loan) principal and interest, plus insurance and taxes. In contrast, our councillors (except Madame Lonsdale) can put us taxpayers – and even our children – into the position of incurring a loan/debt, whether or not we want it; paying off that loan with interest over many years; incurring on-going operating and maintenance charges; and, then, as costs are racked up, dip their hands into our pockets again and say "hand over". As individuals we don't have the same recourse. Moreover, if the District defaults, or goes into over-runs, who pays? We do! We have in the past, we will in the future. The District doesn't get re-possessed; it doesn't lose its home or trailer. This contributes to a councillor attitude of free-spending and irresponsible money management which we taxpayers personally can't afford, especially if on fixed or almost non-existent incomes.

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