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Letter: New West must cut costs, not raise taxes so much

A taxpayer has some suggestions
Massey Theatre 1
Massey Theatre


I read in the Nov. 18 Record that the city is looking at another property tax hike of up to 6%, or maybe 4% in 2022.

The reason is to cover costs. I just had to think what is going on at city hall. This council and upper management have been running up the cost to run this city for years.

New West is not a big city and playing keeping up with the Jones’ (Vancouver, Surrey and Coquitlam) is not a game this property taxpayer wants to keep playing. I hope others feel the same.

Let do a short review of how this council and upper management (remember, upper management staff give the recommendations to council) has run up the cost for us all:

Taking over the Anvil Centre. This has been an albatross around the city’s neck since the first day they took it over. The amount of money spent taking the building over from the developer, then completing the build; then there’s the day-to-day operations. Let’s not forget that each time that the city says they need a tax hike. What’s the first item they need more money for? The Anvil Centre.

Sitting on the fence to build the new aquatic centre. How long did the city talk about building this? I can’t remember how long, but if they had built it all those years ago, the taxpayers would have saved millions. Yet, as this council does, let’s throw good taxpayer’s money into fixing a pool that was built in the 1960s. To me. this was and is not a good financial plan. Now look at it - not open, broken down and costing more money. You may want to take note how other cities are run. That’s a first step in playing with the big boys. Which New West cannot do, as we are a small city.

Recently taking over the Massey Theatre. OMG, another theatre. That was built a long, long time ago. What will be the cost of running it, maintaining it, staffing it? This list goes on and on. Oh, yes, let’s not forget, another building for council to say we need more money for.

Paying managers outrages salaries. We are a small city. We, the taxpayer, cannot afford them. I feel there are highly qualified people out there who would work for less. Let’s give it a try, council.

How do we solve this? I suggest the following:

Sell the Anvil Centre to the private sector; let go of the monkey on the taxpayers’ backs. It will feel good to let go.

Let Canada Games pool go, focus on building the new one. Stop the money bleed now.

Let the Massey Theatre go, really let it go. It’s simple, just say ‘sorry, we cannot afford it.’ Those close to the theatre will understand. People say this every day, Cities can, too.

By letting go of Anvil Centre, Canada Games and Massey, it should lower insurance concerns. I am sure there is more.

Cut salaries of all managers or let them go.

I feel it’s time for all property owner to say no to any more property tax hikes. The city needs to look inward and take a hard look at how they are run, and how they spend and the choices they make for the city.

I am sure I missed other bad choices the city has made when it comes to spending. I will let someone else write about that. Or how a property tax hike may decide if a senior can stay in their family home. My hope is council and managers make a better plan at the next workshop on Nov. 29.

If they don’t God help us. If not him, elections are coming.

Don Doyle, New Westminster