Vote wisely on March 8

Staff writer
March 7, 2014 01:00 AM


In the Feb. 28 edition of Coast Reporter, you published two letters to the editor from Geoff White and from Sechelt Coun. Tom Lamb.

The latter letter by a fellowcouncillor has prompted me to wade in on the two issues that each letter presents.

The first letter says, "In a rare move, all councillors voted yes to the new funding initiative and even the two naysayers couldn't find fault with the proposal."

The letter would clearly indicate some misinformation as there is no record of council voting in favour of accepting the $1 million grant and the $7.4 millionloan. There is, however, a resolution of council (passed unanimously) that this funding option be taken to a referendum.

The second letter has some degree of conflict. What has been said is "accessing the grant and loan means we can keep the $5.9 million in reserves and borrow $7.4 million for the wastewater treatment facility at a low interest rate that the District would not be able to access otherwise."

The conflict comes in the District of Sechelt's recent promotion that indicateswe can save $2.2 million (including $900,000) that would comeif councilinvests that $5.9 million in reserves for the next 10 years. Wecannot do both - have the reserves available for projects and invest the reserves. Investing for 10 years would tie council's hands for any future sewer projects.

My other personal issues of concern are: having to register to attendthe information meeting on this funding option, spending thousands of dollars on the 'yes' perspective when I believe we should have been neutral and provided information only, and allowing non-impacted, non-sewer users to participate in the vote when it is the sewer users only who are responsible for repaying the loan.

On March 8, vote wisely.

Coun. Mike Shanks, District of Sechelt

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