It is with interest and sadness I read of the City of Detroit's bankruptcy.
I sent an email to our mayor and council with a copy of some of the information I read about the bankruptcy. I was happy to get a reply from a councillor, which showed me that the councillor was interested in the topic. Then I read the reply and was saddened as the councillor quotes Metro Vancouver representatives saying "no comparison in B.C. to bankrupt Detroit."
The councillor did try to reassure me that everything is OK it can never happen to us, but to me it is like saying General Motors is too big to fail.
There were many big-name companies that were "too big to fail" and are longer with us. Do you remember Eaton's, Woodwards, Enron, Nortel, Daewoo and Woolworth, just to name a few? They were leaders in their field, to big to fail and they all went bankrupt, so it can happen.
The way the City of Nanaimo spends our money it is not a question of if the city can go bankrupt but when? We have a city hall that sees no problem spending an extra $50,000 or paying about 26 per cent premium of our tax dollars because the lowest bid gave them a certified cheque not a bond.
It this was the staff's own money would they pay an extra
26 per cent? It is like buying a new car and agreeing to pay $10,000 more because one dealer fills the gas tank instead of giving them a prepaid card for the gas. The guiding principal when spending tax dollars is that should spend it as if it was your own money and you worked for it.
The 2013 city budget is $123.2 million operating, $52.5 million capital for a total of $175.2 million. With about 90,000 people living in Nanaimo, the city plans to spend $1,946 for each resident in Nanaimo or $7,784 for a family of four. If this is not a sign of a problem, what is?
Terrence Wagstaff Nanaimo
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