LETTER: Contract out public works and save money

Writer says it's time for the City of Port Alberni to think creatively

To the Editor,

Re: City’s tax proposal out of touch, Letters, March 3

I fully agree with comments made by Dave Noble on various ongoing tax increases. The City of Port Alberni has to phase out the operation of the public works department and to contract the work out just like former B.C. premier Bill Vander Zalm did with the Ministry of Transportation and Highways, saving taxpayers mega dollars.

Contracting the public works department out would stop nonsense tax increases that keep appearing every year. The contracts could be bid on for a period of 10 years. The City of Port Alberni public works superintendent would still be in charge of giving work orders to the contractor. The contractor would follow the work orders just like they are done now, and present employees could group together and put a bid in too.

Former B.C. Department of Highways employees did exactly that and today are known as Mainroad Contracting; and have contracts with the B.C. government.

Hiring a contractor would eliminate payroll, benefits, vehicle insurance, mechanics, vehicle parts, gas, oil, tires, buying new vehicles, as examples of saving taxpayer dollars. Only one cheque would be written each month to the contractor.

The present elected city council just keeps raising taxes each year instead of working as a team to lower expenses. Total wages paid out to the mayor and councillors for 2019 was $151,823 with $2,228 in benefits, and $56,218 in expenses. The chief financial officer was paid $173,562 in wages, in 2019, the director of finance was paid $110,308 in wages, and the deputy director of finance was paid $93,002 in wages.

Surely these 10 people could come up with solutions of cutting expenses and avoiding yearly tax increases.

Joe Sawchuk,


Alberni Valley News