Hi Mr. Mayor and Council,

Thank you for those who attended Feb 8th’s Public Forum. It was an
enlightening experience for me, however I feel that the feedback from
the public may have been less than constructive at a “Budget” meeting.

The issue of bus fares was prominent, and the issues surrounding parking
meters as a way to pay was brought up. Gay Pooler of KCBIA was clearly
not in favour, and this is understandable, however, off the record Gaye
bought up in conversation with Peter Mutrie the lack of parking meters
on the North Shore. This argument is completely valid: why are there no
parking meters on the North Shore? I am a big fan of Tranquille Market
revitalisation, and would not want to get in its way, considering my
advocacy for walkable areas, however, if someone is driving and parking:
shouldn’t they be paying?

The same could be said of the areas which contribute to road congestion
and car usage the most: Stripmalls. They are on private land, which
would likely prevent the city from charging on these lots. However there
is no reason a “road tax”, “carbon tax”, “congestion tax” or something
along these lines be phased in for commuters at these locations. The
problems of low density and sprawl (which has been shown to be a direct
contributor to high police budgets, high infrastructure maintenance
costs, high transit cost, etc.) could and should be tackled by removing
what is essentially government subsidy of the problem.

I don’t know that this is a new solution for council, but I felt I
should provide something useful from the Public Forum. I still advocate
for walkable communities to lower the budget– as that will never happen
overnight, this might be a step in the right direction.

Thank you for your time


Mitchell Forgie