Monday, November 24, 2008

Nanaimo Taxpayer's Dollars

How Nanaimo Taxpayer's Dollars
Are Being Spent

We all have to pay our taxes in order to provide the type of community we want to live in. It is good to turn on a tap and out comes water, or to flush a toilet and out goes water! To be able to get from here to there on well maintained roads and sidewalks. To be able to go for a swim in a heated pool in the middle of winter or to go skating when there is never any ice outdoors. To be able to call the police to deal with a situation or person that is well outside our comfort zone.

The list of services and amenities we all enjoy is indeed a long one and none of them come for free and are supported only by taxpayers dollars. Remember, whether it is municipal, provincial or federal, governments do not have ANY money of their own. Every dollar the government spends has come from someones pocket. So whenever we say 'the government will pay for it' we are really saying that all of us are going to pay for it.


We all want our police to be given the tools to do their very difficult job to reduce potential danger to themselves and those they are trying to help. There are few among us who would wish to deal with the people and circumstance we ask our police officers to handle. Many times I am sure they must deal with people who are either drunk with alcohol or high on drugs making them very difficult to deal with. Some of the others they deal with are truly 'bad guys' who may or may not be armed and would not hesitate in assaulting or killing a police officer in order to remain free.

In order to continue to do their jobs with greater safety and to reduce injury to those in their charge it is reported that about $750,000.00 needs to be spent on holding cell upgrades. The local holding cells fall short of standards which have been established for holding cells in this country.

The expenditure is said to be necessary to do the following:
  • install surveillance equipment in 8 cells
  • install sprinkler systems in 5 cells
  • replaced barred doors with sliding doors
  • install ten smoke detectors
  • install approved toilet fixtures
  • replace bunks with concrete sleeping platforms

In addition there were some other improvements which are not listed but will be done as well. A spokesman for the City is reported to have said the City is aware of the needed upgrades and intends to have them completed by next Sept. at an estimated cost of $55,000.00 per cell.

This is an example of a large amount of taxpayers dollars which will be spent by the City which of course means will be spend by the local taxpayers.

Editor's Comment: These are holding cells which means no one is expected to spend a lot of time in them so I presume prisoner comfort is not the top concern. They have also served to house prisoners for the short term for a long time now so you have to wonder if these expenditures are really necessary or are really someones idea of buying a Cadillac when a VW will do?


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