LETTER: Three Nelson council decisions that adversely affect seniors

From Joan Reichardt of the Seniors Co-ordinating Society...

LETTER: Three Nelson council decisions that adversely affect seniors

Either Nelson city council is targeting seniors or we have fallen off their list of citizens to care about. In the last weeks three council decisions have adversely effected our older citizens. What’s next?

Individually, each decision is a problem for many seniors. The combined impact of all three will make many home owning seniors make difficult decisions. We ask ourselves who at council speaks for us, and if there is someone, why isn’t anyone listening to them?

Last we were told, the fastest growing demographic group in B.C. and in Nelson are seniors. Our collective memories are fine even if individual memories aren’t. There will be an election eventually.

The decisions:

1. Seniors parking passes increase from $30 to $90. Two hundred per cent. At the same time, generally less parking, especially on Vernon Street near Seniors Branch #51 and the Seniors Co-ordinating Society office. And 2016 was a parking disaster, something we still have not yet recovered from.

2. Garbage regulations have been changed, requiring bags to be removed from bins or containers before being placed outside for pickup.

Wheeled garbage containers are an essential way garbage can be moved to the curb for most seniors. And bins keeps various animals out of the garbage. Does council serve the citizens or the staff? How do we get the bag out? Isn’t the worker better able to perform this task? And under threat of a fine? Shame on you.

3. Then a proposed property tax increase of 4.8 per cent, according to the paper. Wow. We are on fixed incomes. CPP and Old Age aren’t up 4.8 per cent.

And deferring property taxes is just a form of debt financing. The average income of seniors in rural B.C. is $25,500. Inflation is no where near 4.8 per cent. Instead of incurring the cost of services that are truly the responsibility of Interior Health, the Province of B.C. or the Government of Canada hold them responsible and deal with your own issues.

Make sure the sidewalks are clear and deal with parking issues. There is only one taxpayer.

The goal should be to keep seniors in their homes, not run them out of town!

Joan Reichardt

Nelson and District Seniors Co-ordinating Society