Letter: This is no way to reduce the debt

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Let’s look at the Feb. 1 story, “A bounce in their step,” regarding a rubber sidewalk. These sidewalks are “used in about 60 cities nationwide.” Melissa Tiefenthaler, co-chair of the Hough Neighborhood Association, received a $3,078 grant from the Vancouver Office of Neighborhood’s Safe Neighborhoods Street Fund — I spell that “tax dollars.” Vancouver Watersheds Alliance contributed another $1,500 — some of which may be from government dollars.

So $4,578 was spent in grants to fix sidewalks.

What else did Vancouver do? Charge a $2,087 “road modification permit” (excuse me, they reduced it to $1,077). Per Matt Ransom, city of Vancouver planning manager, Vancouver needed to “go through that process to make sure the material is safe.” How much does a phone call cost to call one of the “60 cities” to ask if it is safe? Obviously, $1,077.

Why not ask the taxpayers which agency to cut to reduce the debt?

Richard Schaff

VANCOUVER