Letter to the editor 3, May 12, 2016

Dear Editor,

Could there be some clarification please? I need to pay user fees to have leaf pickup because I belong to the seven per cent of the 20,000 inhabitants of St. Lazare that need it. I have trees, I’m not allowed to cut them down and we live in a green town. Got it.

According to our mayor, who glibly called it a tempête de feuilles when some 1,400 people objected to losing the service because the rest of St. Lazare doesn’t want to pay for it. Got it.

So although the mayor and the councillors got a hefty pay raise, they needed to go on an extra special weekend trip to Montebello to figure out a solution. Got it.

The city took Allan Bassenden to court (on behalf of his neighbours) to force him off of his property because he was living in his trailer after losing his home in a fire. Exactly how much did that cost me? I certainly didn’t care and what percentage of St. Lazare did care? And what user fees did his neighbours have to pay?

This past summer the city provided a vegetable plot for 40 families at a cost of $13,000. What did that cost me? I didn’t want it. Did they pay user fees?

We now have a $1 million bicycle path that has already had significant deterioration after just a few months. All the trees, bushes, plants, shrubbery were clear-cut. It was nesting season and all the wildlife that were raising their families were killed off. What once was a wonderful secluded path has now become a wasteland. I have seen cars use it as a shortcut. What happened to St. Lazare being a green town? Was all this at least mulched and composted?

Although I see people out every day walking, we have no sidewalks or streetlights. We need flashlights and cover ourselves in glow strips for those who do the nightly doggy run. Imagine what a million dollars could have provided? The only person I ever saw ride his bicycle before the destruction was oddly enough, the mayor himself. What are my costs? I don’t want to pay for it and what are your user fees?

My recently increased city tax bill expected me to pay $7.77 for the “Reconst. Ste. Elisabeth.”

Why? I don’t want live there. It doesn’t matter to me and what are their user fees?

I have two water fees totalling $254 yet I live in this wonderful spot where regularly my water is brown. The mayor says it is safe. It looks great in my glass, and in my bathtub. Not so much on my laundry. Am I paying extra for the manganese? And when they find out in 20 years from now that it’s not good for my health, where will you be then?

I’m billed for fees for agrandissment pinere and terrain synt. Westwood, but I don’t care about that. I want leaf pick up. For free. If I have to pay for all sorts of things that I don’t want or don’t care about because that’s what community living is all about, I got it.

We are a community that shares in the expenses of a town we choose to live in whether it directly or indirectly affects us for the greater good.

Got it.

So why, exactly, am I paying user fees?

Elianna Beckman

St. Lazare

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