Why are Mudge and DeCourcy Islanders being asked to pay for GERTIE?

Tuesday, January 19 2016

I live on Mudge Island and travel to Gabriola occasionally (two, maybe three times per year). I come and go from Mudge via my boat which has moorage in Nanaimo, as do many others. Many people, especially from DeCourcy Island, never go to Gabriola. As for my visitors, yes many do travel to Mudge Island via Gabriola, but they all bring their cars loaded with food and supplies. Given the above I have some questions. 

At no time will I or my guests ever have occasion to use GERTIE, a service designed for Gabriola Islanders. 

So why is it that all Mudge Islanders and DeCourcy Islanders are required, in my case, to pay $175 dollars per year for a service we may never use? 

Why is it that all people on the RDN voting list get to vote for a property tax increase when they may or may not own property and be subject to paying the tax increase? I suggest all property owners take the time to evaluate whether they truly support subsidizing GERTIE users to the tune of $25 per $100,000 of assessed value. 

Don’t be fooled with the rhetoric from the RDN that GERTIE will never ask for increased revenue to the maximum allowed. Why wouldn’t they? 

It is also telling that when GERTIE’s van slipped into a ditch on a snowy day a few weeks ago, (a day one would expect a higher ridership) it had no passengers in the vehicle. Please vote NO for GERTIE.

~ John Mallet