To the editor:

I hope Grumpy$ will look at the differences within each municipality. For example services provided, Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) for the naval base for Esquimalt, and amount of business tax base vs residential. Happy to provide some Esquimalt perspective because it is difficult to compare us to others, we are the apple to the oranges. We often get lumped in and shown to have higher taxes without the understanding of what services are being provided and what is included within our municipal tax. Other municipalities use fees and separate out services such as sewer etc.

Barb Desjardin, Mayor of Esquimalt

 

To the editor,

Three of us from Amalgamation Yes (composing a third of the audience) were at the Saanich Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday evening.

The issue on the agenda was the body of recommendations to Council from the Governance Review Task Force Standing Committee which was convened following the presentation to Council of the findings from the Governance Review Citizen’s Advisory Committee.

Having read the report prior to the meeting we were prepared for defensiveness by the elected officials of the status quo and a focus on ‘no further action required’.

Instead we were delighted to witness real LEADERSHIP from the Mayor and all of the Councillors.

Solid, responsible and thoughtful motions were moved by councillors and each was thoroughly discussed, amended and debated. Democracy in action.

Of the 30 recommendations within the report, we were particularly interested in those that relate to “regional governance” and Council’s support to begin a dialogue to consider merits of regional policing.

AY is pleased to see that our largest municipality will solicit support from other councils to formally submit a request that the Province fund an “independent study of municipal and regional reform”.

The need for such a review led by a Citizens Assembly received strong resident support in several municipal referendums of 2014.

We were more than heartened to bear witness to the leadership from Saanich Council on this critically important issue and we will continue to encourage that other municipalities rise to the challenge of building and developing more efficient and accountable governance in our beloved region.

Sincerely,

James D. Anderson, Colin Nielsen, Shellie Gudgeon

RELATED:

Saanich looks into creating regional police force https://www.saanichnews.com/news/saanich-to-lobby-for-amalgamation-assembly/

Saanich wants province to investigate term limits (for councillors)  https://www.saanichnews.com/news/saanich-wants-province-to-investigate-term-limits/

Special Saanich council and committee of the whole meeting, Dec. 18, 2017 video.  http://www.saanich.ca/EN/main/local-government/mayor-council/2017-schedule-agendas-minutes.html