THE GRUMPY TAXPAYER$ AWARDS

While dedicated to lower taxes, less waste and more accountable municipal government, we do need an element of humour in this serious business.

With that in mind, Grumpy Taxpayer$ will be awarding two “Grumpy$” at its fall annual meetings. Stay tuned for announcements – prizes will include a coveted, stuffed Grumpy, probably a beer, and bit of fame.

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Thumbs Down – Awarded to the most dismal, damning, disappointing and disrespectful example of wasting taxpayer dollars.

NOMINEE CRD: The Capital Regional District paid $15,000 for a five-page report, including cover page, on CRD directors Renumeration Study and Review from Sainas Consult of Vancouver, according to information released in a Freedom of Information request filed by Grumpy Taxpayer$. The report was used by the CRD board to help justify doubling their salary without asking for any public comment despite board and finance committee motions calling for public input. (Fall, 2015)

The CRD still plans to develop a formula to address pay for director absences. The issue arose in 2014 and 2015 because of chronic absences of some board members and alternates doing the job. Until its resolved, taxpayers will continue to pay twice to fill a single seat at a CRD committee or board meeting. (March 2015)

BACKGROUND: CRD Renumeration and Expense Policy

NOMINEE CRD: The CRD paid $31,200 – about $725 each – to capture and kill 43 Canada geese in a cull in 2015. The CRD had a permit to cull up to 250 geese on private agricultural land on the Saanich Peninsula, but managed to bag just 43.

While CRD staff said the project met objectives to test culling methods, some CRD directors wondered about the cost. Most of the money was provided by the provincial taxpayer.

Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director Mike Hicks called the high cost combined with the low number culled “absurd.” “I personally don’t think we’re doing any damage to the goose populations,” Hicks said, noting that the results of the goose cull were not different from the combined CRD/Oak Bay deer cull that cost more than $270,000 but saw only 11 urban deer trapped and killed. (Times-Colonist, Oct. 22, 2105)

BACKGROUND: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/43-canada-geese-killed-in-crd-cull-at-725-each-1.2092406#sthash.QYDIZQHL.dpuf

Thumbs Up – Awarded to the most hopeful and promising initiative or method or approach to spending taxpayer dollars.

NOMINEE South Vancouver Island Economic Development Association (SIEDA): We believe in economic development and a prosperous business community will benefit all taxpayers.Twelve of the region’s 13 city councils (Metchosin rejected participation) will chip in funding for the SVEDIA to focus on economic development south of the Malahat, giving the not-for-profit organization a taxpayer-supported budget of about $650,000. The private sector and other funders have been asked to collectively contribute an additional $400,000 a year to leverage matching provincial and federal grants.

BACKGROUND: http://www.douglasmagazine.com/strength-in-numbers/

NOMINATIONS? Send along your nominee to grumpytaxpayers@telus.net