Transportation Referendum: the Facts

Ken Marr makes valid points in his opinion piece on the transportation referendum. But the credibility of these points is undermined by omissions and errors of fact.

Fact #1: The SSI Transportation Commission (SSITC) referendum is not solely related to a sidewalk on Rainbow; funding will advance progress on multiple safety-driven projects:

  • a sidewalk in the school zone on Rainbow to the pool
  • sidewalk and bike lanes on Lower Ganges from Rainbow/Mahon Hall to the Upper Ganges intersection
  • the Ganges Village Pathway Network
  • plus Ganges Hill.

Fact #2: The recent Commission vote on the Rainbow sidewalk marks the fourth time Commissioners and the CRD Director have voted to endorse the project going back to October 2010.

Fact #3: A paved sidewalk proposed by CRD consultants was estimated to cost $1.5m. So the School Board and Island Pathways volunteers joined transportation commissioners to craft a new design to reduce the estimated cost by 70%. The design specifies the proven "pathway blend" surface treatment approved by the Ministry of Transportation (MoT) and CRD which has been such a success in the Ganges Village Pathway Network. It is specified to accommodate bicycles, wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

Fact #4: Regarding accidents, it was the death of a pedestrian on Lower Ganges in 2004 and a student struck by a car in the school district which led to community demands for increased safety in the first instance. CRD Director Gary Holman responded to the outcry by budgeting gas tax funds for a masterplan called the “North Ganges Transportation Plan”. The Driftwood characterizes the Plan as "public-driven" (article Oct 12, 2011).

Fact #5: Ken has always been consistent in expressing his views. As confirmed in the consultants final report of August 2010: the views centred on "concerns about losing parking spaces".

Fact #6: The land fronting Windsor Plywood is public property road right-of-way. The current parking is non-conforming with MoT standards; the sidewalk will convert the parking from illegal angle parking to legal parallel parking. It will not result in the loss of a single legal parking space in Ganges. Windsor staff may choose to park on Rainbow a few feet to the west fronting the GISS playing fields where parallel parking is plentiful.

Fact #7: CRD consultants JE Anderson concluded: "Following the public open house, it was determined that a multi-use pathway [on Rainbow] was the preferred option" (August 2010). To preserve the current parking situation, Ken Marr has proposed an alternative pathway running behind Windsor Plywood. School Board 64 rejected the Windsor proposal. The sidewalk on Rainbow has been formally endorsed by:

  • School District 64 Board
  • The Schools Superintendent
  • all three school principals
  • the GISS Student Council
  • Islands Trust
  • The SSI Chamber of Commerce
  • the RCMP
  • the Economic Development Commission
  • PARC
  • Island Pathways
  • the SSITC
  • CRD Directors Gary Holman, Garth Hendren and Wayne McIntyre going back to 2008

Fact #8: To state that "No businesses on Rainbow Road have been formally consulted" is untrue. CRD consultants, the CRD Project Engineer, the Commission Working Group and the CRD Director all met with Ken Marr. Ken was unable to convince anyone including James & Assoc or JE Anderson & Assoc or CRD Project Engineer Joshua Frederick of the merits of his proposal; but he was given a full hearing.

Fact #9: The current design includes improving safety at the Lower Ganges intersection by moving the crosswalk from the south to the north side of Rainbow to intersect with the planned sidewalk.

Fact #10: Rainbow is not an "industrial corridor"; it is a school zone with a 30kph speed limit. Three schools, two pick-up points for school children, the skateboard park, playing fields, a recreation centre and public pool and allotment gardens dominate this stretch of Rainbow.

Fact #11: Ken says Rainbow will get busier with time; he is no doubt correct. This reinforces the argument with each passing school year in favour of getting school children off the roadway.

Fact #12: A key reason to support the referendum is that SSI taxpayer funds are essential to leverage funds from MoT. Large-scale projects require funds from three sources: MoT; gas tax (from the CRD Director); and the taxpayer.

Fact #13: Phase one of the North Ganges Transportation Plan was built in 2012 - of the total $1.2m cost, $600k came from gas tax; $500k was leveraged from MoT; and $100k came from the SSI taxpayer via the SSITC requisition. We need to repeat this amazing leverage.

Fact #14: There are no sidewalks from Mahon Hall to the Upper Ganges intersection; nor in the school district; nor on Ganges Hill. These areas are heavily walked and cycled by residents, visitors, students and mothers with strollers. Is it appropriate to consign all these users to the roadway? What does that say about us as a community? Do we want a vibrant village core to be welcoming and safe for all users, motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike? Are we prepared to pay for basic sidewalks?

Fact #15: If Ganges is to become safer for pedestrians, we need to hope that the referendum passes. To quote the chair of the Economic Development Commission John Tylee: "Creating pedestrian-friendly environments is at the core of every truly successful community".

November 8, 2014 2:00 PM

  • Peter Vincent says:

    As Bill Clinton said, "it's the Economy, stupid!" My present property tax bill includes a long, long, long list of add-one, usually the result of some bureaucrat's vision of a Utopian Saltspring, at the taxpayer's expense

  • Peter Vincent says:

    And enough is enough. Can you take a little breather from bleeding us dry? Most businesses are hanging on by a thread. Can you not be satisfied with the heavily subsidized pool and heavily subsidized bus system? Not to mention our crumbling infrastructure and collapsing fire hall?

  • scott simmons says:

    To add to Peter's list; 10.4 million NSSWD want for the treatment plant on St Mary lake, plus the ____ millions for the treatment plant needed for Maxwell Lake, plus the 4 million needed for the Ganges sewer upgrade, added on to the 800k per year to subsidize the pool, plus the ____ to subsidize and pay for the library, plus the 400k plus the new additional amount for the bus, plus the fact the fire department still want their new fire hall, etc... It just goes on and on. Please VOTE NO.

    If taxpayers money was spent wisely I would not mind so much but an example of SSITC mismanagement is the two bus shelters in front of Country Grocer. SSITC could not just have standard bus shelters they wanted made and designed on Salt Spring bus shelters. How long has this gone on? 2 plus years and no bus shelters in sight? How much has gone into the designing and engineering of these structures? When will we see them and how much will they cost? Could we have this information before the 15 of November? We will probably end up with Canada's most expensive bus shelters. So sad to see our property tax money spent in such a foolish manor.

  • Timothy Cahill says:

    OK. I've decided. Thank you Peter Vincent. I'll be voting yes. There is certainly much discussion, and the points have been well aired. I'm listening hard to those advocating a No vote, but all I hear is small-government small-c conservative ideology. We've got enough of that in Victoria. I own a business that depends upon the community's support, so I'm glad to support the community.

  • scott simmons says:

    Fact #13: Phase one of the North Ganges Transportation Plan was built in 2012 – of the total $1.2m cost COMING FROM THE TAXPAYERS, $600k came from gas tax FROM THE SAME TAXPAYER FILLING UP THEIR CARS; $500k was leveraged from MoT FROM THE SAME TAXPAYER PAYING PROVINCIAL INCOME TAX; and $100k came from the SSI taxpayer via the SSITC requisition VIA SAME TAX PAYERS PAYING PROPERTY TAX. We need to repeat this amazing leverage. HOW CAN I ARGUE WITH AMAZING LOGIC LIKE THIS. With all the amazing leveraging going on I wonder why I work.

  • DONNA MARTIN says:

    I am glad to have this opportunity to support this initiative to make our community more accessible, safe, welcoming,
    enjoyable and in short more of a community. Thank you to the SSI Transportation
    volunteers for their years of work to make Salt Spring a place where we can more
    safely walk and ride bikes to the shops, schools and the other amenities that
    have made this an even nicer place to live. I am happy that some of my tax
    dollars will go toward making it easier and more pleasant for all of us to get
    around.

  • Jan Slakov says:

    Yes, thank you to the wonderful volunteers who make Salt Spring more pedestrian friendly! "A protected bicycle way is a symbol of democracy. It shows that a citizen on a $30 bicycle is just as important as a citizen in a $30,000 car.” ~ Enrique Peñalosa

  • jennyy69 says:

    I am sorry for this plan. I do not oppose cyclists and I am a pedestrian myself. I like walking along Rainbow Road as it is. Why on earth can people not just walk along the quieter Kanaka Road as they do now?

  • Alastair Aitken says:

    His revocation of the Glass-Steagall Act was a major cause of the 2008 global crisis, so I'd be slightly wary of the advice of Bill Clinton.

    To address the "crumbling infrastructure and collapsing fire hall", do we spend more or less?

    As well as the "heavily subsidized bus system" we're also heavily subsidizing the roads, the ferries, the schools, the hospitals and elder care. Should we address that spending too?

  • Julia Lucich says:

    There's a variety of valid arguments being made for this
    proposal, but I don't think that's the point. Each and every entity that has
    been seeking funding has strong arguments. The problem, though, is that we lack
    any mechanism for prioritizing them. Instead, each is presented as a
    stand-alone issue, viewed in isolation from the array of other compelling wants
    and needs competing for a limited purse. The longer that continues, the greater
    the liklihood that more voters will simply knee-jerk with a "no" at the ballot
    box.

  • Ken Marr says:

    So much to say about Don's article, so little time. Work is calling. Perhaps more later, but the most glaring error by Don is that at the time he wrote his opinion piece in the Driftwood, stating that all key stakeholders had been consulted and support the project was clearly and completely wrong. No consultation had taken place at that point and several key stakeholders had voiced their opposition. I can see someone making this error once and it being misleading, but to do it again? Still awaiting your public retraction Don.

  • bornonsaltspring says:

    Scott - you forgot the unknown amount of money NSSWD will have to compensate St. Mary Lake lakefront owners for flooding their properties when they raise the weir....

  • Robin Williams says:

    Well said Julia, and I like your bunny,

    R

  • Robin Williams says:

    Donna, thank you for your support

    R

  • Robin Williams says:

    Thanks for your support Tim.

    R

  • Robin Williams says:

    Thanks for your support Jan, wasn't the response at the Trustee's meeting tonight great? I think we got at least 100 votes from there.

  • Robin Williams says:

    Alastair you might be interested to know our bus system is one of the least subsided in B.C. The Fulford Run actually turns a profit of about 10%

    R

  • Robin Williams says:

    Peter as I said to Alastair our bus is one of the least subsidized in B.C., the Fulford run actually makes a profit of 10%.

    R

  • Robin Williams says:

    The bus funding is actually less than $100,000 the requisition amount from the alternative process gives us the financial head room for future growth but we are not drawing it all.

    The bus is great Fulford is actually making a 10% profit.

    As soon as one of the drivers confirms to be you are a regular rider I will send you a BC Transit fridge magnet "free". It doesn't get much better than that.

  • Ken Marr says:

    It seems that Don subscribes to the belief that if you tell a lie enough times people will believe it is true. As the past chair of the Transportation Commission he should know the facts better than this and, quite frankly, I believe he does.
    The first time the commission and CRD consulted with me was in March of 2014, after he wrote the Driftwood article claiming support from all key stakeholders. He has carefully misquoted my words to attempt to discredit me and make his point on "Fact 8." My exact words are a matter of record on the exchange and in the driftwood. Over the previous 6 years, I have attended numerous public presentations and several SSITC meetings. My feelings on the project as a parent, community member and affected business were well known to him, yet he chose to ignore this. Previously, I have suggested he has been misleading. Now, I feel he is intentionally deceiving the public in order to support the pathway.
    He was also aware of the Murakami's opposition to the project and ignored them as well.
    Don (and other pathway keeners) keep saying that this gravel pathway will be suitable for road bikes and mobility scooters. The documents prepared by the CRD and SSITC state clearly that this choice is NOT suitable for either. Wishful thinking or?
    I quoted a commissioner regarding the loss of parking in Ganges. It is not my opinion. Don seems to be caught up in "formal" parking spots. Salt Spring doesn't do formal very well, especially in regards to parking. Perhaps he will realize this as he spends more time here.
    In the decades of going to school, residing and doing business on Rainbow Road, the Murakami's and I cannot EVER remember a pedestrian accident. The closest one was on Lower Ganges road at the intersection with Rainbow. The SSITC is postponing work here until a later date. Is this about safety?

    Don was removed from the Transportation Commission a few months ago. The reasons are now becoming very clear.

  • Ken Marr says:

    Jan, just to be clear, the rainbow road pathway is not for bicycles and scooters. This is stated clearly in the documents outlining the choices for the pathway as voted on by the Commission in October.

  • Peter Vincent says:

    To be clear, I have owned a business here for almost 30 years and have supported the pool and the library and a ton of other tax driven projects on Saltspring. Ken Marr, ditto . . . and Richard Murakami in spades. I don't know another Saltspringer who has done more for this island personally than he and his sister. To imply that we are tight fisted because we are resisting this project is a little passive aggressive and insulting, Tim. The question is: is this a community supported project or is it part of a well intentioned but ill conceived project of a handful of transit nabobs? I guess we will know in a few days.

  • jennyy69 says:

    There are NO plans to do anything with Ganges Hill

  • Robin Williams says:

    Not true Jenny, but it will not be using referendum funds, we expect it to be funded by MOTI for major roadwork at the very least. It is priority 3 after Rainbow Road and the phase 4 work on Lower Ganges Road which will be funded by the referendum.

    As you are well aware at our meetings Ganges Hill is a big topic.

    R

  • Peter Vincent says:

    Again, to my recollection there have been no accidents involving school kids or anyone else along that corridor. To say that we'll be sorry if and when there IS an accident is a little thin. A girl drown in St Mary's Lake about ten or so years ago. Thankfully they did not drain the lake in response to the drowning, In contrast, there have been dozens of bicycle accidents on this island, and thankfully, they have not banned bicycles in response. But you would think that bicycle lanes would be the priority, given the number of injuries. And to build a pathway that is only for pedestrians, that is unsuitable for bicycles or scooters, seems short sighted to say the least . . . if the referendum was for a multi-use lane, it would be sensible and would garner more support I believe - even better, if it was for that suicide route up Ganges Hill . . .

  • Jaqualine Roussin says:

    Donald Mclennan's misunderstanding of the quote "Creating pedestrian-friendly environments is the core to every successful community" is the crux of our problem. A pedestrian friendly environment is one where non-essential vehicles are disallowed into pedestrian centered areas. Not the other way around. To shuffle the pedestrians aside so that cars can have a clearer run at the road kills the community. Why? Because drivers no longer have to be considerate. They will no longer pick up their neighbor's child on the way home from school and other such examples. The pathway is already killing the community with this referendum. And while tax payers such as Ken Marr feed the pockets of government pensions , those pensioners are killing his business. Where is the sensibility in that? Please do not support these bored people in killing us before going away on holiday. Because our children will be the debris. And we will have funded it.

  • Tom Vikander says:

    Transit nabobs???? hahaha Well, quite a few of us are right below the fitness joint drinking better than Nabob Coffee and will ride a bus home ! hahaha

  • Tom Vikander says:

    Am quite sure it will be used as such when heavy traffic makes for scary roadriding.

  • Jaqualine Roussin says:

    There was a multi use pathway intended to run up the South (opposed to the North) side of Rainbow road, to join with the path now along upper Ganges Road in one long stretch. There was over $100.000 spend on engineering this design, and it was a good one. Everything had been considered. The Provincial Government then awarded over $200,000 to implement this bike path. When Donald Mclennan entered the picture he overruled all of this in favor of a cheap gravel pathway with no engineering study at all. One has to wonder where that money went. And why the original design is in the waste paper basket. And what we are being asked to pay for, because when I asked to see the pathway plans at the CRD, they claimed the plan had not yet been formulated.

  • Tom Vikander says:

    The Kanaka Road connection IS used by people who live up that way. It's well used. I doubt anyone living up Rainbow Road, or using the Pool or GISS Facilities, Murakami's, Windsor Plywood, on foot, would go further away from Town and use Kanaka to walk or cycle to Town. Why would they?

  • Peter Vincent says:

    Ha! Yeah, thought that was pretty good . . . 'nabob' . . . and if you're drinking downstairs, I wouldn't be so quick to assume it ain't Nabob! And when you're finished your sticky cinnamon bun, walk upstairs and try out our treadmills! They are safer than Rainbow Road, guaranteed.

  • jennyy69 says:

    I was very surprised to read the above article. I have been personally attending all the transportation commission meetings, while Donald McLennan has not. He was not able to continue as the chair of the transportation commission since last summer and has not been at the meetings, nor was he at the open house on Oct. 21.

  • Tom Vikander says:

    The knee-jerk "no" votes in past votes have subsidized the incomes of their proponents. On and on they told us of the sky falling in addition to crying "wolf". Some sky, some wolf. lol It's now fairly just for those 'no' proponents to pony up those accumulated cash savings (goodness knows, there are no 'cheap' buys in investment circles these days !) and INVEST IN YOUR and OUR COMMUNITY.

  • jennyy69 says:

    There was a handout given on Oct. 21 at the public meeting and it is detailed how many parking spots will be lost by each option considered. The average was 50 spots, it may be as little as 30. These estimates also include building more parking on the south side. No one has explained how that will be done as there would need to be major engineering work to put parking on the south side. Most parking around Ganges is informal. So, to say we will not lose parking is not true. Also, when a percentage of parking loss is considered, it should be noted that included in the total is private parking as well as public. The parking on Rainbow, INCLUDING the parking in front of Windsor is public. There have never been any issues with the public using these spots. In fact, one of the commissioners noted that he commonly leaves his car in front of Windsor and goes away for the weekend. It is fine and no one tows his car. The plan we are to vote on removes parking from the ENTIRE community.

  • jennyy69 says:

    Further, Donald McLennan was not at the meeting when it was decided that there will be NO work done on Ganges Hill in the next 4 years, or EVER. That is now being put back onto the shoulders of MOT.

  • Jan Slakov says:

    Rainbow road would be safer for cyclists without pedestrians on it. Also, while I kind of love the haphazardness of the parking situation (kind of quaint) it sure isn't what I would call safe! Parallel parking is the legal and much safer option.

  • Jan Slakov says:

    I use the Kanaka option a lot, but I also use Rainbow Rd, as do many pedestrians and cyclists.

  • jennyy69 says:

    I was there Robin when it was decided not to do anything to the Ganges Hill at this time. That is a MOT job. Nothing has been fleshed out for the hill and that is known. Robin, try to be truthful.

  • jennyy69 says:

    Well it is slowed down quite well with all the students using it. The most common group to favour this plan to barricade the pedestrians away from the road are the car drivers who are annoyed at having to stop and let people cross.

  • jennyy69 says:

    I have seen the Murakami's brought out for Hiroshima Day by the same people who are now pushing this onto them when they know they don't want it done.

  • jennyy69 says:

    Where are you headed when you use Rainbow?

  • Tom Vikander says:

    Indeed Rainbow Road is dangerous as you indicate. Sidewalk's needed, indeeded. Am not so confident about treadmill safety-----from the whumping bhumping sound coming into the Cafe below it's a whunder they' aren't crhushing through the ceiling ! "Will that be a towel with your late, Sir?" lol

  • jennyy69 says:

    Tom, I feel that the people who want this done do not care about the community. This plan makes me very sad. Why can't people just slow down and care a bit more? The way that the above article was written with so much misinformation makes me feel that certain people feel that the end justifies the means and do not care for the longstanding residents and businesses of Rainbow Rd. Richard Murakami gave land for housing and rents cheaply to so many families I know who would otherwise ntobe able to live on SSI. This is SAD.

  • Tom Vikander says:

    True, a number of smaller store front operations come and go. The true culprit is the HEAVY rent and leases charged by the building owners. Used to be a time when town property owners INVESTED in the infrastructure of their developing towns. It may be dutiful to turn to them and get some civic input, support and action for a YES investment vote. Our own Action Plan.

  • Jaqualine Roussin says:

    Hi Jenny, you mean the girl at the MOT who doesn't know what a feasibility study is? And Colin Coultier quit his post at the MOT. Government office employees know nothing about building infrastructure. Transport commissioners are volunteers, as are Pathway people. And one BIG thing that I learned to all of those in favor. If anything goes wrong, a volunteer is not liable. And they have the ability to simply quit, as did Donald Mclennan when he didn't like the way things were going. So if the referendum is approved, it is not supported by any professional standards as far as I can see. On the other hand, cleaning the water of St. Mary's lake or the critical sewage problem in Ganges are probably solved with professionals. And those two items are probably a more important direction for our tax dollars. Don't you agree?

  • jennyy69 says:

    Ganges Hill is considered very difficult and expensive in it's own right. The current referendum is NOT about money for Ganges Hill. I have been at all the meetings and it was stated by Commissioner Simpson that the hill would not be done at this time. The vote on Oct. 21 was not about the hill. There needs to be some accountability in this group. A person who used to be in charge but now does not attend the meetings is the spokesperson and is promising things decided to not be included? Then later there is no checklist, just of control promises without there needing to be any accurate assessment? Why lie to the voters?

  • Tom Vikander says:

    Well what Utopian Salt Spring is your alternate? Pay for use Fire Hall? Pay for use Sidewalks? Pay for use crosswalk signals?
    You know, should this 2 stall fire hall town ever get incorporated your taxes will go through the roof. The whole enchelada of streetlights, sidewalks, plantings, signage, fountains, continuous concrete curbs, service trucks,(guys driving around with "Ganges Incorp." on the pickup door), boomtrucks, frontend loaders, with service yard, garages, showers, grass cutters, irrigation, please add. You ain't seen it till it's too late..

  • Jaqualine Roussin says:

    Problem is that the voters do not have your knowledge.

  • Ken Marr says:

    Give me a break Tom. We will find out the facts on the financial affects of incorporation soon enough with the upcoming study. Misinformation and guessing is not helpful.

  • Tom Vikander says:

    I walk often, Town, Up the Hill, right on Charlesworth, etc. I hope this tricky walk gets upgraded soon. Drivers are NOT slowing down, nor keeping to 50 kph. I don't think the pedestrian who was damaged by cedar branches sticking sideways out of the bed of a pickup truck ever did find out whose truck and driver it was-----even after many appeals in the Driftwood. Community is not fostered much when people sit behind a steering wheel, it seems.

  • Tom Vikander says:

    Kids plugging ears with earbuds as they chugg 6 abreast to Town and back at lunch hour on Rainbow-----it's just a matter of time.

  • jennyy69 says:

    Well there are lots of people working in the businesses on Rainbow that will be affected by this.

  • Tom Vikander says:

    Mine's a general statement born of the reality that each incorporated entity 1.) Wants, needs to pride and prove itself better than the year before, better than its neighbours. 2.) Comes under pressure from infrastructure and consulting suppliers to buy the latest, smartest. To counteract that, the incorporated town's gotta hire experts to vet the info. You should know this.

  • Tom Vikander says:

    Well this man cares about community, our community. My YES vote is for a community improvement, a safety bonus, for all users of Rainbow Road. When I leave my vehicle at Richard's I walk to Town. Surely pedestrians, cyclists and drivers would act better, and more safely if their usage areas are clearly delineated. Murakami Gardens residents would surely benefit.

  • Jaqualine Roussin says:

    So lets not educate our kids on the dangers of ear buds. Lets get them killed in Vancouver later on.

  • Tom Vikander says:

    Interesting. Would they consequently pay less Property Tax?

  • Peter Vincent says:

    Well, my landlord is Mouat's, you know, the ones that have spent thousands on the boardwalk to keep it safe, and (if I recall) they are the ones that put in the pedestrian crossing at the bottom of Rainbow. Commercial taxes here are incredibly high - again, I can't remember the exact percentage higher than residential, but its crazy. THE ONLY increases I have ever got on my rent is not to make them more money, but to simply keep up with the insane tax increases Mouat's has experienced. You rarely see any of their properties with empty stores . . . they are great, and in my opinion great Saltspring citizens . . .

  • Peter Vincent says:

    funny . . . that's EXACTLY the argument the anti-corporation cadre used in the last go around, with full page ads decrying the evil developers would come in and pave the whole island - fear tactics. There are incorporated areas in BC with less than 1000 population, and funny . . . haven't seen any of these go bankrupt. its time we start wearing long pants on this island and take care or ourselves.

  • Peter Vincent says:

    Yeah, like the big earthquake that's coming, the ultimate fall of the US empire, the end of oil, the ultimate end of civilization as we know it . . . its just a matter of time! But seriously folks, I am at much greater risk riding my bike up Rainbow, even with all my lights on and wearing a bright red shirt, than walking along side the road. And ps . . . its idiots texting while driving, not kids with earbuds.

  • Ken Marr says:

    a closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose Tom

  • Ken Marr says:

    and how will they fit 6 abreast on a 2 meter gravel path Tom? Seriously my kids are howling at this!

  • Timothy Cahill says:

    Excuse me Peter. I thought that when you wrote "...usually the result of some bureaucrat's vision of a Utopian Saltspring, at the taxpayer's expense" you were sounding somewhat right-of-center. I'm saying that kind of statement is consistent with small-c conservatism (not to be confused with large-C 'Conservative Party'): to be tight-fisted about government initiatives while deriding volunteers as utopian bureaucrats. I know neither of us are saying that conservatives don't voluntarily contribute to their communities. I am surprised that you take umbrage at being associated with right-wing theory, but thank you for correcting me, my socialist comrade. As for how you frame the question, I'm not sure that the
    School District 64 Board
    The Schools Superintendent
    all three school principals
    the GISS Student Council
    Islands Trust
    The SSI Chamber of Commerce
    the RCMP
    the Economic Development Commission
    PARC
    Island Pathways
    the SSITC
    CRD Directors Gary Holman, Garth Hendren and Wayne McIntyre going back to 2008
    would consider themselves to be "transit nabobs", but feel free to refer to them however you'd like. Generally I prefer assertive to passive agressive.

  • Peter Vincent says:

    If you are Canadian, you are passive aggressive. Its woven into the fabric! "Umbrage" is almost as good as "Nabob". Well, "the truth will out" as Will Shakespeare said, on Friday, when the actual taxpayers have their day. That's the beauty of democracy. But I would prefer a benign dictatorship. Commandant Cahill has a nice ring, don't you think?!
    At the risk of incurring your wrath, I am on the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce - did not know we had a mole in there . . . and gosh, most of the others on this laundry list are on the taxpayer payroll, and I find without exception that those with a history of being government salary-men, have a different perspective on how cavalier they are with other people's money. The reality is, Saltspring has few decent jobs and a high cost of living. Lets start with good drinking water and toilets that flush, then maybe an affordable fire hall, then maybe a safe lane up Ganges Hill, then maybe the Boardwalk completed, THEN a gravel path up Rainbow . . . Czar Vincent.

  • bornonsaltspring says:

    Catch 22 - while their property assessment would/should be reduced by the amount of compensation, which should/could reduce their property taxes slightly, their NSSWD parcel tax or water rate would go up to help pay for the compensation...a rather unusual situation...money in the pocket falling out a hole in the bottom....

  • Robin Williams says:

    Peter,I hope you are not including myself on your government salary-men list.

    R

  • Robin Williams says:

    Jenny you said there is NO plan for Ganges Hill. It is currently listed as our #3 priority and there are many things happening with regard to it particularly with MOTI. Not everything is dealt with at our monthly meetings. Both the SSITC vice chair and myself have regular meetings with the CRD staff and director outside of the monthly meetings.

    However the SSITC has not approved any formal plans for Ganges Hill regarding any pathway and it is not part of the NGTP or the referendum funding.

    Ganges Hill has a lot of technical problems, many more than Rainbow Road. I do not expect we will bring it to the SSITC for presentation in the near future, possible later in 2015.

    That is about all I can tell you at this time,

    R

  • Robin Williams says:

    Jenny I have spoken to Mr. Murakami on several occasions. He has made his comments to me in private.

    He has chosen to remain out of the public on this issue.. If Mr. Murakami wants to comment on this either he, or his business manager will do so.

    I respect your opinions but you do not speak for the Murakami family. You should respect them and not try and take advantage of them to promote your own agenda.

    R

  • Robin Williams says:

    I want to thank everyone for their constructive comments regarding the upcoming referendum. I hope I have been able to answer a few questions.

    Donald Duck and I are now going to leave this discussion as i have a very busy rest o the week.

    I hope to meet you all personally in the future, please remember to vote this Saturday,

    bye bye,

    Robin A Williams
    Chair SSITC

  • jennyy69 says:

    If MOT is doing it, why is it mentioned above by Donald as part of the referendum?

  • jennyy69 says:

    Well, they are not making Ganges Hill a priority and there is doubt as to whether they can do anything to correct it at all. The options for prioritization were published in the Driftwood Dec. 2013, there was no place to reply to and the transportation commission website was taken down at the time. Then on Dec. 17, 2013, Donald McLennan stated that the top priority for SSI was Rainbow and not Ganges Hill.

  • jennyy69 says:

    It has not been fleshed out. The current tax requisition covers 2015 - 2019. There needs to be more accountability in this situation Robin. It is silly to have Donald writing, you are the chair, why are you not the authority? He is not supposed to be in on inside talks. Are you having inside discussions with Donald McLennan? Why would that be right? In-camera meetings with a resigned chair?

  • jennyy69 says:

    Tom, next time you visit Richard and leave your car there, ask him about what he thinks of the current plan for Rainbow Road.

  • jennyy69 says:

    That 'support' was not very strong. There were many arguments in the meetings I attended when the plan was presented. Also, the GISS student council was actually only 2 students and not a council. The Islands Trust has approved an active transportation plan for Salt Spring but that had nothing specifically to do with Rainbow Road. Even in the SSITC, there was not full support and many regrets over the design choice. The article by Donald was written in a way that is not entirely representative of the facts.