Welcome, visitor!   Register   Login


Post an Ad
Menu Post an Ad

Incorporation: Salt Spring Deserves the Leadership That Only a Mayor and Council Can Provide

    Editorial & Opinions, Governance & Politics    August 9, 2017

Salt Spring Deserves the Leadership That Only a Mayor and Council Can Provide ~ I will be voting YES in the upcoming referendum on Incorporation. Having a Mayor and Council will allow us to punch above our weight on regional boards, such as library, housing, arts, and water. We would also get a stronger voice locally and provincially, with a seat at the Union of BC Municipalities and more opportunity to speak directly to our government representatives.

For me, as I vote for Incorporation, the most critical issue, following the wisdom of our NSSWD, is the central management of our Island drinking water. Yes, Salt Spring is an Island Paradise that we all want to preserve and protect, but unless our lake and river water is centrally and sustainably managed, our Paradise could rapidly change into a very expensive Nightmare.

Having served as a municipal Councillor in a similar Ontario community, I know that water management, fire and police protection, affordable housing, sewage treatment and rational road maintenance require municipal government.

After retirement here in 1991 and building a home at the south end, I got involved with island politics and arts. All the big island issues were being addressed on a broken front. Bureaucracies such as Ministry of Education, VIHA, BC Ferries, TELUS, Fire Insurance Underwriters, the Islands Trust and the CRD, were controlling the daily lives of Islanders in well-meaning, but totally separate and uncoordinated ways. BC Ferries was threatening to close its Long Harbour terminal, build a Swartz Bay style terminal at the end of Isabella Point Road, and try to balance its out of control budget at the Farebox. VIHA, which had initially encouraged islanders to finance a state of the art operating room at Lady Minto, had grabbed the money raised, and reversed its position. TELUS seemed uninterested in expanding its operations to include much needed high speed internet service. The Fire Insurance Underwriters were pressuring the Fire Board to upgrade the Ganges Fire hall. The largest Gulf Island was getting sand kicked in its face.

I served 3 years as a School Trustee, 4 years as a Fire District Trustee, 3 years as President of the South Salt Spring Property Owners and Residents Association and 5 years as a Salt Spring BC Ferries Stakeholder. One achievement was the petitioning and funding of Shaw high speed Internet service and Cable to the Beaver Point Road area. At the same time as this was accomplished, we all knew how much easier that task would have been with the political support of an island Mayor and Council.

A few years ago, during an effort to obtain property tax exemption for our Legion, I reminded a deputy Minister in Victoria that at least 10 other Legions in BC were getting property tax exemption. I was told that that this was because those Legions were located in Municipalities and reminded, with a smile, that I was second class citizen in BC if I did not live in a Municipality.

I am convinced that, if we incorporate, the Salt Spring men and women we elect will work tirelessly and responsibly for the benefit of all of us, and, that as they sit around the Council Table, they will be acutely aware that all their actions will be vigilantly monitored if and when they seek later re-election.

No Tags

  

Community News

  • Incorporation: Email to a Friend

    by on August 18, 2017 - Comments

    I don’t think there are meaningful answers to the questions you have raised. I think the actual vision for Salt Spring is still best articulated in the Islands Trust object: “to preserve and protect the environment and amenities of the Gulf Islands for all British Columbians.” I haven’t heard any articulation of another vision for […]

  • Incorporation: Development Pressure Inhe...

    by on August 18, 2017 - Comments

    First, please just grab a coffee and sit on a bench in centennial park, or have a seat at Barb’s or T’J’s or in your own kitchen, and hear me out.. actually, in this case, read me out. Let’s put the “fearmongering” accusation aside for just a moment and explore the factual relationship of development […]

  • Incorporation: A Chance to Express Who W...

    by on August 18, 2017 - Comments

    What an opportunity we have before us! We have a chance to truly express who we are, our past and importantly, our values as they relate to our future. Now we have the opportunity to dispel the undeserved title: C.A.V.E. dwellers (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) by spearheading the measured and exciting change that will propel […]

  • Incorporation: Order Vs. Chaos

    by on August 17, 2017 - Comments

    For me the Sept 9th referendum is a vote of order-vs-chaos. Salt Spring’s quaint hodge-podge of electoral and improvement districts represents anything but order, in my opinion. It’s a creature with many tentacles but no brain. Just look around: No acceptable traffic plan in Fulford village; inadequately marked walking trails; none of the roads leading […]

  • Incorporation: Harold Swierenga is Votin...

    by on August 17, 2017 - Comments

    Listen to the wisdom of our elders: Harold Swierenga, has been a Co-op Farm Director, Commercial Farmer, Economics Professor, and has a ton experience in local governance. 8 years experience as municipal councillor and reeve of municipality in Ontario. Served as Warden (head) of Lanark County Council. Served as a director of Federation of Canadian […]

  • Incorporation: The More Beautiful Our He...

    by on August 17, 2017 - Comments

    In The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible, Charles Eisenstein very clearly distinguishes that we are in the process of transitioning from an Old Economy, that ensures our demise, to a New Economy that is essential, not optional, if we are to survive as a species. (He is very clear that the transition […]

  • Incorporation: Where Is the Larger Voice...

    by on August 17, 2017 - Comments

    Salt Spring is in the midst of an incorporation campaign as everyone on our island knows. But who else knows? I love all our Gulf Islands and want to protect them all from over and inappropriate development. I have a hard time abiding views of others who can only see what is good for them […]

  • Incorporation: The Facts About Our Roads...

    by on August 17, 2017 - Comments

    The Final Incorporation Study Report repeats, at least eight times, that Salt Spring taxpayers put pay $90,000 more per year into the in Provincial Rural Taxes than they get back in road works. How accurate is this? The report estimates that an average of $1,360,000 was spent annually in routine maintenance in recent years, or […]

  • Incorporation: Response to Open Letter t...

    by on August 16, 2017 - Comments

    A group of ex-Fire Board Trustees have written a letter to the current trustees chastising them for not coming out in favour of incorporation after an attempt was made to strong arm them to do so. Our current trustees sensibly waited to hear what the “no” folks had to say. That group didn’t ask the […]