Solar Colwood committee loses two members
The two citizen members of Colwood’s strategic and financial planning committee have resigned their positions.
George Mess and Jim Belfry told Mayor Carol Hamilton on Dec. 5 they would be leaving the volunteer positions. Hamilton said Mess is leaving for work-related reasons.
Belfry told the Gazette he is resigning out of frustration over not being able to achieve any impact through his role.
“I just don’t think that the committee structure as it exists is accomplishing an awful lot,” Belfry said. “We’ve raised some points during committee discussions that simply aren’t appearing. … I don’t think it’s properly addressing some of the priorities that the city should be looking at.”
Specifically, Belfry said he is disappointed over what he sees as a shortcoming in the city in addressing infrastructure needs and capital asset replacement.
“We’ve got to get a grip on what are the long time priorities, … make sure the funds are in place and put a plan down and stick to it. And that hasn’t been happening,” Belfry said. “I just don’t want to see a situtation where our taxes continue to go up here with no improvement in services.”
Belfry said he will continue to monitor Colwood politics and give his opinions when he feels it’s necessary.
Hamilton said the two have been valuable members of the committee and it’s a shame Belfry feels weighed down by the system. She said it can be hard to get things accomplished in local government and especially as a committee member, but in her opinion Belfry was well suited to his role.
“He did what he wanted to do. He was very enthused about being a part of that (Solar Colwood) review project,” Hamilton said. “I think they did a fantastic job.”
Committee chair Coun. Rob Martin said he is surprised by Belfry’s position.
“I think we’ve been moving forward really quite successfully and I’m excited about what we’re doing,” Martin said. “They had a lot to contribute. Jim definitely came with a perspective that was looking at trying to move the city forward, and same with George … I’m not exactly sure where Jim’s coming from with that.”
Mess did not return requests for comment.