Letters

Curling rink approval process latest reason for governance review

Dear editor,

It saddened me to learn how the Comox Valley Regional District recently “obtained approval” to borrow $1.9 million to renovate the curling rink.

This was done through the “Alternate Approval Process” . This process means that if 10 per cent of the total electors in the CVRD don’t object to sinking funds into the curling rink project, it is approved. To me, that means “the deck is stacked” for getting approval for about any project. Why? Elector apathy.

I venture to say if the Alternate Approval Process had been turned around and would have required 10 per cent of the voters to approve the project, the CVRD would not have received the 4,737 votes that they would have needed.

My point is that the Alternative  Approval Process is a sneaky way to get a multimillion dollar project into the “spend column.”

Yes, it is legal in B.C., but it’s underhanded and unethical.

Since we are having general municipal elections this fall, it would have been very easy to have this expenditure included in a referendum question, with little cost to the taxpayer.

This Alternate Approval Process is an insult to democracy and should not be used by elected and appointed people  that are supposed to serve us, the public, and not small self-interest groups.

On the subject of costs, we are wondering why the CVRD has to borrow money for the curling rink renovations. According to last year’s audit, the Regional District alone, had $67 million sitting in reserves. If the majority of the public had approved the curling club expenditure, then and only then, money could have been taken from the vast reserves fund, without yet another increase to our taxes.

If you are as unhappy as a lot of us are, about the way our local governments are being run, please sign the Governance Review petition at the Chamber of Commerce office on Cliff Avenue.

Len Paulovich,

Comox

 

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