Look beyond rhetoric

If truth is the first casualty of war, we can assume it’s a heck of a battle in Union Bay.

If truth is the first casualty of war, we can assume it’s a heck of a battle in Union Bay.

The one-time Friendly Port’s reputation has taken a beating in recent years as factions have squabbled fiercely.

A visible division during the past decade or more has been caused by a development proposed by Kensington Island Properties.

Some residents appealed to professional development killers in Victoria, who engineered a successful legal challenge. That set KIP back another year or two as Union Bay’s aging septic tanks continue to ooze into Baynes Sound and its fire hall remains too small for a new fire truck.

As much as the KIP issue split the community, there’s a new flashpoint to pit neighbour against neighbour.

The Taxpayers for Accountable Government (TAG) got Bruce Livesey and Cleve Goldswain elected to the five-person Union Bay Improvement District (UBID) board last year.

TAG is upset because Union Bay residents pay higher taxes than are levied by the next-door Deep Bay Improvement District. UBID chair Alan de Jersey explained that TAG was essentially comparing apples to oranges.

A recent UBID meeting offers evidence of truth’s demise in Union Bay.

Some people say it was a mob atmosphere. TAG supporters insist they were respectful, and resent being likened to a mob.

Although de Jersey, who did not attend the meeting, inexplicably described it to the Record as if he had been — and damaged his credibility — we feel he remains more believable than Livesey and Goldswain.

They have developed a following appealing to people’s emotions and, we fear, subverting the operations of the duly elected UBID board. We hope there’s no truth to the accusation they are spreading privileged information from in-camera meetings, as that would be most unprofessional.

The UBID board is not perfect, but we are concerned about what might happen if TAG gains a majority on the UBID board. Its supporters must look beyond the rhetoric. editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Comox Valley Record