Re: Colwood should include question from Amalgamation group on Nov. 15 ballot (Letters, Oct. 22)
When I read the letter from the Colwood resident regarding the lack of inclusion of the Pro Amalgamation question on the ballot this November, I thought he had a good point, until I started to think more deeply about the situation.
While I am of the belief that issues need not be reacted to when there is an apparent total vacuum of interest in the subject, I believe voters should be able to help make civic decisions. However, when I searched the web for disgruntled residents of Colwood complaining about this supposed failing of the current council and mayor, I came up with an unremarkable zero, other than the recent letter to the editor.
All of the hype in the ProAm brochure that was delivered to my home this week about the cost of the 13 municipalities versus the cost of a single larger population centre, such as Surrey or Burnaby, pales in comparison to the total waste of taxpayer’s funds, gross mismanagement and many failings of the Capital Regional District. It is a disgrace and an embarrassment what we taxpayers are funding.
The apparent ineptitude, avoidance of logical planning and total lack of engagement with the public makes the CRD look like a serious haphazard joke, but not at all a funny one. Look at the sewage debacle, look at kitchen scraps silliness, look at the water rate increases. It would be ludicrous to say amalgamation would be good, when the current CRD amalgamation is such a mockery.
Exactly what do Oak Bay, Metchosin and the Highlands have in common with Langford? Basically zero. It’s development unfriendly compared to development friendly.
What do Colwood, Langford, View Royal and Esquimalt have in common? Basically lots. What do Saanich and Victoria have in common? Basically lots.
So, the writer is quite right in saying questions should be asked, but first determine what the specific question is for each municipality.
As geographically diverse as they are, Oak Bay, Metchosin and Highlands all seem to share the same anti-commercial bent, so go for it, amalgamate. Share a mayor and councillors, engineers, etc. – I certainly think not. That would be ridiculous.
The whole Pro Amalgamation issue boils down to what the residents expect from the mayors and councillors. I believe the amalgamation question should be; “Do you want to be associated with some municipality that has absolutely nothing in common with you, or do you want to do the intelligent thing?”