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General News · 23rd May 2010
Peter Henbury, WCC
The summary of what happened at the WCC Special Membership Meeting to Discuss Tax-Based Funding for the Gorge Hall which appeared in this week’s Marketer contains important factual errors.

The WCC membership ONLY voted NO to core tax funding FOR THE WCC AND THE GORGE HALL. Should the rest of Cortes Island vote in favour of core tax funding to support the Community Halls, the WCC will thus have no say in the design of any tax bylaw and monies will go to the SCCA to support Manson’s Hall, but not to the WCC to support the Gorge Hall.

Second, the author(s) of the article erroneously claim that the 3rd motion “That the maximum taxation amount for inclusion in a tax bylaw be $85 per parcel” did not pass. On the contrary, the motion DID PASS, 50 in favour, 14 against, 15 abstentions.

Third, a technical error: the summary lists all of the motions on the agenda as Executive Motions. This was not the case. Only two of the four motions were Executive Motions. The other two required both a mover and seconder to be brought to the table for discussion and vote.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that while the crucial motion , “That the Whaletown Community Club participate in the tax funding process” was defeated, the margin was quite small: 32 in favour, 37 against, with 8 abstentions. Had those who abstained (an abstention is, according to Robert’s Rules of Order a “refusal to vote”, and is therefore a non-vote) done otherwise, the motion could well have passed. This points to the foolishness of abstaining when a vote is called on an important motion.

As for the motion from the floor, it was both gratuitous and insulting to the President of the WCC and by extension, to the whole Executive.

Once the membership had voted against participating in the tax funding process, the matter was essentially closed. It was completely unnecessary to go further and require the President to rescind the form letter he wrote in good faith asking for assistance from the Regional District in gathering and verifying information regarding taxation. The motion was clearly designed to make the WCC President “eat his own words”: a direct insult to the President, and, by extension, to the WCC Executive whose whole effort had been to provide such information as would lead to an informed choice on this matter.