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General News · 21st June 2010
norberto rodriguez dela vega
I read the Collective Brainstorm for Creative Solutions post by Suzan Denis and want to send a big THANK YOU to her!

It seems to me her article is the first one that actually articulates some alternatives to face the financial problems in our community halls, in a positive, respectful and creative way.

In my humble opinion, the most important ideas she presents are:

- sponsor/coordinate annual events for fundraising (and Suzan gives a good list of possibilities while having fun);

- embracing an attitude that facilitates inclusiveness, appreciation of diversity, commitment, a truly democratic process, working together, shared vision, strong leadership, and self-sufficiency;

- combining fundraising efforts;

- involving the community in decision-making; and

- choosing to acknowledge mistakes and forgiving the mistakes of others !

There is no question in my mind that the halls provide tremendous value to the Cortes community and the issue is how we can keep them in functioning order. And we should focus into keeping our halls open, without mixing it with other community interests, nor personal agendas. Taxation is only one alternative.

Let me suggest that we need to embrace the idea that we are One Cortes Community, not two or three in different geographic areas in this tiny island. We should be working together instead of fighting each other. We need to listen, really listen, to each other.

Let me clarify that I do not want any more taxes, I can not afford any new taxes. Sorry for this, I wish I was in a different position. but this is my reality. By the way, I got a huge increase in my 2010 Property Taxes, a big portion at the Local Services level. How are yours?

We must be realistic about the local economy in the island: many young people are really struggling because of lack of local jobs and opportunities; the overall cost of living in the island keeps going up every month, and I am afraid it will only get worse; there is lots of uncertainty for the future.

We should be looking into giving a boost to our local economy, not paying more taxes for every new community need.

Other thing that worries me a lot is that at the June 2nd meeting it was stated that we may need to go through another Referendum to vote on the taxation possibility. I really think this will be a waste of tax money, because we have already voted NO to Bylaw #55. Why are we running in circles? What is going to happen now?

I do love our community halls and I am positive we can find ways to keep them open.

I think we should have yet another community meeting focusing into positive attitudes and actions to revitalize our community spirit and save our halls.

Now, talking a bit about community plans.

Have you seen the Cortes OCP Review Update that we received last week? Did you notice some odd things in the colourful map? Some important missing opportunities and ideas? Some things you may not agree?

The reason may be that very few people attended the May 24-27 sessions. I attended to one of them and we were only 6 people from the community. I heard that at the Water session they only had one (yes, one!) person on attendance. No wonder the updated results seems a bit weird, and with many holes

I am not sure the reason of this dismal community participation, maybe we are just too tired of so many community meetings, overwhelmed and frustrated with so many arguments and discussions? I know I am. Maybe we are already busy with Summer visitors, with our gardens?

However, let me suggest we need to make an extra effort to contribute to this process, we may regret later on for not doing it. And remember that there won’t be any other OCP review in 10 or 15 years!

The time to show we do care for the future of this community is now.

With gratitude and respect for all,