General News · 30th September 2010
Last week, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) board, against my strong urging to the contrary, voted in majority AGAINST 1st and 2nd reading of proposed bylaw #75 – Cortes Community Hall Service Establishment Bylaw. My request of the board was that we give these two readings now and delay 3rd reading until January, giving the community time to again come together in a facilitated ‘open space format’ to listen respectfully to each other’s perspective and try to find some possible commonly shared solutions. If those discussions were not able to reach a good alternative, I was requesting the SRD board give the bylaw 3rd reading in January and proceed to a spring referendum.
However, Cortes residents and property owners in opposition to the proposed community hall tax waged a multi-month and ultimately successful campaign directed at the SRD board to drop the issue rather than have a community-wide vote through a referendum.
So, the funding of your community halls is back solely in your hands to either find locally based financial solutions to the existing funding challenges, and/or petition the SRD board for service. A petition for service would need to come from residents that represent 50% +1 of both island registered voters and assessed property value, at which point the SRD board could reconsider this matter.
I extend my deepest gratitude to all past and present board members of both the Southern Cortes Community Association and the Whaletown Community Club for your efforts. This whole issue has taken a real toll on both boards and I offer my support in any way I can to help heal the damage. We have beautiful and well-used community spaces and I encourage you all to find creative ways of supporting them.
In gratitude, Noba Anderson