General News · 11th September 2017
First, please treat each other kindly. Nothing is being decided over night. This will all take time.
Secondly, I ask that we take care that what we write is true. Untruths and unfounded assumptions do not help with good process or arrive at a good outcome. I am writing to some of the individuals that post inaccuracies but will not engage in public debates back and forth. I am collecting questions etc and will write a Q&A in a couple of weeks. There will also be time for consultative process.
Third, I have written to both the SCCA and the WCC asking that they give me input on the details of the proposed tax, should it go to referendum. I have also asked the SCCA to publish a clear and concise report of their financials over the last many years and make a clear case to back up their tax request. I have been advised by the WCC board that, once there is something of substance to respond to, they will engage. I trust this will be forthcoming. I have also just written to the Klahoose Chief and Council requesting a meeting on a few issues including this one. They were not part of the hall tax proposal in 2010.
Fourth, I have requested that all of your letters on the matter written to the Regional District Board be received by the Board along with the petition and my Director’s Report. Many of you have been receiving messages back from my staff saying that because this matter is not yet before the Board that you are to direct your comments to me. I apologize for the confusion this has caused. Because I am bringing this before the Board (actually Electoral Area committee first) at their September meeting I trust that all correspondence addressed to the Board will also be received.
Fifth, here is the text from my Director’s report that will be received by the Electoral Area Services Committee of the SRD Board this month.
Dear Fellow EASC Members
September 11, 2017
As you will remember, in 2009/2010 there was considerable work done, by the SRD Board, staff and the Cortes community toward initiating a hall tax service on Cortes Island. A feasibility study was undertaken, a bylaw drafted, an alternate approval process failed, much community consultation done, an amended bylaw was drafted with the proposal to send it to referendum which was not then supported by the board. Due to the lack of a democratic vote, the issue was never put to rest and has been alive in the community ever since.
As you see now, there is a renewed effort by members of the community to revisit this matter. On September 1st, I received a citizen-lead petition signed by 458 Cortes Island residents and property owners in support of a community hall tax service and asking that the SRD hold a referendum to gauge support for the same. I have included that petition here along with a letter from the Southern Cortes Community Association asking for the same. I understand that there is also a counter petition which I have yet to see. Since then, many other letters have been written both is support and in opposition to a hall tax service. Clearly there is a range of opinion on this topic. However, this is the most support I have received in 9 years on any matter – and is simply asking that the issue be put to a local vote. I do think it important to put this issue to rest, and the best way to do this is through a referendum. I would ask that all correspondence received by staff be received at EASC together with this director’s report.
I would therefore ask that the following motion be passed:
That staff prepare a report, building on the last staff report on this matter from September 16th, 2010, for the Committee’s consideration regarding options for dealing with the matter of tax support for Cortes community halls.
David, she's a director she must direct somebody
Comment by mike malek on 12th September 2017
not me though. har har.
Who works for whom
Comment by David Findlay on 12th September 2017
In Item "Fourth" of Ms Anderson's update she addresses the issue of contacting District staff in regards to the proposed tax. Ms Anderson requests that comments be directed to her rather than "my staff". Ms Anderson is an elected public servant and both her and the District's staff work for the tax payers of the SRD and are not her staff. Perhaps a trivial matter but language does indicate the speaker/writer's mindset and forgetting who works for whom may add to the divisiveness in our community.