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General News · 28th November 2018
Bill Dougan
For almost as long as I have lived on Cortes Island , a hall tax has been a divisive issue. I have seen friendships being broken , people moving off island , meetings degenerate into name calling , and anonymous letters being allowed to go to print that make personal attacks against individuals on both sides.
The Regional Board has balked several times when it came to holding a referendum based on the letters that they received from some Cortes Islanders on this matter . These actions by the Regional District has allowed the divisiveness that this issue has caused to continue unabated and has caused a split on Cortes Island that will take years to heal , if ever.
I will give the RD the benefit of the doubt, that in the past they had our concerns at the forefront of their minds when they voted against having a say on this issue based on the letters they were receiving. That can no longer be said to be the case.
The RD finally allowed us , the people of Cortes Island , to vote on this topic , sort of . They asked us if we would like to have a referendum on this issue and 70% of us voted yes to that question . Then why the further delay ???
I do not care whether you support a hall tax or not I care that people who have not been voted into office by you or I are now rejecting the idea of a referendum that 70% of us voted in favour of having . I doubt i need to explain how a democracy works.
We do not need further discussion on this matter , the electorate of Cortes Island deserves a referendum , one that we voted 70% in favour of having .
Lets be honest here , a small but vocal group has been extremely successful at lobbying the RD on this issue , and they had convinced the board members that there was wide spread and possibly majority agreement on Cortes that a referendum was not wanted ,This can no longer be argued . Delay will only further split Cortes and keep the wounds open that have been there for too long, we will only start to heal over this issue once a vote is had .
It is irresponsible and simply undemocratic to not allow us our say . I doubt one member elected to the board received 70% of the vote. In any democracy 70% is a super majority but it appears that here on Cortes Island , it means nothing to the elected reps.
I am asking the RD board to reevaluate the way they have treated the electorate of Cortes Island , respect the 70% of the islanders who voted yes to having a referendum and help us move past an issue that has , broken friendships , alienated people and caused civic minded people to no longer wish to be on boards for either of the halls on this island .
Comment by Susan sherwood on 1st December 2018
Good for you Bill
Comment by chris on 28th November 2018
As a newby on Cortes, I can't help but see this as silly. All proper protocol seems to be observed, and actually, a ridiculous amount of time is being exhausted. Referendum for a possible referendum????? Get on with it.
Totally in agreement
Comment by Lovena on 28th November 2018
Yes! It costs time and money to have issues voted on during elections and referendums. Democracy and common courtesy dictate that we have our vote honoured! It is an insult that very vocal naysayers can somehow get an entire elected Regional Board to side with them, after the ENTIRE island voted on a topic. Do we need to now flood the Regional District with letters to the contrary, wasting more time and money or could the 70% vote speak for itself? Please folks, let's have our referendum.
well said
Comment by arpad on 28th November 2018
thanks Bill, that says it all.
I'm new here, but with this and the summer fiasco of a zoning law I've already gotten a feeling of almost willful disconnect from the Regional District.