Juan de Fuca regional director Mike Hicks

JdF EDC looks closely at its role

Juan de Fuca EDC may not be most effective use of resources

The future of the Juan de Fuca Economic Development Commission is getting a second look at a  2 p.m. meeting on Jan. 15.

Regional Director Mike Hicks said the Capital Regional District has all these bylaws which dictate what the EDC does and it is possible he hasn’t been doing that.

There will be some discussion, at the meeting, on what the role of the current EDC is and whether the commission is necessary.

Hicks thinks the objective of an EDC, according to the CRD, is to hire consultants and prepare reports, which is exactly what he is not into. Hicks thinks reports and consultants are not project oriented, which he thinks the EDC should be. He used the example of the Shirley Farmers Market which received start up money from the JdF EDC.

“This might not be what we’re supposed to do,” said Hicks.

The meeting will focus on what the EDC is doing and bringing about the idea of shelving it. He said the JdF spent $15,000 on administration to give out EDC grants.

“I’m looking at the EDC — is it worth it?” Hicks questioned. “In our process everything costs money, meetings are huge costs.” He said they used to hold monthly EDC meetings.

Hicks said he has two ways of helping, the EDC and grants-in-aid, and thinks he can help through the grants-in-aid without having the high administrative costs associated with holding meetings.

Hicks is about cutting costs, if at all possible. Hicks stated that in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area they have had the smallest tax increase on Vancouver Island and they have had to scrape together $7,000 for school crossing guards (a problem shared with Sooke).

The Jan. 15 meeting takes place at 6868 West Coast Rd.