Change needed

Question: What does a sewer deal that increases taxes have to do with recreation?

Answer: The money to pay for it will come from my recreation budget.

Am I for a “pay more” deal? NO.

The sewer operation contract is based on the Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP) for which the district was so recently saluted (and for which we all paid dearly). The guiding executive and administrative principle of the LWMP is (and I quote) “The District commits to maintaining user payment policies/bylaws that ensure existing Sewer Specified Area (SSA) users do not pay more than they are already paying.”

The ink is not even dry on the professed top level CEO and CAO “commitment” in a very expensive “Plan” and they have already ditched that commitment for a four per cent tax increase. Why?

The enabling bylaw (Bylaw150) authorizes a parcel tax of $510 (up from $495). Why is the franchise agreement based on a parcel tax of $515, an amount that is not even authorized by a cost recovery bylaw, and is a full four per cent higher than when the LWMP was completed last year? Why not start contract negotiations with $495 as a fixed target as “Planned”?

The franchise agreement states the operations fee per (SFE) parcel is $123.82, while the parcel tax is $515. What is the remaining $391.18 for? Why not $371.18 and stick to the “do not pay more” plan.

Am I for a “do not pay more” deal? Yes.

The problem with this deal has nothing to do with the sewer operator. The problem is an incompetent procurement practice coupled with a complete administrative (CAO) and executive (CEO) repudiation of the district’s own planning or any commitment to keep taxes down.

If I were running EPCOR I would come back with an offer that works at $495 on the condition that the electors throw out the current administration. We don’t need a referendum – we need an election and a change of CEO and CAO.

Question: What have the District CEO and CAO done for us taxpayers lately?

Answer: Nothing

Am I for that? No.

Terrance Martin

Director

South Island Recreation Association