Editorial: Municipal spending in focus

Reports of municipal spending in Sooke are missleading

One thing that is likely to rear its ugly head before the election is a recent report on municipal costs. From 2000-2011 it shows the District of Sooke with a 214 per cent growth in spending, the highest in all of Southern Vancouver Island. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture but what must be remembered is that in the year 2000 Sooke became a municipality.

Changing from being unincorporated to incorporated results in a lot of one-time spending. It means hiring staff and CAOs and professionals to run the “corporation.” It means paying for such things as purchasing office furniture, and larger budget items such as fire department costs and everything else that is needed to run a corporation as big as the District of Sooke.

So what looks like huge increases in spending is actually just the start up costs of running a municipality. So the numbers do look skewed and there is the off chance this might be used as a political football in the upcoming election by anyone stating they are going to lower municipal spending by using those figures as their rationale.

Yes, taxes rise but then so do the wants of the community. Roads, sidewalks, parks, beautification, sports fields and maintenance all take money.

Every single grant given out to a community group comes from taxpayers in one way or another. Every time a council says “yes” to a request, they are taking money from the community coffers. One of the issues is the downloading of services onto lower levels of government. So many grant and funding opportunities are now extinct and those same organizations who need help to run are now coming to the district. That’s just one example.

If lowering taxes and municipal spending is the aim then try lobbying the province and the federal government to hold up their end of the bargain.

Take a look at the budget to see what the district can reasonably afford.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney can ‘only educate and encourage’ people to social distance

CAO says municipality lacks legislative authority to enforce social distancing in public

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Ocean Boulevard could open after Labour Day

Colwood council expected to discuss options later this month

$3,700 worth of bikes stolen in Oak Bay in just three days

Police receive reports of four stolen bikes from July 27 to 29

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Dinosaurs revived for animatronic auction in Langley

More than 500 robot dinosaurs, fossils, and exhibition gear are going on the block Aug. 6

B.C. paramedics responded to a record-breaking 2,700 overdose calls in July

Province pledges $10.5 million for expansion of overdose prevention response

Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Most Read