Letter: Council cost overruns

I would like to outline some highlights of the 2012 year in Sooke ...

I would like to outline some highlights of the 2012 year in Sooke, taken from the 2012 Budget to actual analysis presented at the Finance and Administration Committee meeting, March 19, 2013 (http://www.sooke.ca/EN/main/documents/agendaminutes/documents/Mar1913FAAgendapkg.pdf).

Sooke’s legal costs were $278,021, which is over budget by $188,021.  Most of the justifications for this massive overrun are weak, especially the sales job regarding renegotiating the Prestige Hotel deal.   This council cancelled a fixed yearly contract with our legal firm of $110,000, seemingly for no good reason other than because the previous council negotiated it.  Keeping the old contract would have saved Sooke taxpayers $168,021 for the 2012 fiscal year.

The Council contingency was over budget by $74,671.  The majority of this overrun has been attributed to eight and 13-month severance packages for two non-union employees.  I would presume this would pertain to our former CAO and director of finance.  One can conclude from this that since significant severance packages were paid out that these two District of Sooke employees were terminated without just cause.

The RCMP budget was over by $101,373. Part of the overrun is attributed to the Subaru triathlon, an event I am sure we knew was happening during the budget process.  As well for 2013, the policing budget is essentially the same as the actuals for 2012, despite the fact that, partially due to the inaction of our leadership, there is no more Subaru Triathlon in Sooke.

Planning Operations salaries were $13,361 over budget for 2012, and this is attributed to hiring an extra planner to help with creating a new zoning bylaw. The results include allowing vehicle sales and car washes in the town core.

The total cost overrun for these four items alone is $377,426.  This is from a council whose first priority is “fiscal responsibility.”  The Finance and Administration Committee, on March 9, recommended deferring construction of the Throup Road bypass and Highway 14 roundabout to 2014.  Infrastructure upgrades are critical to a prosperous community.  However this council’s priorities are to spend large sums of money on legal fees, severance packages, and rewriting bylaws that don’t need to be rewritten.

Tom Myrick,

Sooke

 

Just Posted

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

5-a-side soccer field, mascot reveal, jersey pick up in Bastion Square and waterfront lot Saturday

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

Island cycling series boosts youth race schedule

New series creates opportunity for more youth competition

Colwood wins award for Sustainable Infrastructure Replacement Plan

Plan wins Award of Excellence in Government Finance

Victoria church bells toll in solidarity with Notre Dame Cathedral after devastating fire

Churches around the globe ring bells to honour iconic Paris cathedral

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Most Read