Mayor Evans’ announcement in the April 6 Sooke News Mirror, that she was not seeking re-election was accompanied by a list of accomplishments with the claim that, “all these new additions to our community have increased our tax base.”
If that is so, why have our property taxes kept rising throughout her tenure?
She also claims that, with the support of council and staff, our community has been able to “grow and thrive.” There is no mention that this growth has created ever worsening traffic congestion and that the only thriving has been among the developers and those who had property to sell them.
However, in fairness to our hard working mayor, it should be pointed out that this course of mindless growth and costly frills dates back to her predecessor, Ed Macgregor, who once took me to task in a council meeting for pointing out that our then city planner was little more than a spokesman for the developers.
But are we condemned to follow this same spendthrift path in future years? It would seem so, judging from a five-year financial plan that, according to Jim Mitchell in a March 20 letter in the Sooke News Mirror, will raise our property taxes 61.5 per cent by 2015. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, if the next bunch we elect were to pay attention to the lamentable state of our taxes and our traffic?
By the way, did anyone notice the long line of cars parked along the road in front of the Prestige Hotel on Friday, April 15, during the emergency planning meeting? If, as it seems, the convention centre there can’t handle the traffic, what chance is there that groups will want to hold their meetings there and our taxpayers will be able to recoup the annual $225,000 we’re shelling out? Or is it just another costly frill?