Bowen Council Modifies Official Opinion
Politically Correct Now? In what could easily be seen as a disingenuous move, Bowen Council passed a motion May 28 to the affect that: "Council takes no position on how Salt Spring electors should vote on their referendum on municipal status." Yea right, this of course, only after Bowen councillors have already done their level best to convince us of its merits through our restructuring committee.
This motion seems particularly suspect coming so close on the heels of revelations by their own mayor. Lisa Barret has come forward with a contradictory opinion about the rosey picture being painted by selective official representatives from Bowen. There is an online transcript and complete video of her comments here for ADSL users and here for DIALUP users
Another dissenting opinion coming from Bowen Island is from Dr. Kathy Dunster who made it clear at the Ganges Incorporation meeting that community spirit had been negatively impacted by their recent move to become a Municipality; Sadly she explains "that all dissolves and the whole notion of community-minded and community-spirit disappears because people just say oh the Municipality can do that"
Dr. Kathy Dunster
Continued..."Shades of things to come?
Kathy Dunster's online transcript and complete video of her comments are here for ADSL users and here for DIALUP users See her new comments.
Salt Springers against this initiative, will appreciate the honesty and sincerity of these two women coming forward on their own, especially considering their positions in the Bowen Community and high profile reputations.
They have done what they can to add balance to the picture of how incorporation has impacted their community.
Notwithstanding the dedication and volunteerism of our local restructuring committee, islanders should not feel guilty if they choose not to follow the 'official' recommendation by voting no on June 22nd.
Check it out, an image of what we could expect to see if we were foolish enough to buy into this initiative.
Tax Base Threatened?
The Islands Trust is showing serious concern this time around that Salt Springers might actually incorporate and seriously impact their operational tax base. Although their Bylaw 42 entrenches their presence in the Gulf Islands, it is clear that if the Municipal Letters Patent embed the Object of the Trust and a Municipality takes over planning, then the Islands Trust itself becomes a mostly ideological figurehead. It would probably be disbanded for sheer lack of any real function.
However, the Restructuring Committee has pointed out that the Letters Patent are not legally binding and that if anything, the Islands Trust might be elevated to the status of a 'Senate' since all council decisions would still need their final approval.
AN ISLAND MUNICIPALITY?: Increased Administrational and Taxation - A Certainty. Tom Reid's continued and evasive tactics suggesting that the uncertainties are the same either way we choose to go is a seriously flawed conclusion for a consultant to have come to. There is real data and it needs to be weighed and the only uncertainty is how much, not whether administration and taxation will increase if Salt Springers decide to incorporate.
A recent mailout by the restructuring committee shows a move away from a precise pro and con approach in a further effort to blur the need to arrive at a reasoned conclusion for us to consider before we vote.
The tax implications are clearly uncertain when one considers how the cost of roads and policing are unpredictable at best, not to mention future provincial off-loading. And once you throw in the so called 'improved' spectre of licensing fees, ticketing and a whole new set of permits, the actual total tax increase is immeasurable.
All bets are off when it comes to determining what the actual tax/ licensing/ permit/and ticketing increase will be.
Other so called improvements include the premise that accountability is easier with seven than three politicians in place. Wouldnít increasing to seven our political representatives make it more difficult to determine accountability? Now at least we know it is one of three who are accountable.
According to Bowen resident and activist Kathy Dunster, community spirit and involvement has become less after the establishment of a Municipal government. Obviously as taxes rise people tend become callous and expect the Municipality to take care of things not them. continued
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