Amalgamation would not work for current Cumberland council

Cumberland council sees no benefit for Cumberland to amalgamate with the rest of the Valley, as proposed by four former Comox Valley mayors.

Cumberland council sees no benefit for Cumberland to amalgamate with the rest of the Valley, as proposed by four former Comox Valley mayors.

Two former Cumberland mayors, Fred Bates and Bronco Moncrief, and former Courtenay mayors Greg Phelps and Ron Webber recently called for Cumberland, Courtenay, Comox and a large swath of the Comox Valley Regional District to amalgamate.

More weight when asking for provincial and federal funding, and a desire for less local government were a couple reasons for their proposal. Their aim was to push the Province to lead an amalgamation and have it complete in time for next year’s municipal elections.

Mayor Leslie Baird of Cumberland has already said she’s personally against the idea of Cumberland amalgamating — specifically noting increased expenses to Cumberland taxpayers, such as paying for policing costs. But, she put the matter on Monday’s agenda to hear what other members of council had to say about it.

All councillors loudly echoed her opinion.

Coun. Gwyn Sproule, who represents Cumberland on the CVRD board, agreed it would be too expensive for Cumberland residents, adding the CVRD is already in place and provides an avenue for cost sharing on regional projects.

“I can’t see any reason whatsoever for Cumberland to amalgamate,” she said, pointing out Cumberland council was not approached for input before the former mayors made their announcement.

Coun. Roger Kishi agreed.

“What concerns me the most about this press release that these four former mayors have put out is that they didn’t talk to any of the other local governments before,” he said. “And, to put out in a press release that they want the Province to force this on the Comox Valley is irresponsible.”

Coun. Conner Copeman added he believes local government is working well as is, and the idea that amalgamation would save taxpayers’ dollars was “ludicrous.”

Coun. Kate Greening said the former mayors weren’t so vocal about amalgamation when they were in office.

“All I can recall is that when these guys were mayors that they didn’t talk about amalgamation,” she continued. “Unlike them, I think that we’re a council that does studies and we actually do something with them, rather than just gathering dust and using them as a doorstop.”

Baird added she’s received numerous phones calls and comments from residents, and none of those people saw any benefit to Cumberland.

Amalgamation was voted down in 1999, with Courtenay in favour and Comox against. Cumberland was not included in that amalgamation vote.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Victim of downtown Courtenay assault dies from injuries

RCMP confirm file is now a homicide investigation

North Island College’s annual 3-Hour Fiction Contest returns

Two competitions; one for adults, one for U-18 writers

Comox Valley’s drinking water within lead guidelines, say staff

Residents with old homes may still want testing if concerned about pipes, solder

Denman ferry cable to be replaced with plastic cable – for now

The first flattened steel strand cable is expected to be installed late summer 2020

Cumberland holds off transfer of ‘alleyway’ property to homeowner

Village cites need to protect alleyways, while staff cite encroachment issues

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Comox Fire Rescue donates defibrillator to St. George’s United Church

Comox fighters have donated an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to St. George’s… Continue reading

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Three cops investigated in connection to ex-Vancouver detective’s sexual misconduct

Fisher was convicted in 2018 after pleading guilty to kissing two young women who were witnesses in a criminal case

Violence response procedures updated for B.C. schools, police

ERASE program expands to target gangs, bullying of students

A pawsitive ending: Missing puppy found after nine-day search in Chilliwack

Pit bull Frankie ran from dog sitter booked through app

Federal laws at heart of West’s anger up for debate, as Liberals begin outreach

Vancouver mayor to Trudeau’s western critics: ‘Get over yourselves’

Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011

Most Read