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

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Glacier View residents take a ride on the river

Ground Search and Rescue guides floaters on Puntledge

Brewing up some community engagement

Insp. Tim Walton says goodbye to the Comox Valley

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Most Read