Nichol suggests streamlining of regional district services

Savings could be applied to other services in need of increases in spending

  • Jul. 2, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

 

Rod Nichol would like to see a greater amount of public involvement with services provided by the Comox Valley Regional District.

The Area B director is advocating for a public process that looks at all services, and considers if any non-essential ones could be reduced or eliminated. The idea is that tax requisition savings could be applied to another service that requires an increase.

“There’s so many costs we can’t defer,” Nichol said Tuesday at committee of the whole. “I’m really concerned about the number of services people would like to see.”

While he understands the importance of water, sewer and the like, Nichol believes the CVRD has reached a stage where it needs to prioritize services. He feels the board should aim to hold the 2016 tax requisition as close to zero per cent as possible.

The committee approved his request for staff to prepare a report that considers a process for public engagement using an independent third party to prioritize services with the objective of minimizing tax requisition increases.

Comox director Ken Grant feels a review would be a “worthy thing.”

“I think you’re dead right,” Grant said. “There’s a cost to them (services). I think this could be a good exercise.”

Courtenay director Manno Theos also lauded Nichol’s idea, suggesting some of the approximate 100 services could be streamlined or combined.

Cumberland director Gwyn Sproule opposed Nichol’s request. She is not keen on paying someone to chime in on subjects to which board members have a say at budget time.

“We’re the overseer,” Courtenay director Erik Eriksson said. “Why hire someone to oversee our administration?”

Nichol hears time and again how constituents are at the end of their rope with taxes, which are going to increase with future projects.

“The whole point of this is to involve the public,” he said.

Comox director Barbara Price suggests treading carefully when it comes to services.

“They come out for a good reason,” she said. “Regional districts are very complex.”

To attempt to simplify things can be difficult, and even costly in the end, Price noted.

 

Just Posted

Fundraisers in place long-time Comox Valley chef

Peter Bradley recovering from emergency brain surgery

Last Simms Park concert of the season to double as a food bank fundraiser

Bring a donation for the food bank to the My Generation concert, Sunday, Aug. 25

City of Courtenay adds pickleball courts Martin Park lacrosse box

Lacrosse, pickleball, and recreational ball hockey players in the Comox Valley can… Continue reading

Stage 3 water restrictions in the Comox Valley beginning September 3

Restrictions in effect until Sept. 27 for BC Hydro scheduled maintenance

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Community organizes drop-in cricket game

Alan Dafoe and a few other caring members of the community arranged… Continue reading

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

Opinions vary about single-use plastics

Local governments in the Comox Valley are enacting bylaws to regulate single-use… Continue reading

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Most Read