Comox Valley Regional District should be elected

Dear editor,

When the Comox-Strathcona Regional District was restructured, the new CVRD was mandated to develop a regional growth strategy.

Dear editor,

When the former Comox-Strathcona Regional District was restructured into two new entities, the new Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) was mandated to develop a regional growth strategy and a regional water strategy.

The Regional Growth Strategy was adopted by the CVRD board March 29, 2011. All four Comox Valley local governments entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in july 2008, which provided interim management of planning and development initiatives until the RGS was adopted.

The regional water strategy was brought about when the Province required the CVRD to establish a select committee – the Comox Valley water supply commission – to develop an overall regional water strategy that would identify all viable water sources to further provide a recommended water supply service plan and operating structure for a regional water supply system.

In addition, the province required that the CVRD develop plans, policies and actions related to regional water demand management and watershed protection — yes — watershed protection.

Wedler Engineering was awarded the contract as project manager.  The draft regional water supply strategy was sent to the provincial government for review in june 2010, and the CVRD is also awaiting comment from the member municipalities.

For more information on the regional sewer strategy and the sustainability strategy, go to the CVRD website.

The provincial government oversees public transit through BC Transit, which works in partnership with local government. The CVRD partners with BC Transit and a contractor to deliver transit service in the Comox Valley.

Together, these groups set fare levels, establish schedules, gather public feedback and look at growth patterns to determine adequate service and future expansion.

The CVRD provides financial assistance for 93 services to its residents. The service includes, but is not limited to parks, sports facilities and a solid waste system that serves the CVRD and the Strathcona Regional District.

The CVRD has too many areas of responsibility and personnel to include in this missive — but what the CVRD is accountable for and what it does leads me to wonder why we need a local government.

The CVRD board is appointed by the area governments, which in turn hire CVRD staff. It appears to me that there is an inordinate amount of duplication and financial irresponsibility by having so many fingers in the regional area pie.

Would it not make more sense to elect the CVRD? They seem to have the responsibility for the whole of the Comox Valley, and do away with the local governments.

There would be no reason for any area to lose its identity. Comox, Cumberland, Courtenay and rural areas would be able to maintain their “name” just as a district.

Take Vancouver, for example, they have numerous local names — Kits, Marpole, Kerrisdale, Fraserview, etc., as does Victoria with James Bay, Hampton, Cadboro, etc.

We would be the Comox Valley (Regional District) and keep all the local names.

Just a thought.

Jim Boyer

Comox

Editor’s note: Directors for the three CVRD rural areas (A, B and C) are elected. The rest of the CVRD board is appointed by Comox, Courtenay and Cumberland.