Referendum back on the table

The idea of a referendum on an affordable housing project has been voted down— Image Credit: Stock Photo by  Scott Stanfield – Comox Valley Record; posted May 29, 2014 at 2:00 PM— updated May 29, 2014 at 3:31 PM The regional district board wants to hear from the electorate before deciding yay or nay about the establishment of an affordable housing service. On Tuesday, the board directed staff to prepare a report about the process for a non-binding referendum question at election time in November. The question would determine the public’s willingness to fund a service up to six dollars per year for a property valued at $300,000. Directors will discuss the report next month at committee of the whole, from where it will be referred to municipalities or amended as needed. Earlier in the month, the committee voted against a fall referendum concerning the proposed service. A non-binding referendum is akin to an opinion poll — “taking the temperature” of the electorate, in the words of board chair Edwin Grieve. The Comox Valley Housing Task Force had proposed the service, hoping to create a local government non-profit housing society to help expand the Valley’s affordable housing base. The budget for the service allotted $150,000 in administrative expenses — including a $93,900 salary to a housing planner. Comox director Tom Grant, a member of the task force who brought the item back to the table Tuesday, had hoped the board could formulate a referendum question for the fall to set up the function. Otherwise, it could miss the next budget cycle and not see money until 2016. “We keep missing the boat on this. I had the feeling...

Friends of Maple Pool counter Courtenay’s claims

by  Contributed – Comox Valley Record; posted Apr 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM Council chants the mantra of flood risk: “Some have commented that the risk from flooding is low and is limited simply to ‘wet feet’.” Most prominent is Judge Robin Baird who found “flooding in 2009/2010 was inconvenient and messy, but nothing more.” Further: •    Flooding in 2009/2010 was entirely due to releases of water by BC Hydro which far exceeded its guidelines; •    The City has in the past dealt with such potential legal liabilities by simple waivers of liability. Council cites ‘knee-deep or higher’ water in 2009/2010 — true on its face. But it is confined to sites removed/abandoned after the floods. There has since been no permanent residential occupation of these sites. The Court concluded ‘flooding was inconvenient and messy, but nothing more.’ Ladies and gentlemen of Courtenay Council: Elvis has left the building! Although flooding technically occurred in 2009 and 2010, a council with greater integrity and greater devotion to truth would have acknowledged floods occurred at the end of ’09 and beginning ’10; i.e., in one flood season and because of one-off special circumstances. ‘The property nearly flooded again in 2011.’ Who defines ‘nearly? The City was thoroughly thrashed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia when trying to make a case based on actual flooding in 2009/2010. Now council relies on ‘nearly?’ “We have attempted to resolve this situation outside the courts numerous times.” We challenge council to list and date the occasions on which they have made these numerous attempts. Councillors accuse campsite owners Dali and Jin Lin of neglecting for three years to initiate...