Beefs and Bouquets,

Comox Valley Echo

August 22, 2014 08:17 AM

BEEF to the local politicians who are suggesting taxing us on our property taxes for the homeless? Don’t get me
wrong, it is an important problem, but the real problem is the money-wasting politicians who are trying to make
people homeless. Over the last 10 years dating back to Greg Phelps mayor’s taskforce that did nothing for the
homeless to the most over-priced, useless property purchase and then the alleged sale to the city of Courtenay with
a cash bonus from the regional district that was supposed to be for a homeless shelter – NOTHING HAS BEEN
DONE FOR THE HOMELESS. About 2 million dollars has been spent on committee after committee and no shelter.
Can we even begin to trust the same old politicians who only want to do things behind closed doors? I think not.
Maybe we need to put this out for referendum. NO MORE IN CAMERA MEETINGS SO EVERYONE IN THE COMOX
VALLEY IS INFORMED AS TO WHAT REALLY HAPPENS! Or they can just keep spending our hard earned tax
dollars trying to evict the residents of Maple Pool making more homeless people to count, CAN WE TRUST THEM?
Is there a politician out there that would agree to no in camera meetings. I highly doubt it. If you agree with me or not
one thing is very clear, the local politicians cannot be trusted with our tax dollars.

 

BIG LOAD OF BULL MANURE to the C.V. Regional District Board of Directors. Their pending referendum asking for
funding to tackle homelessness, is designed to fail and will just give our elected officials another excuse NOT to take
action on the problem. If they really wish to gauge public support on this issue they shouldn’t ask for extra money, as
most people are averse to paying extra taxes. Instead, the CVRD should ask us all if we want them to take money
from ELSEWHERE in the budget to use in this manner. My personal choice would be to re-allocate funding from the
Comox Valley Economic Development Society towards ensuring that everyone who lives here has a roof over their
head. That would be especially fitting since the policies developed by this organization to drive our economy have led
to low wages and high housing costs, the very conditions that have led to the high homelessness rate in our area.

 

A HUGE BEEF to our collective elected admininistrators from Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland, and the Regional
Districts–now you want an additional homeowner tax to combat homelessness! That sounds like a very noble goal,
but I have yet to see any sort of concrete plan, financial or otherwise, of what you would actually DO with such tax
money to fix the homeless problem. None of you seems to be able to agree on anything to date, except to hire yet
another administrator to consider the problem. Until you can come up with a definite, costed out plan to accomplish
this laudable goal, keep your hands out of my pockets!

 

SO THE CVRD are proposing a vote on another new tax, to help the homeless. While this may seem like a noble
initiative, the CVRD has a cash reserve fund of 67 million dollars and has inflicted 2 new AAP taxes on those who
can’t afford it -the forty nine percent of Comox valley residents who struggle to pay the rent. We need to elect new
directors with new ideas, in November.

 

AS USUAL, the CVRD directors are looking at another new tax, this time to fund the ongoing homeless issue. Rather
than impose new taxes and fees on those who can least afford more local government costs, the directors should be
looking at paring down the cost of CVRD expenses. Last year elected officials and CVRD staff claimed $139,861 in
expenses above their generous salaries and benefits. Redirecting this discretionary expense money to the Salvation
Army would do more to provide homeless services, than yet another tax. But, how likely is that – they live in a
different world. $139,861 in optional expenses while many are living on less than $20,000/year in total income.

 

MANY BOUQUETS to the Friends of Maple Pool. What a challenge for community supporters of a minority who find
unreasonable city bylaws nearly impossible to deal with. Those who have put money and time into trying to resolve
this issue deserve our vote in November. Let’s hope their names will be on the ballot – we need problem solvers, not
bureaucrats, to represent us.

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