I saw a response to Richard Rolkes editorial on the North Westside Governance issues in the Your Letters section. Yes Dave you hit the nail on the head with the lack of transparency statement. The reservoir replacement project in Westshore is a perfect example. In my opinion this is a poorly planned project with little or no consideration given to the funding aspect or the customer it is expected to benefit.
- This project was not mentioned in the WaterTalk back to 2011,
- no mention at the $20,000 + Open House Meetings held twice in 2015.
- Budgeted at $318,000 Nov/2015
- Revised Budget at $848,000 Jan/2016
- Revised Cost & Budget at $1,300,000 June/2016
When I asked for proof of the need for the immediate replacement of all the reservoirs in Westshore at a cost of 1.3 million dollars I am given a one page internal memo with opinions from RDCO staff not lab tests or engineering reports, just their opinions. One thing I can assure you of is this is just the beginning of costly RDCO water projects for both Killiney & Westshore as filtration is next on their list.
There are no contentious Regional Issues that I can think of at the Board Table nor have there been. When it comes to what’s best for all there is little argument. The two Electoral Areas combined represents approximately 1.2% of the RDCO population probably slightly higher in assessment. The problems all come when the Municipal Directors decide to interfere in decisions on the budgets or functions of the EA Local Services (water – raised rates with no accountability, fire – regionalized no accountability, community parks – no project completion/accountability & solid waste – curbside … still an option? ) and especially planning.
The reason communities incorporate are the very same reasons before us now, they wish autonomy over the services and functions they and they alone pay for through their local taxes. The person sitting in town unilaterally making decisions for our community and unduly influencing the Board to support staff priorities rather than taxpayers, gone. That goal accomplished the Regional Board and District should run just fine. Only issues of Regional scope or function would be discussed at the Board with costs assigned by population and assessment. That’s Democracy.