CVRD going wrong direction with economic development

I am not surprised, but quite disappointed that the CVRD board has once again chosen to waste more money

I am not surprised, but quite disappointed that the CVRD board has once again chosen to waste more money rather than protect taxpayers, with their decision to hire another overpaid manager for economic development.

They have completely wasted the $40,000 they paid their own consultant, who strongly advised against filling this position, and also paying the new manager well in excess of $100,000 a year plus a very rich benefit package.

The fact that 50 people applied for this job puts a lie to the usual CVRD rant they have to pay these inflated salaries to attract people to vacant positions.

Unlike other governments that require detailed service plans and performance indicators from staff so they can be held accountable for the public money they spend, the CVRD does none of that.

It’s pretty clear that the CVRD board will again waste millions of our tax dollars on an ill-defined function with no real performance measures like actual jobs created. In the past, much of that money was hijacked by special interests who used the public trough to support and promote themselves and their causes.

My disappointment deepened after reading the comments in the Citizen from the new manager Amy Melmock blathering about making friends and partnerships as though that is a performance measure.

She didn’t once mention that economic development for most businesses and entrepreneurs is encouraged by low taxes and minimal red tape, things that the 200 person-plus CVRD bureaucracy can’t even comprehend. The strong anti-business attitude in the CVRD is well-known and documented.

In fact the first thing this Melmock has done is to recommend to the CVRD board to force all local businesses to register with the CVRD and pay a fat fee, a brand new tax on all businesses that will presumably justify her grossly high salary.

Looks like another control mechanism by an out of control bureaucracy! And what a way to make new friends in the business community.

It really is amateur hour at the CVRD with how they spend and waste a lot of the $80 million taken from local taxpayers each year. Again, with no measureable results to justify pay raises this year they are already planning to reward themselves as board members (up 19 per cent last year) and their staff with pay increases in their new budget.

Are taxpayers and our job-creating businesses better off, or is life much better in the Valley because of what the CVRD did this past year or what it’s planning for next year? I doubt it very much.

 

W.E. (Bill) Dumont

Cobble Hill