Funding decision shows CVRD irresponsibility

Cobble Hill – It’s already clear that the partly new CVRD board is going to act as irresponsibly with taxpayer’s money as the previous board which had a nasty habit of giving away money to third parties with little oversight or realistic assessment of the usefulness of the spending.

Virtually all such CVRD giveaways involve a special interest group pleading for more money that they are unwilling to raise themselves from the public. They do this because it’s a lot easier to get into the taxpayer’s pocket through the weak CVRD board. Most of the time these groups exaggerate their community service and predict that some dire public disaster will occur if they don’t get more money.

Under the direction of the new CVRD chair, who applied for and whose community supposedly benefitted from the increased grant, the board voted to increase the grant to Cowichan Community policing by a whopping 24.9 per cent even though the group did not even ask for that much!

If they gave the group a 25 per cent raise the voters would have to approve this huge grant increase of almost $25,000 on top of the $100,000 the group gets now. This group has spent almost $1 million of taxpayer’s money in the past 10 years.

Just about every other volunteer group in the Cowichan Valley raises its own money directly from the public except, of course, the lucky ones that are already in the CVRD trough.

There is a well-paid, full time employee who takes home most of the money provided by taxpayers. The CVRD should require any special interest group asking for taxpayers’ money to fundraise themselves at least 90 per cent of their spending. There is no more acid test of genuine public support than fundraising or a referendum. The better solution is to stop all grants to third parties like most other regional districts in the province.

W.E. (Bill) Dumont

Cobble Hill