North Cowichan traffic circles top Behnsen’s issues

Joyce Behnsen is a regular attendee at North Cowichan council meetings. She’s run for mayor before and now she’s back for another try for a seat at the table.

"I have three main issues: roundabouts, money spent on consultants and finally salaries and benefits for staff," she said.

"The roundabouts are excessive. The first few, like Beverly and Lakes, fine, but now, the one at Drinkwater and Lane is totally nuts.

"And generally they are half a million dollars. I don’t believe the stats they just came out with that showed that ICBC is paying the majority either because they always show it as a line on the budget. And, no matter who pays for it, we’re all taxpayers."

She said she knows of residents in the Drinkwater, Somenos, Lane Road areas, that are now "looking at changing out their septic fields. They’ve been waiting for sewer since the mid-60s, they pay for these costly roundabouts, but they still don’t have the sewer," Behnsen said.

On out-of-town consultants, she’s equally blunt. "A million dollars last year. We’re paying them on top of our own staff. Now, they’re consulting on the Trans Canada Highway again. They had a study done in 2005; it made good, strong recommendations."

One was a bypass route, an alternate highway, an idea Behnsen likes.

"When you get all the trucks out of town, you’ll get the people who want to be there. The stats are terrible for accidents from Boys Road to Herd Road." Her final concern is salaries and benefits for municipal staff.

"There is an excessive number of staff and they are too highly paid for the service they provide the population," she said.