Public input, taxes top Caumann’s concerns

Nick Caumanns thinks direct public involvement would solve a lot of problems at North Cowichan council and, if elected, he wants to see if he can convince his new colleagues to try at least one new idea.

His primary focus will be dealing with taxation.

"We’ve doubled our taxes for the average house. That comes from a lot of spending increases. It’s gone up more quickly than our neighbouring municipalities and, when you compare the total tax bill, our taxes are actually quite high compared to them.

"I know the mayor and a few others like to do this comparison of a narrow slice of our taxes but the total bill is just too high and has gone up too much," he said.

Beyond that problem is the challenge of making council more directly accountable to the public, Caumanns said.

"What you can do as a citizen is show up, sit through a six-hour council meeting, provide your two minutes of commentary and what you get is a ‘Thank you very much.’" That needs addressing, he said, suggesting that North Cowichan follow the lead of a town in Connecticut where, for a municipal cost of $5,000 a year, they offer the public an annual vote on their budget.

"That’s access to government. The people come to the ballot box and choose whether a budget’s appropriate or not. The point being, if council and mayor do a good job, you don’t have to go back more than once. That, over time, is going to reduce frustration," he said.

The idea could also be used for major projects like building a pool, Echo Heights, the road to Stoney Hill.

"We’ve had disputes over some of these things for 10 years and it’s been completely unnecessary," Caumanns said.

Just Posted

Cowichan Green Community eyes funding for value added food processing

The folks at Cowichan Green Community are licking their chops after the… Continue reading

Cowichan lacrosse grads square off in Jr. B playoffs

Delta takes series after win in Duncan

Roller derby returns to Cowichan Exhibition’s Mellor Hall

Food trucks, beer garden, roller disco all on tap for July 27

Adult soccer tryouts for 2019-20 season coming in August

Six teams on track to represent Cowichan Valley

VIDEO: Compton and Cooper share first place in Duncan Has Talent while Heard takes third

A difficult decision was made easier by splitting the first and second place prize money between two

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Injured humpback returns to waters near Comox a year later

Photographer spotted Ocular near Comox again and noticed the whale has been healing

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read