Here is a process of questions for the CVRD to ask and answers to develop.
1. What has been the cost of the function? Easy to determine from CVRD budget records. Recently $800,000 per year.
2. What has it produced? This is more difficult. How to determine what new jobs/property tax revenue has resulted in the CVRD?
Ask the new business why they are here. What have they contributed to the tax base/employment? Most new employment has been in government services, health care, residential construction and the new malls. The Economic Development function had nothing to do with those increases.
3. Compare the benefits — new jobs/new tax revenue — with the cost of the function: $800,000.
4. If the decision is to continue the function, then set performance markers for the function — X number of jobs, X amount of increased property taxes. (Number of meetings attended or plans prepared are not performance markers.)
5. Then put out a request for proposals to the private sector — include the performance markers, other necessary criteria and seek a fixed price.
6. Select your service provider, enter a fixed term contract.
7. At end of term if they meet the performance markers renew, if not terminate.
8. Or, terminate the function now and reduce taxes by $800,000.