The need for accurate and full disclosure — opportunity to rethink policies

The upcoming vote is at this point premature!

The need for accurate and full disclosure — opportunity to rethink policies

The upcoming vote as to whether or not we want to join our communities back together as one new electoral area as one town or city is at this point premature!

Information very necessary to us prior to deciding this issue has not been made public. A few weeks prior to voting with partial information is no good.

Our politicians have in our Cowichan Valley (both councils) developed a heirarchy of people who earn two to four times the Stats Canada average income total of $40,000 for our Valley wage earners (taxpayers).

This expensive, not necessary, policy is driven by council’s idea that they should keep up with the cities such as Vancouver and Burnaby to pay its civil servants. This is unacceptable! Yearly wage negotiations raise this figure much more than the Stats Canada cost of living increases the rest of us taxpayers get.

Now is the time to realize that if amalgamation does occur that a new corporation will legally have to be formed to integrate the existing two corporations of the City of Duncan and North Cowichan. This means an entirely new corporation with no obligation legally to either of the other two corporations — think about this — it’s like a company taking over other companies and absorbing them.

Well existing mayors are talking of fewer employees and a person to oversee the integration of people from two companies and see how many will be kept and how many jobs will not be kept, the most important issue has not been touched.

There is no legal obligation to either company to assume any of its policies or people! The debt must be assumed and assets must be assumed but not people or payroll or benefits.

Now this raises a few unmentioned questions

— will we see financial statements published

— will they show so we can understand what debt each corporation is carrying and what percentage of the mill rate/tax this represents?

— will we be told if all jobs are republished so all taxpayers can vie for these jobs and what rates will be published for each job in the new corporation?

— will they take this opportunity to realign pay rates to what the taxpayers of the Valley get in the public sector?

— will there be an election for the new council for this new area?

— will someone publish all recommendations and requirements fro the Ministry of Municipal Affairs that was sent to both existing councils?

These are a mere scratch on the surface of important issues we are not being told about prior to our making informed decisions about how to vote on this issue — we should not have a vote until our politicians have revealed all things — not led us like sheep to the slaughter — this is our opportunity to remove the overspending and lack of control we have now and correct important issues that speak to taxpayers issues. No more overpaid civil servants, no more blank checks for pet projects, no more keeping up with the Joneses (larger communities), making our politicians live within our means (taxpayers), using our taxes to live within our means not indebting ourselves for the next generations.

Larry Woodruff

Duncan

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