CVRD board integrity questioned over lack of Saltair referendum

Over half the Saltair voters signed a petition and it was presented to the CVRD

CVRD board integrity questioned over lack of Saltair referendum

The CVRD board has denied CVRD Area G Saltair residents a referendum which brings into question the board’s integrity.

Over half the Saltair voters signed a petition in a three-week period and it was presented to the CVRD. “Saltair petition the CVRD to conduct a referendum for Saltair voters to establish if residents do or do not support taxpayers taxation and/or grant funds being spent on the restoration/renewal/repairs of the Saltair Community Centre”. A democratic say for all Saltair voters.

At the Nov. 8 board meeting Saltair Director [Mel] Dorey indicated that over half of Saltair voters petitioning the CVRD for a referendum was “something bad”?

For more than three and a half years Saltair residents have been requesting CVRD Area G Saltair Director Dorey for a referendum and finally in October and November 2017 petitioned the CVRD for a referendum.

All other CVRD residents have had a democratic say in their recreation facilities, funding of their facilities and have had CVRD public meetings involving their recreation facilities.

Saltair taxpayers have never had a democratic say for a very large old school building the CVRD board bought in August 2014, without due diligence inspection. Only Saltair taxpayers have a financial obligation to this building. No other CVRD areas.

For more that three and a half years no Saltair CVRD public meetings have been held to discuss the building, taxpayers funding of the building and even if the Saltair residents want this building as their community centre. Maybe Saltair taxpayers would rather put their taxation funds into a new community centre that could be used as a CVRD emergency shelter for Saltair in the event of an earthquake.

The building has been deteriorating for over three years and in 2016 ceiling tiles started falling in the gym and a high concentration of airborne spores in the gym (55 times higher than normal) was recorded. A conditional assessment of the building could have been done in January 2015 as gas tax funds were available at that time to pay for the assessment but Saltair Director Dorey did not have it done.

The CVRD board has now approved $300,000 of Saltair funds to be spent on a building that they don’t even know if Saltair residents want as community centre. The 2017 engineering conditional assessment indicated $3 million plus or minus for renewal of the building depending on quotes for the work. Three hundred thousand dollars would go a long way towards a new community centre building of say $500,000.

Were the CVRD directors misled by statements made by Saltair Director Dorey that were not accurate? If the CVRD had taken the time to hold Saltair public meetings the Saltair residents would have spoken clearly if this old school building is the community centre they want to financially support or not.

James Thomas

Saltair

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