Council wise to keep putting money into reserves
Dear North Cowichan Mayor Rob Douglas and councillors:
I strongly support your decision to continue contributing reserve funds toward smart environmental projects this year, despite a looming tax hike (Cowichan Citizen Jan. 12, 2023).
One of the biggest privileges of living in North Cowichan, and indeed our valley, is its enviable, relatively clean environment. It needs all protection possible to maintain our property values, ecology, and green lifestyles.
Wise councils are putting money into reserves to confront climate-change realities with action plans — not more ostrich thinking favouring reduced municipal tax rates.
While firmly urging council and staff to ferret ways of boosting revenues, tax hikes are simply a cost of living in one of Canada’s best municipalities boasting cogent environmental planning.
Let’s not forget this year’s $183,900 for our Climate Action & Energy Plan reserve — plus another $100,000 reserved for healing toxic Quamichan Lake — can be scrubbed long-term by potential millions in carbon-credit cash North Cowichan will reportedly receive by preserving our priceless forest reserve from logging destruction.
Add about $180,000 council can save annually by pulling out of our lame Economic Development Cowichan. The EDC is sadly not results-based in attracting businesses here.
Just banking our 2023 EDC contribution would cover this year’s CAEP-reserve contribution.
I sure applaud Mayor Douglas and councillors Istace, Justice and Toporowski for prudent eco-planning during this year’s budget.
Unfortunately, councillors Manhas, Caljouw and Findlay still seem to value budget savings over our precious, threatened environment.
Yours in green municipal thinking,
Peter W. Rusland