New police detachment should go to referendum
Re: AAP for new police facility
Most people agree that the police should have adequate facilities.
However, taxpayers deserve some basic facts to understand this nearly $50 million outlay and then decide via referendum. A referendum is required because the AAP is a negative process: government will spend the money unless a significant number of taxpayers initiate an objection. (Snooze, you lose.) Under the AAP process taxpayers will not have a chance to study, then approve or reject, the expenditure in a referendum. Sure, a referendum costs, but as my neighbour observed, “It’s our money and we want it spent on the referendum.”
Questions are unanswered. Why is a new building required, when there are other potential sites like the empty RONA store? If this is to be a regional police facility why locate it in North Cowichan? We will be reimbursed for a good portion of the cost but what is the reimbursement payment schedule and how certain is it?
The required AAP published notice has so much boiler plate wording that the essentials of the objection process are all but hidden. A summary of the objection process, set out in an easy to read format would encourage taxpayer response, if that is what council really wants.
Bottom line: if the required number of taxpayers do not object to the AAP, those snoozing should not complain when the balloon tax bill arrives in the mail.