Hall Tax Consultation Refreshing

Hall Tax Consultation Refreshing

Originally Published on Cortes Radio.ca

By Roy L Hales

On June 6, 2019, Chair Michele Babchuk and three members of the Strathcona Regional District staff caught a water taxi from Campbell River to Cortes Island. Around 80 local inhabitants were waiting for them in Mansons Hall. I doubt anyone could have guessed what was to follow. The resulting Cortes Island Hall Tax consultation was refreshing.

Listening to the audio, hundreds of miles away at a family gathering, I was amazed to hear all the joking and applause. There was room for every question and comment, regardless of the speaker’s leaning or opinion. This seems to be exactly the kind of conversation the island needs!

Kudos to Chair Michele Babchuk, Chief Administrative Officer David Leitch, Senior Manager Tom Yates, Parks & Planning Manager Aniko Nelson and Regional Director Noba Anderson for being candid at the hall tax consultation.

Kudos to everyone who stepped up to ask questions or make a comment: Maureen Bader, Wilson Baker, Rick Bockner, Rob Chapman, De ClarkeAndy Ellingsen, Sue Ellingsen, Peter Henbury,  Priya Huffman, Becky Knutson, Ron Kroeker, Wendy Legare, Yifan Li, Carol London, Cec RobinsonChristine Robinson, John Sprungman, Unknown (did not speak into the mic), Cali Waddell, and Ashley Zarbatany.

For anything more than that, listen to the podcast above.

The recording was made by Sean Coyote , edited by Roy L Hales and published June 9, 2019.

4 thoughts on “Hall Tax Consultation Refreshing”

  1. While I agree that it was a good meeting, what I found most annoying about it was that this was the meeting that should have happened a year ago. We were promised community consultation but instead the SRD staff (directed by whom?) “consulted” with the boards of the 2 community associations and with the vocal group of dissidents, but not with the community at large. The excuse given was that the SRD didnt feel that there was any clear direction one way or the other. How would they know that if they didnt talk to us?
    Because of this lack of timely and meaningful consultation, we are now on the hook for the cost of the referendum. If the referendum on a Bylaw to provide for the support of the halls had occurred with the election, it would not have cost us anything.

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