How are they doing down at the Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland, CVRD and District 71 town halls? | Archive photo
The Week: Take our local government survey!
Are you satisfied with the performance of your elected officials? In less than two years — 20 months and three weeks to be exact — Comox Valley voters will again elect representatives to local municipal councils, the regional district and the District 71 school board.
We have just passed the middle of our sitting elected officials’ current terms.
And if the 2018 election is any reliable indicator, some candidates will start their campaigns for the Oct. 15, 2022 election around this time next year.
So how have our elected officials performed over the last two-plus years? What have they done well and what have they not done so well? What are the issues each council and board should address in the last half of their terms?
We’re curious about how Decafnation readers would answer those questions.
This week, Decafnation is launching its first-ever Local Government Performance Review. It’s a short survey that asks readers to rank their satisfaction with the elected officials who represent them and to specify the issues they should tackle before the 2022 election.
Readers will also have the ability to make brief comments about their rating of each councillor, director or trustee. The comments are a key part of the survey because they will help explain your responses.
It is an anonymous survey. Share it widely.
— On the Decafnation Facebook page a few weeks ago, we asked for help from anyone experienced in building online surveys. We got lucky when Kelly Kostuik volunteered.
Kelly is a professional engineer with an MBA degree. She moved to the Comox Valley from Calgary with his family five years ago and now works as an independent consultant. That leaves him time for mountain biking, skiing, paddling, volunteering, learning new stuff and “checking things off my bucket list.”
Although he hadn’t used the Survey Monkey platform before, Kelly quickly became a whiz. He built the survey and the analytics behind it in just a few days.
— The deep disagreements over the future of the Comox Valley Economic Development Society (EDS) will be aired starting today, Jan. 19. But not publicly.
The mayors of Courtenay and Comox, regional electoral area directors and their chief administrative officers are scheduled to begin the process of formally reviewing the regional economic development function. The review was requested by the Town of Comox.
The regional district board had already decided after last fall’s two-day special session to plot a new course for the EDS over the next year. But the Town of Comox couldn’t wait, so they triggered this formalized session allowed for under the Local Government Act.
Why did they do that? We might never know because none of the review meetings will be held in open session.
That means the public will be barred from hearing why Comox initiated the review, what their grievances are and what our public officials discuss behind these closed doors.
However, the small review group cannot make any final decisions. Whatever courses of action emerge from the review will ultimately have to be approved by individual councils. And that will be public.
Among the multiple possible outcomes from the review, the Town of Comox could serve notice of its intention to withdraw from the function as Cumberland did about five years ago. If that happens the EDS will likely collapse, leaving Courtenay and the three rural electoral areas to figure out what might rise from the ashes.
— The Comox Youth Climate Council held their first-ever annual general meeting Saturday via Zoom. About 30 people participated, including some observers from over the maximum membership age of 25.
The CYCC is a group of dedicated Comox Valley high school, college and university students, “persistent in striving for climate action.”
The group formed last October “as a result of our feeling of responsibility and dedication to do our part fighting the climate crisis to safeguard the future of our planet and its inhabitants. Our vision is to create a space for youth aged from 13 to 25 years old from a diversity of backgrounds to come together to work for social and climate justice in the Comox Valley.”
Kalea Richardson was elected the group’s new chair after a spirited campaign speech. Although her opponent, Will Hatch, scored points for his willingness to collaborate and his praise for Richardson — “She would make a great chair…” — he fell a few votes short. Hatch will serve as treasurer of the group.
HOW HAVE OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS PERFORMED?
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Faith-based volunteers can contribute positively to the educational experience in our public schools but everyone must be perfectly clear about who they are, what they can and cannot do and school administrators must monitor their activity closely and consistently
A Comox Valley developer is suing the Town of Comox because his permits to cut down trees and build more single-family homes haven’t been issued as fast as he’s wanted and because the town wants a wider walking trail through the property
Another Comox Councillor was fined by Elections BC for violating BC elections laws, plus Parksville’s water supply is unable to meet provincial requirements for summer water flow in the Englishman River let alone provide water for a proposed 800-unit development
A serious fall drought has reduced flows in the Puntledge River, shutting down hydroelectric power generation for the first time in 55 years. Meanwhile, many states eye sending treated wastewater to kitchen taps
Making it easier for citizens to speak directly to municipal councils might increase public interest in local government, which in turn might encourage more registered voters to actually cast a ballot
Cumberland and Comox municipal councils approve their mayor’s annual appointments, but Courtenay was a no show at its inaugural meeting. Is there conflict behind the scenes?
Dr. Jonathan Kerr topped the polls with voters, but will that resonate at the Comox Town Council as it is poised to approve new Mayor Nicole Minions’ appointments and assignments?
Despite the long drought this summer, Comox Valley water system supplies have not been threatened; the BC Wildfire Service has banned fireworks this year and clarifying Daniel Arbour’s place of residence
It was weird. But when the sun rose on Oct. 16, Comox Valley voters had made it clear they liked the direction charted by our local governments. In the municipalities, they elected all but two incumbents. In most races, the vote was a definite pat on the back for a job well done.
Long-time public official Bronco Moncrief dies, Manno Theos hangs out in Greece, and Daniel Arbour reacts to lies about his campaign finances