This is what concerns the voters of Victoria and what I see needs to be done by City Council. Elect me and I will use my experience to make this happen:
1) Johnson St Bridge Project
“Why is it costing so much money?”
Fiscal mismanagement by our Mayor and Council who collectively signed a contract for a design that was only 30% complete, to be paid for with your tax dollars. If a contractor asked you to sign a contract that had only been 30% planned, would you? No. The budget has skyrocketed to nearly $108m. Until completion, this contract will require constant management & oversight by a strong Mayor and Council who will ask questions so that your tax dollars are spent appropriately. I am not afraid to ask questions.
2) Sewage Treatment Plant
“Indecision, CRD incapable & unaccountable, what are the costs?”
No one knows what it is going to cost but first of all, the design of the project must start anew. The current proposal uses technology dating back to the 1980s and this makes no sense. Another challenge for the CRD is to tackle the misunderstanding of what a sewage treatment facility looks like. There should be a concerted effort to engage the public with the aim of changing these perceptions. The end goal is to ensure that the facility built is the most effective and cost-efficient system possible, allowing for the foreseen increases in population and density facing this region.
“Yes to amalgamation! Victoria can’t continue on it’s own and be burdened with paying for
all the extra policing, homelessness-related costs ….13 municipalities is just crazy.”
I have yet to talk to any voter in the City who does not favor some form of amalgamation. Here is our chance – please vote YES for the question:
“Are you in favour of reducing the number of municipalities in Greater Victoria
4) High Property Taxes
“Why are ours the highest? What does “’the lowest property tax increase
in 14 years’ mean because my taxes are still going up?”
Yes, they are going to go up, according to the Mayor’s proposed budget. But if Victoria’s tax base can be expanded, this does not need to happen. The key word here is “innovation”. Let’s create the conditions so that small & medium sized businesses want to come here, with their families, and create well-paying jobs, suited for the 21st Century. Read this recent report on “Innovative Districts” – this could be Victoria but City Council needs to change and I am that change.
5) $500m Infrastructure repair bill
“What? How did that happen?”
The City owns and operates a number of buildings and structures that are in a poor state of decay. Despite City Staff providing reports to the Mayor and Council, no significant financial decisions have been taken towards repairing these. In fact, in the next budget which will run until 2018, again, there are no significant amounts of money – outside of the regular maintenance costs – being allocated towards repairing this infrastructure. Meanwhile, the repair costs continue to rise. Things like seismic upgrades, replacing outdated technology with environmentally and economically-better standards are just some of the necessary repairs. The Crystal Pool, Pt Ellice Bridge, Fire Hall on Yates St are the ones most often mentioned. I want this to be addressed once and for all. We need a financially-viable plan put in place towards either repairing or, if necessary, replacing these structures. They cannot continue to be left in limbo and decay to the point of being closed.