A taxpayer watchdog group has given VicPD a candy cane award for exemplary service while facing difficulties from the pandemic and staff shortages.
The Grumpy TaxpayerS of Greater Victoria, a non-profit, advocacy group which promotes fewer taxes, less waste and more government accountability, presented its candy cane awards to VicPD, the City of Colwood and District of Saanich.
John Treleaven, chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$ said policing during the past few years has been a feat that VicPD has handled well.
“Maintaining public safety is a formidable challenge in the best of times,” Treleaven said in a statement. “But the last few years – with a pandemic, catch-and-release court issues, staffing challenges and a former council who were less than supportive – it has been particularly difficult.”
Second place went to Colwood for implementing a bylaw that will reverse a council pay increase, something the group said was a costly decision for taxpayers.
“The original council decision is the latest example of how our fractured governance model increases costs for taxpayers,” Treleaven said in the press release. “It’s refreshing to see Colwood take a sober, second look at the decision: This sends a powerful message across the region that taxpayers want a fair, logical and consistent process when wages are set.”
Treleaven said the municipality is unique in that it even alerts taxpayers to council compensation.
Colwood garnered more praise, sharing the third-place award with Saanich for the high quality of their council meeting broadcasts, which both scored high in an analysis that looked at how accessible they were, as well as the quality of the broadcast.
“For busy taxpayers, a quality broadcast of council proceedings is critical these days,” Treleaven said in the statement.”Public engagement is considered even more important now after voter turnout dropped significantly in the last municipal election. Local government and the CRD needs to up their game.”