Letter: Reader questions district’s ‘strong financial position’

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I opened my property tax notice and like a previous letter writer, was appalled by how little money the municipality is taking in from the development, variances and the subdivisions that have happened, and are currently taking place in our community. This is a continuation of the abysmal management of our civic coffers. At a time when a great deal of money is needed for upcoming replacement of our mostly poor, to very poor, aging infrastructure, developers making very large profits from rezoning windfalls are being charged token amounts, if anything at all. I often wonder if the developers and corporate leaders retell the tale of $100,000, the small amount one developer was asked to contribute to the community for an expensive to buy, soon to be completed, 40 plus unit apartment block. I would guess the developer spent more than that on advertising.

I would like to draw attention to the statement on the 2018 Property Tax Notice: “A recent presentation from the Municipal Finance Authority (MFA) confirmed the district’s strong financial position and low debt…” I attended this particular council meeting and have reviewed the webcast. At no time did the representative from the MFA confirm “the district’s strong financial position”. The author of this statement is making an inferential leap. Who writes and/or guides these district wide communications?

Yes, Oak Bay has low debt but massive infrastructure bills looming ($283 million). These will be even greater if we have to deal with emergency infrastructure repairs. Can our civic leaders honestly say, with a clear conscience, that we are in a “strong financial position” when we owe little money now, but are ill prepared for future costs? In this era of ‘fake news’, we all know that just because it is written, doesn’t make it true.

Curtis Hobson

Oak Bay

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