Letter: Willing to ‘pay more’ for quality of community life

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A recent letter to the editor, included comments that Mayor Nils Jensen evinced a “lack of knowledge of what people want in his municipality,” when he and council rejected the proposal for The Quest.

I disagree, and thank council for responding to the reportedly over 600 petition signatures, 100-plus letters and a standing-room-only, overflowing crowd at the meeting.

We left early (11 p.m.) and to that time, not a single member of the public had spoken in favour of the current proposal.

The aspects people most disliked were the project’s size and the almost-certain demise of a healthy, mature Garry oak, on the neighbouring property.

The developer appears capable of coming up with an attractive, quality project of a size and configuration which respects community desires and the OCP, tree and all.

There is more for the rest of us to do, though. The writer of the letter questioned whether the mayor understands “where the funds come from to run his municipality.” We all know where they should come from, and while we aren’t all wealthy, the majority lucky enough to live in this municipality can surely afford their share of the tab for infrastructure and services, not to mention protection of Oak Bay’s astonishing urban beauty.

We “pay more” for lots of less important things than the quality of community life. So no complaining when taxes go up: they should – regularly.

I plan to vote for councillors who advocate just that, because I want our mayor and council to continue to make responsible decisions like this one. Decisions that show a healthy sense of custodianship of the many valuable community qualities way beyond real estate value. Decisions that prove they are listening to what people in Oak Bay want for their municipality.

Karen Nelson

Oak Bay

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