As a serial entrepreneur since I was 10 years old, I have been working on budgets, cash flows and business plans from a young age. I’m proud to say I have never had to pay interest on credit cards and have brought the same mindset to my term on Council.
Once on Council I was surprised to find out that keeping taxes low was done at the expense of our Asset Management – maintaining roads, pipes and planning for large infrastructure investments was delayed or never contemplated. The Comox Valley Water Treatment Project was originally estimated at less than 50 Million dollars, but lack of planning and action allowed this estimate to balloon to over 100 Million dollars. As Chair of the Water Committee I traveled to Victoria and Ottawa to ensure our project receives the maximum grant possible to keep municipal taxes low for our citizens.
I have also attended Provincial and Federal conferences to lobby the senior levels of government for a more sustainable funding model for Municipalities. Although Municipalities only receive less than 10% of tax dollars, the vast majority of taxes are spent at the Municipal level. Municipalities are then forced to compete with each other to complete critical projects in their communities.
I’m proud of the fact that we are moving forward with long overdue projects while only raising taxes in Courtenay by 1.5% this year – lower than the increase in the cost of living. There is still lots of work to do and as your Mayor I will introduce a 10 Year Budget and Strategic Plan while lobbying our Province and Federal Governments to ensure sustainable funding for critical projects in our community.
The unofficial results are in for the Fifth Street Bridge Rehabilitation Alternative Approval Process (AAP). 52 elector response forms were received by the November 16, 2020 deadline. The number of eligible Courtenay electors was 20,162. As fewer than 10 percent of eligible electors registered their opposition, the City of Courtenay may proceed with borrowing $3.4 million to rehabilitate the bridge next year.
The CV ERTF is a collaborative initiative representing the CVRD, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, K’ómoks First Nation, and CFB 19 Wing Comox, which will oversee the Technical Advisory Sub-Committee (TAC).
As the costs of construction, water, sewer, roads, solid waste and other areas we are responsible for increase at an unsustainable rate, I’m proud of council for creating our new Finance Committee to dig in and look for new revenue streams and look at what we are already paying for to ensure we are providing the level of service our community expects and is willing to pay
2019 property assessments have been mailed to all property owners in the province. According to BC Assessment, the average Courtenay single-family home increased in value by 17%. Many communities across BC have experienced higher than average property assessment increases this year.