The Grumpy Taxpayer$ gave the City of Colwood first place in its annual Candy Cane Awards. Oak Bay and Victoria also received bags of candy canes. (Black Press Media File Photo)

The Grumpy Taxpayer$ gave the City of Colwood first place in its annual Candy Cane Awards. Oak Bay and Victoria also received bags of candy canes. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Colwood tops Grumpy Taxpayer$ 2019 Candy Cane Awards

Yearly awards for improved governance go to Colwood, Oak Bay, Victoria

Colwood claims top spot in the Candy Cane Awards, the end-of-year accolades handed out by The Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria.

This year’s winner is the City of Colwood, with the District of Oak Bay coming in second place and the City of Victoria taking third. Each municipality receives a box of candy canes in “glittering red presentation bags with red ribbons.”

READ ALSO: Grumpy Taxpayer$ keep an eye on infrastructure spending, government transparency

The Grumpy Taxpayer$ is a non-profit citizen group that works to hold municipal politicians and municipalities accountable in an effort get better value for municipal taxes. According to the advocacy group, the Candy Cane Awards recognize work to improve local governance by “utilizing long-term planning to renew infrastructure, engaging taxpayers and improving transparency.”

The grumpy group gave Colwood the top spot for 2019 for its focus on “long-term planning for infrastructure” such as roads, sewers, fire halls and recreation facilities.

“It’s very unusual for any municipality to take a long term, detailed look at infrastructure costs for the next 50 years,” says Stan Bartlett, chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$. “But, staff at the City of Colwood – in a award-winning report entitled Sustainable Infrastructure Replacement Plan 2019-2068 – did just that.”

Oak Bay took home the second for “developing an interactive budgeting tool to help engage residents in budget planning” while facing significant property tax increases.

Aging infrastructure led to a 7.34 per cent tax hike in 2019, but the District’s budgeting tool gave residents a voice in changes to specific services such as policing or road maintenance.

READ ALSO: Taxpayer watchdog treats Victoria to candy cane awards

The City of Victoria received its candy canes for “taking a leadership role in transparency and open government.” The Grumpy Taxpayer$ applaud the City’s ‘council dashboard,’ an online tool that gives residents insight into how their councillors voted on particular motions – or if they even attended the meeting.

The group also make mention of the Capital Regional District’s new ‘Board Highlight Report,’ a soon-to-be-available email summary of progress on issues, activities and decisions made at the CRD.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police Chief Constable Scott Green (right) stands with Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers program coordinators Phil Downie and Gill Millam who received a Crime Stoppers International award for their work in 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Saanich Police Department)
Victoria School for Ideal Education at 2820 Belmont Avenue is the second school in Greater Victoria with an active confirmed COVID-19 exposure. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Private school becomes second Greater Victoria school with COVID-19 exposure

Victoria School for Ideal Education follows Lakeview Christian School in Saanich

Brenda Schroeder thought she was reading it wrong when she won $100,000 from a Season’s Greetings Scratch & Win. (Courtesy BCLC)
New home on the agenda after scratch ticket win in Saanich

Victoria woman set to share her $100,000 Season’s Greetings lottery win

B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan votes at Luxton Hall during advance polls for the provincial election in Langford, B.C., Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
2020 provincial election sets historical low turnout

Just over 1.9 million registered voters cast ballots in 2020

An economic recovery plan in progress since April offers various recommendations for the region to overcome the impacts of COVID-19. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Greater Victoria economic ‘reboot’ plan tackles impacts of COVID-19

Newly-formed task force looks at various sectors, industries

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Care home staff are diligent about wearing personal protective equipment when they are in contact with residents, but less so when they interact with other staff members, B.C. Seniors Advocate says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
More COVID-19 testing needed for senior home staff, B.C.’s advocate says

Employees mingling spotted as virus conductor in many workplaces

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Most Read