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

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Victoria man out $6,000 in latest gift card phone scam

Fraudsters claimed to be a member of a bank’s “fraud sting team”

Homes fit for royals for sale in North Saanich

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have returned to Greater Victoria

Gold Rush star dons Lucky Lager shirt in latest episode

Brennan Ruault, originally from Invermere, joined the show in the sixth season

VIDEO: Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Activists want Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs demands to be upheld, observed and respected

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Police suspect foul play in Cowichan Tribes death

Police are looking at foul play in relation to a death on… Continue reading

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

Most Read