Too many previous councils have ignored housing in North Saanich, hoping it would go away. Well, it won’t.
Those opposed are vocal, well organized and wield a great deal of power. Our family has owned property here for 60 years and change is something that does not come easily here. We have previously dealt with the municipality and in our case, lawyers became involved. Though we won, who do you think paid for the six weeks of down time on the excavator or the lawyer fees? It was not the municipality, I can tell you that.
One developer has waited for over two years. This is an unnecessary, prolonged period of time. In construction and development, time is money. The bylaws needed and development cost charges and whatever else is necessary should have been in place years ago, with only minor changes needed as time went by. For Heaven’s sake, get these building, planning and development departments organized and streamlined. This municipality is looking like some backwater town, not progressive or well-run.
I am also concerned CAO Rob Buchan has the control and power he does. This power is his ability to stand between councillors and staff. This is a very powerful tool that divides by its very nature. I believe that is proven by the loss of several staff members.
In-camera meetings have gone on for months. While problems do arise, they should not take half a year or more to rectify with the public not knowing anything.
My concerns as a taxpayer are the cost in staff and council time and, if it’s anything serious, lawyer fees. The items discussed in-camera should have been solved with details released when possible. The editorial in the PNR confirmed what I have thought for a long time. Too much in this municipality is done behind closed doors. In other words, more transparency is needed.