At the March 23 meeting Saanich council approved a core budget for 2020 with six for and three against.
I would like to thank our mayor and five councilors for the difficult, but correct decision to move forward with a ‘status quo’ budget for 2020. I am sure each councillor did some soul searching before arriving at their decision, but again it was the right decision. The following is the note I sent to them:
“I would like to thank you for your prudent decision on approving a core budget in these difficult times. This is not the time to entertain non-discretionary expenses, those of us that have lived through the late eighties/early nineties recession understand this. I can say with great certainty that both the planet and Saanich will survive a one year pause on the various proposals, pet projects and climate action that would have increased the tax burden to an unsupported level. With COVID-19 hanging over us it truly is best to ‘keep our powder dry’, thank you again.”
The larger question is why this equitable budget with no loss of programs or services, was not unanimously passed.
In light of all the fear and anxiety present today with the shutdowns, layoffs, bankruptcies now happening daily, one member of the Saanich Trio (Rebecca Mersereau, Ned Taylor, Zac de Vries) who voted against the core budget for lack of accelerated climate action, explains it thus “Doing nothing is extremely short-sighted and puts us all at risk.”
I would like to remind the Saanich Trio that the budget as passed is “doing something” and continuing on with excessive property tax increases is, “extremely short-sighted and puts us all at risk.”