LETTER: Saanich plays long game in amalgamation debate

Saanich will, for many years into the future, continue to be the best managed local government within the continuing CRD

Re: Made-in-Saanich ballot question to target apathy (News, Oct. 8)

If appreciation from those championing regional amalgamation is the expected response to the currently drafted-in-Saanich ballot question, those responsible for allowing what could only have been composed by someone with “policy analyst” in their job title will be disappointed.

The troubling question is: “Do you support Council initiating a community based review of the governance structure and policies within Saanich and our partnerships within the Region?”

Such a scatter-gun focus will enable discussion of a wide range of issues. By not addressing the amalgamation option with a straightforward question, could the real intention be to delay, obfuscate or mislead?

The expensive multiple failures of our elected leaders within the Capital Regional District to complete major projects does not warrant our giving the present lot the opportunity to amalgamate multiple local governments, and then organize and manage a new larger entity.

After the failed Regional Waste Management program (yes, it’s still all to Hartland Landfill), and the once-again revamped sewage treatment plan (yes, co-ordinated sewage began with the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee back in 2006) we’ve hopefully realized that bigger may not be better, and that attempts at bigger and hopefully more efficient systems frequently fail.

While admitting to perhaps unjustified character assassination of the above-noted (assumed) policy analyst, kudos may soon be due to Mayor Frank Leonard.

What could be delaying tactics by His Worship may provide just enough time to enable Saanich residents to, during the respective amalgamation reviews by regional entities, confirm the inability of some neighbouring local governments to provide leaders with the knowledge, skills and organizational ability required to effectively create and then manage a new, greater government structure in southern Vancouver Island.

I’m betting Saanich will, for many years into the future, continue to be the best managed local government within the continuing Capital Regional District.

Ron Johnson

Saanich