CVRD needs to revise policy

Former chair 'shines a light' on situation

With a twist on the May 2 editorial excoriating the CVRD practice of killing proposals by referral to committee, I wish to shine a light on other ways in which decision-making is going awry, with Area C Cobble Hill being the example.

Confusion over the allocation of Grant-in-Aid funds in Area C Cobble Hill continues to create a real public angst amongst taxpayers, whose area portion of taxes jumped 13% in the last two years.

At the same time more than $50,000 of GIA money has been given to Director Matteus Clement’s favourite community projects through the Cobble Hill Events Society (CHES). According to its Facebook page Clements is the creator of this organization.

I don’t care what world you live in there is something wrong with elected officials giving so much money to a pet project without consulting those who will pay. Nor should they then funnel $2000 of that money to their appointed alternate director, in this case Carolyn Morris, to manage one of their projects.

Clement has a conflict of interest and should never be seen endorsing applications and voting public money towards his own pet projects.

The anger in our community is also rising with the temperature as Clement appears to only attend Electoral Area Service Committee meetings for the purpose of passing GIA funding. He is in attendance less than 50% of the time and seldom, if ever, sends his alternate director to stand in for him.

These and other absences from CVRD meetings leave our area without consistent representation on votes to do with huge allocations of money that will impact the taxes of everyone in the CVRD. Most recently this included missed input and votes on an item with a possible $1.4 million price tag as well as discussion and voting on regional recreation funding.

The attitude of “grab what I can while I’m here” has to stop. Also, the GIA policy needs a total revision when other directors gleefully vote to increase Cobble Hill taxes while we taxpayers, who continue to express our dismay, are ignored.

Jim Barker

Former Regional Director

& CVRD Board Chair

Cobble Hill

Cowichan Valley Citizen