Central Saanich annual report offers highlights

Municipal document outlines projects and the cost of running the District.

The District of Central Saanich has released its 2015 annual report, setting out its strategic plan, progress and results of the year.

“I think we’ve come a long way in terms of our communication with our new Director of Finance (Paul Murray) and new direction,” said Mayor Ryan Windsor.

The report gives a snapshot of municipal services, operations and financial information, most of which council has seen previously. It also includes a bit of history and heritage, along with a community overview.

The report, which was presented at a special open council meeting at the end of June, underwent some changes following requests and suggestions from councillors.

Councillor Alicia Holman said that under the strategic process and results, it was noted that the South Vancouver Island Economic Development Alliance was created.

“If I’m not mistaken we also introduced the local economic development advisory committee,” she said, adding that she would also like that to be included in the report.

She also wanted to see highlights from the citizen survey presented to council at the committee of the whole meeting back in March incorporated into a brief summary in the strategic process and results section.

Holman made reference to continuing climate change initiatives.

She said although some progress has been made, their is a degree of more effort that will be required if they are to meet their targets.

“I do understand that their will be a reporting of the corporate GHG reduction status and I would move that this issue, in terms of how do we meet these targets, be discussed at the committee of the whole when that report is coming before us I believe in the summer,” she said.

Coun. Zeb King said in previous annual reports there had been a page on council member remuneration — and he said he would like that to be included in the report.

Overall, Windsor said the presentation of the report is very user friendly, which is a big thing for them, and however people choose to access the information, it’s important that it’s logically oriented and that it makes sense.

“The finance department is healthier today than it’s been in a long time and that’s a very good thing,” said Windsor.

In terms of improvements, Windsor said part of what they need is feedback from the community about what they feel is missing.

What stood out to him was the overall layout and the content.

“I think the layout improvements are a big positive improvement,” Windsor said. “The content really is an accurate reflection of what’s taken place over the last year in Central Saanich, but it also sets out a roadmap…”