Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor says the 2020 budget aims to balance short-term relief with long-term needs. (Black Press Media Files/Submitted)

Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor says the 2020 budget aims to balance short-term relief with long-term needs. (Black Press Media Files/Submitted)

Central Saanich adopts 2020 budget with tax increase of 2.85%

Coun. Zeb King opposed to budget he says is not reflective of COVID-19 crisis

Central Saanich Coun. Zeb King says the municipality is not doing enough to help the community deal with COVID-19, but Mayor Ryan Windsor says the municipality is trying to balance short-term relief with long-term needs in defending the 2020 budget.

King was the lone voice of opposition as councillors Monday adopted the 2020-2024 financial plan, which includes a general property tax increase of 2.85 per cent, a reduction from the previously proposed increase of 3.86 per cent. The adopted budget trims about $177,000 in planned spending and includes a pandemic contingency fund of $400,000.

“I voted opposed to approval because I don’t think the budget is appropriately reflecting the COVID-19 crisis,” he said. “It’s not necessarily reflective of the urgency or the crisis that we are currently in,” he said in a later interview.

He specifically pointed to the municipality’s decision earlier this month to approve the establishment of a fire department deputy chief position and duty chief on call program, with funding phased in over two years. Council would consider the posting for the deputy chief position at a suitable time during the COVID-19 recovery period.

RELATED: Sidney plans 10 per cent break on commercial taxes, zero increase for general property

RELATED: Sidney seeks additional feedback on business tax relief options

While King said he was not in favour of austerity in describing himself as a supporter of Keynesian economic theory, he said council needs to critically look at its budget. He also said that he would examine Sidney’s proposed plan for a zero per cent general tax increase, while cutting commercial taxes by 10 per cent.

Windsor acknowledged Sidney’s decision, adding that the municipality remains open to public input. This said, Central Saanich has taken measures to help residents, while balancing those measures with longer-term requirements such as maintaining essential services and infrastructure, including an extensive road network.

Surveying the picture elsewhere in Greater Victoria, he said tax cuts today bear dangers for the future. “If we are not collecting dollars today, that can have a knock on consequences,” he said in echoing a point that the public also heard during Sidney’s debate Monday.

Ultimately, developments are moving fast and it will be hard to tell where Central Saanich will find itself.

“It will take months to find out where we are,” said Windsor, a point acknowledged by King. Windsor added later that council may need to debate and consider further actions in the future.

Echoing comments heard Monday from Coun. Niall Paltiel, Windsor said staff has proven quick to adapt to changing circumstances.

Council also adopted a series of other financial measures Monday. They include adopting the tax rate through a separate bylaw, and additional short-term borrowing to help cover any shortfalls that may be necessary as the District plans to extend property tax collection and penalty dates, with a report coming forward May 11. Council also adopted measures that extend early payment discounts for sewer and water utilities to 90 days from 30 days.

Those measures passed unanimously.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Plans to restore the ecology of Sidney Island include the eradication of fallow deer first introduced in the early 1900s. (Parks Canada/Submitted)
Parks Canada proposal calls for eradication of fallow deer on Sidney Island

Proposed eradication part of a larger plan to restore local ecology but obstacles remain ahead

A dramatic four-vehicle crash at the intersection of Government and Herald streets brings standstill in downtown Victoria on May 18. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
PHOTOS: 4 car crash closes downtown Victoria intersection, injures passengers

Traffic impacted after crash closes Government and Herald streets

Ryan Cootes, Erin Bremner-Mitchell, Bill Collins and Mike Williamson of Cascadia Seaweed Corporation are here seen holding up seaweed grown in Barkley Sound in July 2020. The Sidney-based company has organized the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival running May 17 to May 23. (Cascadia Seaweed Corporation/Submitted)
Let’s hear it for seaweed: slimy, unsexy and the world’s greatest untapped food source

Experts talks emerging industry’s challenges and potential at Sidney inaugural Seawood Days Festival

The entrance to one of the tiny homes in Victoria’s Tiny Home Village. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
Victoria Tiny Home Village resident evicted for lighting small fire

No damage or injuries, but zero-tolerance rule stands

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

A restaurant server on White Rock’s Marine Drive serves customers on a roadside patio. Indoor dining and recreational travel bans have been in effect since late March in B.C. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Names of those aboard the ship are seen at Komagata Maru monument in downtown Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had “cruel effects” on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says sorry for city’s role in turning away South Asians in 1914

Kennedy Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance

A crew of WestCoast WILD Adventures employees tackled an onslaught of litter left at the ‘Locks of Love’ fence at Wally Creek on May 2. (Anne-Marie Gosselin photo)
Litter woes consume popular ‘Locks of Love’ fence on B.C.’s Pacific Rim

Popular view spot near Tofino plagued by people hanging masks and other unwanted garbage

A game camera near the Klahoose reservation on Cortes Island caught this glimpse of a truck leaving the woodlot at around 2:30 on Sunday morning. Photo supplied by Klahoose First Nation
Indigenous cutblock vandalised on Cortes Island, anti-logging element suspected

Ribbons pulled down, gravel poured into gas tank at Klahoose First Nation site

Announced Tuesday, May 18 by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory (AP/Steven Senne)
Masks now required at all times inside B.C. gyms, including during workouts

Those who disobey could be subject to a $230 fine

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen of Abbotsford has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Most Read