Central Saanich scraps core reduction scenario for now

Coun. Niall Paltiel asking instead to look at a two-per-cent property tax reduction.

  • Apr. 22, 2015 11:00 a.m.

After having “conversations with both staff and members of the community,” Central Saanich councillor Niall Paltiel asked his colleagues at Monday’s meeting to reconsider and rescind his motion of April 7 to ask staff to examine a five-per-cent reduction to core services.

“Holistically, it doesn’t make sense to look at core services without looking at special projects at the same time, and the motion that was created did not address that,” he said. “I would rather vote it down, and then make a more informed motion going forward.”

Paltiel also noted that “we want to make sure we make informed decisions, based on the best information possible, and I don’t know that this tall order to staff is going to provide that information.”

Coun. Carl Jensen supported Paltiel, while still stressing that a core services review would be beneficial for the District.

“In order to do this properly, I’m willing to take a step back and take another look at this,” said Jensen. “I think in order to do it effectively, it needs to take more time. I just don’t want us to do it haphazardly in the effort of trying to make a legislative time.”

Paltiel’s initial request was introduced at a committee meeting and had not yet been ratified by council. The motion — to ask staff to prepare reports examining a one-, two- and five-per-cent reduction of core services — was rescinded April 13 with Coun. Alicia Cormier and Coun. Zeb King in opposition.

Paltiel then introduced a motion to ask staff to prepare a report to reduce the overall property tax rate from six to approximately four per cent, looking at both core services and special projects for potential reductions.

The difference between the two motions is approximately $1.3 million: a five-per-cent reduction of core services across each department would amount to about $1.6 million; a two-per-cent reduction in the property tax rate being proposed for 2015 would be roughly $268,000 in savings.

The District currently spends about $18 million per year in core services.

Council approved Paltiel’s new motion, with Mayor Ryan Windsor’s amendment that reserve contributions be exempt from any cuts.

Cormier and King again opposed the decision.

“I think we’re overlooking an opportunity to look more closely at core services,” said Cormier.

“It’s a poor way to go about it, but given the shortage of time, I think this is probably the most likely approach to be successful,” countered Coun. Chris Graham.

Central Saanich has been significantly challenged in their budget process due to financial staff being on leave and a delayed start.

Council is expected to return to the table for a regular council meeting April 20. For more information, visit centralsaanich.ca or call 250-652-4444.

Just Posted

SD63 strike officially ends with union’s vote to accept agreement

More than 7,000 Saanich and Peninsula students back to school Monday

Barbecue cooks up benefits for Movember foundation

Father’s battle with prostate cancer encourages Victoria man to support the cause

Wastewater overflows lead to CRD warning at Greater Victoria beaches

Runoff may pose a health risk, CRD asks the public to stay out of the water in impacted areas

New gay pub to open in Victoria in the new year

The Vicious Poodle will be relaxed setting and host drag shows as well

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Striking Vancouver hotel workers, employer reach ‘tentative’ agreement

Employees of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia have been out at picket lines since talks broke off on Sept. 21

Environmental and animal rights activists chain themselves to front doors of Kelowna bank

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Cell phone tickets worse tax grab than speed limits, SenseBC says

Distracted driving statistics questioned as B.C. tickets pile up

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

Most Read