Fiscal restraint forgotten

Reader seeks spending restraint from Central Saanich Council

As a taxpayer of Central Saanich I would like to see some fiscal restraint by this city council.There seems to be no end to the big expensive projects they are going to commit the city to.

First a fire hall that was not needed and they are going to keep the old one for a satellite, not retire it and sell it to cover costs of the new one. Central Saanich has a very low fire rating and very slow growth rate — two fire halls are not needed.

Now I get in the mail that this council wants a new city hall for a projected cost of $16 million. This makes no sense. The existing one is more than adequate, again the low growth rate of this district doesn’t justify such a major expense.

Central Saanich only has a population of 16 thousand, give or take, and does not have the tax base for these expensive projects. These two projects, $7 million for the fire hall and $16 million for the city hall, add $23 million to the debt. The argument put forth is the need to earthquake proof everything. An event may happen, and if a big enough event happens, nothing will withstand it.

This used to be a pay as you go district, now no project is too big to put on the taxpayers’ back.

I tried in the last election to select and talk to people that were for fiscal restraint. It seems that once elected, this was quickly forgotten.

Andy Caldwell

Central Saanich