Metchosin voters are being asked for input on whether a referendum question should appear on this November’s ballot.
The District is sending out questionnaires to all registered Metchosin voters asking if they want to vote on allowing detached secondary suites.
“We are trying to respond to the concern we’ve gotten during the process,” said Mayor John Ranns. “I am worried if we get into roundtable discussions without some indication of a vote … it will corrupt the process. That is why I’ve asked to have this executed.”
Council argued on whether the questionnaire should be mailed to all voters or just property owners.
“Because this is a property issue it should be only voted on by property owners with one vote per property,” said Coun. Jo Mitchell who faced some opposition.
“Anyone who lives in Metchosin is able help choose a mayor and four councillors. They should also be able to vote on this. It affects almost everyone in Metchosin,” countered Coun. Larry Tremblay.
Tremblay also noted many residents he’d spoken to are leery of filling out forms with their names linked to them.
Council agreed when the questionnaires come back, staff will match them to the voters list. The questionnaires will be considered confidential, even to mayor and council.
If council approves putting the question on the November municipal ballot, then the phrasing of the question will be determined.
“Unless clear instructions are left to the new council, it will give free reign to the new council,” Ranns said, explaining the question would have to be more than just a “yes” or “no” question. “If a ‘yes’ will prevail we want to make sure there is no wiggle room for the next council.”