Colwood showing fiscal leadership

Re: Three years of tax gouging in Colwood, Letters, Sept. 21, 2011.

Re: Three years of tax gouging in Colwood, Letters, Sept. 21, 2011.

When I arrived on council three years ago, money that should have been in reserve funds was not there.

Coupled with lost development revenues and higher costs such as policing, this contributed to unpalatable property tax increases of 17 per cent in 2009 and another nine per cent in 2010 (there was no property tax increase for average homes in 2011), despite laying off staff and reducing levels of service.

It’s easy to simply vote “no” to higher taxes, but those who voted against the budget did not bring ideas to the table concerning which services the City should cut in order to balance our budget, nor suggestions to broaden our tax base and find new revenue sources.

Others on council worked as a team to create new partnerships that have provided services to Colwood at no cost to the taxpayer, and championed new development that meets our official community plan goals.

We secured more than $4 million dollars of grant money for the Solar Colwood program that is reducing energy costs for homeowners, reducing operating costs at Colwood’s fire hall, and generating jobs and new economic activity in the community.

Colwood is being recognized for its leadership approach, and we need to move forward with a new council that continues to show leadership and innovation.

Our citizens deserve nothing less.

Judith Cullington