I am writing about the proposed increase Qualicum Beach councillors to seven.
I cannot agree with the rationale behind this proposal.
For a town of about 9,000 this ratio of councillors to population is way out of line compared to other cities in the province.
I did a quick check of six other B.C. communities and here are their populations and number of councillors:
Coquitlam: 164,000 with seven;
Kelowna: 150,000 with eight;
Prince George: 74,000 with eight;
Saanich: 125,000 with eight;
Burnaby: 261,000 with eight;
Abbotsford: 165,000 with eight.
Why seek two more? You don’t need an odd number of councillors when voting on something… if there’s a tie vote, the mayor votes to decide the outcome.
I also find the proposed process to decide on whether to increase or not completely unfair.
Referendums were used the last two times when an increase was sought and were soundly defeated.
Why not use another one when we vote for mayor and council in October?
The extra cost of two councillors is underestimated as it doesn’t seem to include, for example, the usually unnecessary conventions, retreats, etc. that are part and parcel of a typical council.
I know from personal experience that these gatherings are useless and expensive.
I urge everyone to contact the councillors to ask them to put this issue on a referendum. We deserve that respect.