Salt Spring Local Trust Committee members George Grams and Peter Grove, and Salt Spring’s electoral area director to the CRD Wayne McIntyre have provided the following statements in response to the incorporation referendum result:
By GEORGE GRAMS
The turnout for, and the result of, the incorporation referendum yesterday were both satisfyingly decisive. For myself the result marks a conclusion to the question of which governance model is appropriate for our community and I hope others feel likewise. Work remains to be done on island to continue to preserve and protect our environment and to build a better community and I look forward to devoting my energies as a trustee to advance both.
I would like to thank the ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development (now the ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing), in particular Linda Galeazzi and Marijke Edmondson for supporting the community throughout this process.
The review would not have been possible without the energy, commitment and time devoted by islanders, in particular those who served on the two study committees, the Governance Review Committee that reported in 2013 and the Incorporation Study Committee that concluded its work last year. My thanks to them for the huge amount of work and the excellent service they provided our community.
Islands Trust staff undertook considerable work with diligence and objectivity in order to assist islanders to understand the implications of a change in governance for the agency. I am grateful to them for their hard work, their commitment, and for the quality of service they continually deliver.
My fellow trustees at Trust Council are due my thanks for the patience they have exercised whilst the Salt Spring community undertook its lengthy deliberations. I am pleased for them that the uncertainty generated by the review is finally over and we can resume our collective efforts to improve our islands and our communities.
Lastly, my thanks to my colleagues, CRD Director Wayne McIntyre and trustee Peter Grove, without whose fellowship the governance review would not have been possible and who helped make the years we have spent since embarking on it both educational and pleasurable.
BY PETER GROVE
I am pleased that our community has reached its decision about the Islands future form of governance. It has been a long journey for all those involved and there are so many we must thank: the two separate committees, the first looking at governance and the second being the incorporation study committee itself; the countless volunteers on both sides who put in so many hours; the Driftwood and the Exchange for reporting and communicating so effectively; our community for engaging, discussing and debating in ways which were (mostly!) respectful and thoughtful, and for participating in the vote in such record numbers. I feel privileged and proud to be a part of such an engaged and often passionate community, and to have played my part.
It is clear that there are many who are dissatisfied with our present form of governance. I will do all I can to work towards changes within the system to address the concerns, to improve what we have, to better serve our communities needs. As I have stated previously, I am committed to work for the best interests of all islanders.
BY WAYNE MCINTYRE
The incorporation referendum is now over, complete with a clear community “no” decision on the option to incorporate. It is now time to recognize and thank many who have been involved:
• The Provincial Government, through the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development (now the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing) not only provided financial support for studies but staff expertise. Particular thanks to Linda Galeazzi and Marijke Edmondson who were a terrific support to Trustees George Grams, Peter Grove and myself as well as the two volunteer committees. The first committee study compared our present governance model with an incorporated one and the second was the full incorporation study complete with costing and is dated November 21, 2017. Both committees worked extremely hard, provided ongoing opportunities for public input, answered many questions and delivered quality reports to help inform our community on a variety of governance matters.
• The Capital Regional District, through the Executive Office, had an oversight responsibility on the governance of the two studies as well as ensuring compliance to government guidelines and managing the budget provided. Thanks to our Corporate Officer, Brent Reems, and his staff, who also provided support for the referendum voting process.
• Our local media for keeping on top of the issues, providing a forum for a balance of opinions and doing so in a timely manner.
• The voters who turned out in record numbers. It was gratifying to see that in a recent survey most felt they had the information needed to help guide them in their decision.
• To my colleagues Trustees George Grams and Peter Grove: thanks for starting our journey together six years ago and continuing it in a collaborative manner with only a few challenges along the way.
It is now time to put aside any differences and focus on working collectively to make Salt Spring an even better place.