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Greater Victoria, BC News


Date ArticleType
1/1/2015 Published Article
New Year’s Resolution for a New Municipal Term

New Year’s Resolution for a New Municipal Term The start of 2015 marks the beginning of the first four-year municipal term for local governments. In December, we saw many new and returning mayors and councils being sworn into their respective roles across the region. The coming months will reveal new visions and directions for many of our municipalities in the Capital region.

With new visions and newly invigorated councils, it is essential that local government focus on the core services that they are required to provide. With growing financial pressures, such as aging infrastructure, it is increasingly important for local governments to provide these services in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

Municipal financing will continue to be a challenge. While many will look for ways to increase revenues, hopefully by expanding the tax base, expenditures cannot to be ignored. Often when it comes to municipal finance “how much do we increase the property tax?” is the question that gets answered; leaving expenditures altogether ignored. Identifying ways to reduce costs, eliminate redundancies, and provide services in more efficient ways need to be reviewed and considered with every budget. Options for reducing costs need to be given greater consideration over increasing taxes.

Part of finding efficiencies should include working together. Moving forward, we look to our civic leaders to work cooperatively as regional cooperation is needed to move major projects like the sewage treatment facility forward within this term. Not an easy task; however, working together to find the best solutions will benefit the region as a whole.

When looking to increase revenue, tools should include creating a “business-friendly” atmosphere. Promoting a city as a great place to locate or conduct your business is a task that all council members should take on as a priority. Streamlining processes for business is just one way that this can be achieved.

Lastly, we encourage all municipal councils to actively communicate city business by providing timely information that is easy to understand and easily assessable by any resident. Creating open communication will increase the transparency and accountability that many citizens desire.

The Chamber will advocate to municipal councils that they commit to focused strategies, cooperation and improved communication. Our New Year’s resolution is to have a much more vibrant and prosperous community in four-year’s time than we do today.

Bruce Carter CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Business Examiner - January 2015


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