Positive citizen participation is more effective

Last petition for the bridge replacement served no purpose

Re: Petition aims to halt tax increases (July 25)

I hope those who are signing the petition to have a zero tax increase are prepared to detail which services they want cut. Is it the summer maintenance program including daily clean up of Memorial Park, the overtime associated with snow cleanup on the infrequent snow days we have, or maybe the seasonal sewer cleaning and street cleaning or the removal of goose poop so the beach is usable? How about garbage pickup once every two weeks as a way to save? The district could always delay further road and water repairs which often get pushed out in time.

We could, of course, choose to not enforce our bylaws which would beg the question of why we have those pesky bylaws and the councillors who create them. There are legal functions in running a town that by provincial law have to be done and need qualified people to do them. These include the regulatory demands of development control and plan approval to ensure safety of all current and future residents, all financial functions, privacy legislation, water and sewage inspection, emergency response, disaster planning to name a few.

Policing and education are outside of the control of the district as are the volume of provincial unconditional grants. We could however have more babies as those grants are based on population and their decline was the major contributory factor to the tax increase! A councillor sits on the library board and the mayor sits on the Fraser Valley Regional District, and both agencies bill the local taxpayers; one for the library services and one for the recreation centre, but with one vote there is little influence. More complex than you would think.

My wife and I retired to Hope based on our perception of a great place to live and my service for a brief time with the district did nothing to change that view. We enjoy the amenities of a much larger town with the library complex, pool, golf club, curling club and views to die for. In the last few years we have witnessed a new bridge that came in under budget (costs shared by three levels of government), the savings permitting another dangerous bridge structure to be replaced over Sucker’s Creek. A sewer project funded primarily by the province has resulted in a new business in Hope (Flying J), with more to come along that line. The landfill liability has been resolved by the district in a fashion that will dramatically reduce the costs of disposing of waste and be reflected in lower taxes or better services within the next few years. These are simply a few examples of great things that have been accomplished and, in my opinion, we are getting good value for our taxes.

However, all elected district councillors vowed to make better citizen communication a major priority in the last election and their failure to do so really puzzles me. There are great stories out there and nobody is telling them. Citizens are also notably absent from the public meetings scheduled specifically to get their input. There were two citizens who turned up at the meeting held last summer to present and get input on the long awaited future of the landfill site.

In my life experience, while petitions have their place, positive citizen participation in partnership with staff and elected officials at the right times in the public process, is a much more effective strategy. The last petition for the bridge replacement served no purpose, caused serious project delays and resulted in additional taxes; all to make a decision for which a duly elected council is mandated.

Earl Rowe,


Just Posted

Hope students visit Chilliwack’s second annual Youth Housing Conference

Hosted by Tzeachten First Nation and CMHC, the Conference is aimed at Aboriginal youth 15 to 30

Newly elected Hope politicians took part in the Local Government Leadership Academy

The three-day event is aimed at helping new mayors and councillors navigate municipal politics

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

VIDEO: Winterhawks end Giants winning streak at seven

Playing on home ice, Vancouver’s G-Men fell 5-3 during a Family Day game against Portland.

Aaron Pritchett and George Canyon to headline Gone Country concert in Cloverdale this summer

‘Early bird tickets on sale via Twins Cancer Fundraising website

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

UPDATE: Plane flips over at Pitt Meadows airport

The pilot and lone occupant exited the aircraft on his own and uninjured.

Most Read