Friday, April 1, 2011

Development Encouraged as Tofino tackles Sewer Treatment Issue

Tofino Council has decided that by encouraging development they will broaden the tax base enough to deal with the sewage problem.With more taxes coming in it is expected that the sewer treatment plant will become affordable and water rates will drop.

Council has decided to drop all frivolous ventures such as the Municipal Campsite until the basic needs of the District are met.Greenwashing will stop.Providing infrastructure such as sewer,water,roads are the new priority.

An efficient recycling program will be developed that will see glass included.No recycling will go to the landfill.

All District hiring will be done based on qualifications for the job.

Bert Demeria Memorial Park will be developed as a park, not a raspberry patch.

One day each week a different councilor will spend half a day in the office and the other half working with the Public Works crew so as to stay in touch and boost staff morale.

Mayor and council will keep their offices outside of city hall so as not to interfere with the day to day business of staff.Home offices will be encouraged and will provide a tax break for elected officials.

More affordable housing will be available as vast tracts of land are subdivided and the development cost charges roll in.Council has invoked an innovative policy that will allow developers to pay DCC charges and other fees over a five year period so that the up-front charges aren't prohibitive.The District will actively encourage Co-op housing in both subdivisions and strata projects.

In an effort to stimulate small business the council has created a comprehensive parking plan for the downtown area.Rather than penalize businesses by charging them for non-existent parking spots the District of Tofino will open up the lot next to the theater for free parking.A parkade will be built at the site of the current fire hall that will provide parking for tourists and locals while offshore users will have increased parking as First Nations work with the District to redevelop the First Street Dock.In conjunction with local business groups the Council has created an Ombudsman's Office.The Ombudsman will work with council and business to make sure that businesses are treated in a fair manner while the District's needs are also met.

In order to enhance Tofino's reputation as the Culinary Capital of Canada the District has passed legislation allowing for "unconventional" food outlets.They will be required to be located on commercial property and provide washrooms and parking. All restaurants will be encouraged to cook outdoors as much as weather permits so that customers and staff can both enjoy the rare sunshine here.

The citizens of Tofino will also elect a Municipal Auditor General who will report to the public not only on District financial matters but who will also ensure that In-Camera secret meetings deal only with appropriate issues.The Auditor will also act as a mediator if conflicts arise so as to minimize the District's court challenges.

Council has also included on the ballot an initiative to move Council meetings and public hearings to an evening time slot.This way the electorate can decide what time works best for them.An informal question and answer meeting will be held once a month.

Council will ensure that all personal conflict with the Parks and Rec department will cease and desist and that an agreement with the school is reached.The kids will come first.

All in all it looks like a new era is dawning for politics in Tofino where openness,transparency and accountability are keywords. Consensus and Co-operation are now the order of the day.

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