Mayor and council have only one vote each

as the mayor sees it with District of Barriere Mayor Bill Humphreys - Mayor and council have only one vote each

I was taken to task around what I said in my last article around property taxation.

When I was writing I was viewing the problem of property taxes based on a singular, more personal view.

In other words how changes may affect individual residents not the overall mechanics of collecting funds to run local government. In that respect my example of a rise in individual property assessment equaling a rise in property tax owing holds true.

I do admit that I should have been clearer in my explanation.

The reason I used the individual example was because I was focusing on how each of our financial circumstances are unique. We all have differing abilities to absorb extra costs, and to that end, as politicians, council needs to be aware that there is no cookie cutter approach to setting budgets or taxation scenarios.

It would be a sad day indeed if what appeared to be a “reasonable tax increase” turned into a nightmare for some of our residents. Not all of them perhaps, but some.

As it has been pointed out many times, and from many different points of view, all decisions made by the District council are due to a majority vote. The mayor and all of council have only one vote each.

We have been fortunate that after a good and fruitful discussion the majority of our required decisions are a result of a unanimous vote. Many councils become very polarized and the business of the municipality can be sidetracked by what amounts to preconceived alliances.

All recommendations and motions should be viewed on their individual merits. What used to be the procedure that worked before may hold no value now.

I am not saying that what went on in the past was not effective. Far from it. In truth some aspects of what has gone on in past years may be what we should think about returning to. Through the years of its existence Barriere and the surrounding area has shown itself to be blessed with incredibly generous residents that have a strong sense of community.

It is this sense of community, and recognizing the need to work for the good of all that we need to foster and help grow, not the local governments’ ability to collect taxes.

The Thompson Nicola Regional District was incorporated on Nov. 24, 1967. However, in November of 1969 the Ladies Auxiliary of the Barriere Fire Department came together to help raise funds to pay for the first Fire Truck. Some of these funds were raised through bake sales. This community spirit was a continuation of numerous prior events that were held through many previous years to fund some of the area’s needs such as community halls.

I was told recently that I offended residents by mentioning these bake sales.

While I personally cannot see how this could be offensive, I want to make it clear that I have a great deal of respect for service groups and others that see a need, then band together to help fulfill the funding requirement for the project.

We as a community need to stand on our own two feet, and Barriere has done a stellar job of that over the years.

Yes, we have been the recipients of more than a few grants, and for that I believe we are all grateful.

I personally believe though, that those grants are a result of our residents proving that they are willing to partner and work with other groups to go forward.

Generous donations from local residents that show commitment to the project and the hard work of a multitude of individuals and committees have managed to put together grant applications that stand out from the rest. This is what success is based on.

Council needs your help to do the best possible job that it can. They need your honest input on the issues at hand. Barriere is at a crossroads in its development, and everyone has a say in the direction we should take.

Some say that council are hiding information. If you are in the dark, and it is not due to a power outage, I urge you to contact the District of Barriere office.