The Campbell River Ratepayers Association was started by a local concerned citizen, Mr. Ken Antonelli many years ago.
This is a non profit association operating with the specific intent of being a watchdog of city hall with regards to taxation first and foremost, as well as other monetary issues at city hall.
Over the years, leadership of the association was passed over to Tom Bakken as President. During the time that the association was active, they kept the Campbell River Mayor and Council on their toes. They (mayor & council) had an organization they needed to answer to, the citizens of Campbell River.
Tom Bakken was concerned enough to get this association up and going again. He thought that the best way to engage the whole community would be through a website.
As early as 1994, CR Ratepayers, Ken Antonelli specifically plead with the city to think of the citizens that voted for them when they were increasing taxes.(letter dated April 19th, 1994)
They contacted the city with concerns about Dogwood and 4th needing lights and a left turn lane at 9th and Ironwood in 1997. (minutes of CR Ratepayers Association Sept 24th, 1997 meeting)
During 1998 the Ratepayers highlighted the very poor economy with business down and retail people hanging on. They encouraged city hall to lower business taxes to keep our local businesses in business.
They questioned an increase of 150% to dog licences in the city in 1999. They also questioned the fact the library budget was almost as much as the hospital?!(minutes of CR Ratepayers Association February 29th, 1999)
Over the years, membership in the association declined. People got older and other concerned citizens were spending most of their time working. The association however did for many years hold Mayor and Council accountable.
With an election coming up this year in October 2018, the CR Ratepayers thought this was a good time to get up and running once again.
We aim to provide the citizens of Campbell River with information to make informed decisions when voting in the next election.
We need to unite in our efforts to keep taxes reasonable. We do not want to force our elderly, those on fixed incomes, those who have paid taxes their entire lives out of their homes. Their taxes rise, their incomes don’t. Forcing them out of the homes or into reverse mortgages.
Recently, someone from city hall said that we all have a role to play in ensuring that having a home is a human right and that homelessness affects the community as a whole.” Now, having said that, they chose not to fund the cold weather shelter? (2017/18)
In addition to this, the city brought in an extra 11% revenue in 2017, yet they still are raising taxes 2.1% for 2018????
We need to educate ourselves about the people who are running the city – Mayor and Council. Please refer to www.campbellriver.ca to read the minutes of council meetings and stay informed.
There is now a revolving door at city hall with regards to staffing. This needs to be fixed immediately. Anyone in business knows that it is quite costly to keep replacing employees. This revolving door hurts business and local citizens alike. Imagine purchasing a new home and not being able to move in due to city hall not being able to complete business in a timely manner due to staffing issues. (building permits, development permits etc.,)
Fixing the mess at city hall is only one step in plugging the leak. Wasting tax payers money can and should be stopped. How many consultants / meetings etc., do you need for one piece of property. Monies wasted in implementing Rivercorp and Tourism North Central Island are other examples of waste that happened in the past. We need to stop the drain and continue to keep Campbell River as the beautiful, delightful, affordable and liveable city that it is.
Please ensure to inform yourselves of the going on at City Hall. Get to know the people who are running in the next election. Know what they stand for before casting your ballot. Join us in our attempt to keep Mayor and Council on their toes. Encourage them to be the best they can be and to thank them for their service to the community. Remind them that not only did the city loose revenue when the mill closed and fishing and logging slowed down, citizens lost good paying jobs. However, the city has been able to recoup some of those tax losses due to all the recent development in town. Each and every new building / development / residential and commercial lots have had to pay substantial development cost charges and development permit costs. These new buildings / developments are also required to install and pay for curb, gutter, sidewalks, landscaping and lighting etc., not the city. Then going forward, they all pay property taxes. This money goes directly into city coffers.
We all want the best for Campbell River and would appreciate your feed back along with any suggestions.
Recently a member of council was asked by a member of their family about the local community complaining about tax increases. His response was, "no-one complains". Here is your chance to let your opinion be known. Please feel free to post your comments and concerns.
GET OUT TO VOTE ON OCTOBER 20TH, 2018!