Our take: Two-tier deal good, but don’t expect any more
It’s hard to know whether it’s best to simply congratulate the various Cowichan officials who finally negotiated a solution to the embarrassing two-tier pool problem.
Because the temptation is to use this deal as a reason to rekindle hope for a regional recreation deal.
And we all know how often those hopes have been dashed against the cold, hard rocks of political reality.
For those fortunate souls who generally ignore the ins and outs of local politics, the regional recreation debate focuses on which Cowichan taxpayers should pay for which recreation facilities.
Right now, our various pools, parks and arenas are paid for through a complicated hodgepodge of tax functions.
Which ones you pay taxes on depends on where you live, who intially built the facilities in question, and what deals have been struck by politicians since.
In a nutshell, those who are paying more resent those who are paying less, who they regard as getting a free ride. Those who are paying less generally respond with: “you built it, why should we have to pay for it?”
Polticians have proposed a variety of models in order to address the situation: everyone shares equally; everyone pays a rate set by how close they live to a facility; everyone pays a rate based on how often their community uses the facility in question; and many variations to the three.
All such proposals have failed, because none have been able to improve the situation for a majority of CVRD communities. The two-tier deal passed simply because it did.
Therefore, we are going to offer the CVRD directors responsible for last week’s deal a hearty congratulations on a job well done.
And then we will stop right there.
Hoping for more progress would merely be wishful thinking.