Opinion

Our take: More cooperation between bodies good for everyone

To satisfy bean counters, plant beans.

This simple analogy is what North Cowichan council and the school board have done in their long-standing joint-use agreement — saving taxpayers big dough for some 15 years.

Basically, both bodies agree to share their buildings, fields and gear to duck duplication. You use our hockey arena; we use your school classrooms for community meetings and courses.

Simple, cheap and logical.

That’s why we want to see far more of such congenial cooperation between our local leaders and community groups, not turf guarding and excuses not to.

North Cowichan appears to be something of a leader in financially flexible thinking.

It’s now poised to ink a deal with the school board for building Mural Town’s long-awaited skate park at vacant Chemainus elementary school. Council also green-lighted a community garden project — led by Cowichan Green Community — in Kinsmen Park.

Let’s keep using workable ideas to break barriers of bureaucracy and stale policies. We have examples of things working well.

It’s all about community groups working with local government and saving taxpayers’ scarce money. Bean counters like that. They’ll like it even more if government finds ways to work with businesses and grow our tax base, without sacrificing our environment.

Doing that could work the same way as the successful sharing model between council and the school board.

You fix our building; we fix your driveway.

Listening to citizens, students, seniors, First Nations, community groups and business folks could let us act on smart opportunities — while stomping stagnation.

Tough times demand open minds. Maybe valley bean counters have some ideas to share too.

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