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My roots are in Cowichan, I have lived in Mill Bay since 2006 and run my own small business for over a decade. I was appointed to the Area A Advisory Planning Commission in 2011. This has given me insight into local development issues in addition to what I learned as a Green Party candidate in the 2013 Provincial Election. I served as President of the Cowichan Valley Arts Council for 2013-14 and am an active member of the Mill Bay Garden Club among other local organizations. My preferred method of decision-making uses the triple bottom line approach to weigh the fiscal, social and environmental costs and benefits. The CVRD is in need of more transparency, accountability, collaboration and community consultation.
Mill Bay/Malahat’s tax requisition has increased on average 8% per year over the last decade from $928,700 in 2004 to $2,342,039 in 2014. Despite federal and provincial governments constantly downloading services onto municipal governments, CVRD staff wages and benefits have been the main reason for tax increases over the last decade. Wages are now the single largest CVRD budget item and account for nearly 2/3 of the CVRD budget. I would work to freeze exempt salaries over $100,000 a year, to signal spending must be carefully monitored. The CVRD is one of the best places to live and we shouldn’t need to offer enormous salaries to attract good people.
Creating long-term well-paid employment is a necessity. There are many needs in our community relating to care of seniors, many of whom have had to move away due to a lack of services. Mill Bay has a very interesting history which could be better utilized to attract more tourists and create jobs. I would also implement a method for collection of film plastic.
Situated downhill and downstream from Shawnigan Lake, Mill Bay is dependent on clean water from the Shawnigan Basin. I will work on community awareness of water and contaminated soil issues and their potential impacts. Over 80% of South Cowichan’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions are related to transportation. There is enormous room for improvement from more direct buses, rail if affordable, multi-use trails and other innovative solutions.
I would hold monthly meetings to inform the community of what has been going on at the CVRD and to explain my votes. We would also discuss concerns and questions from the community and what they would like to see going forward. Social Media can be used very effectively to connect with citizens who can’t make it to meetings, as demonstrated by the Mayor of Tofino. Please find me on Facebook at “Vote Kerry Davis”, on Twitter: “@KerryGDavis”, at my website VoteKerryDavis.ca or call me at 250-858-2728.