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LETTER: Taxpayers on the hook for additional OCP costs

At the April 3 North Saanich council meeting, CAO Tim Tanton reported that despite the contract termination letter, MODUS offered to complete a draft OCP for the budgeted amount of $49,000. Rather than take this deal, Mayor Jones and Couns. Stock, Shrivastava and McConkey voted against it, arguing that North Saanich should acquire only the data and have someone else produce the draft.

But who? Only MODUS is qualified to complete the draft in a timely and cost-efficient manner. The three district planning staff who had OCP expertise and knowledge have quit since this mayor and council were elected. There are no remaining experts. Mr. Tanton recommended hiring a consultant; however, when he said he understood the new OCP committee was going to write it, the mayor responded in a rather forceful way that it was never going to do that.

So, it appears that someone with no background on the previous OCP process will try to sort through reams of data to produce a report. This could take months and cost taxpayers a considerable amount of money. It makes no sense. Even members of the mayor’s new OCP committee wanted to see a draft.

Now taxpayers are on the hook for additional costs likely because some council members and their small band of supporters vilified MODUS, district planners, and the last OCP process from the get-go. We just lost the opportunity, for no good reason, to move forward with our OCP.

Paula Young

North Saanich