Editorial: Opening Pandora’s Box

Who made the final decision to not collect DCCs from farmers building on their land?

Developer Allan Bott opened up Pandora’s box when he filed a Freedom of Information request regarding the old DCC bylaw 3106, and all the following attempts to quash it. His questions are numerous, and echoed by the current mayor. Did a bylaw pass without council really understanding what they were signing? Did the agricultural community really sway staff and council so strongly that they agreed to disregard their own bylaw? If that did happen, how did the issue stretch on for four years, with several unsuccessful bylaws following in the first bylaws wake? Who made the final decision to not collect DCCs from farmers buidling on their land? And finally, who saw this mess and finally put a stop to it? It would seem that the collective voice of local farmers of that day were stronger than those elected to lead the community. But as both Bott and Mayor John Van Laerhoven have said, we’ll have to wait for answers. Whatever answers we’re given — and we trust that answers will be forthcoming — the fact remains that the municipal bank account is about $400,000 short. That dollar figure isn’t going anywhere. It can’t be collected now four years after the fact. And with a new bylaw in place since 2009 that does not set out road DCCs for farms, the amount can’t grow any bigger.  Maybe it was the right choice in the end — to not charge farmers thousands of dollars for upgrades to their farms. After all, they provide us with the very things we need to survive. We need them. But the community also needs to know that those elected to lead them are following the bylaw they vote on, that they are paying attention to what staff is telling them, and that they follow proper process year after year. Kent’s next council meeting, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m., should include a staff report based on Bott’s delegation at the last meeting. Hopefully then we’ll find out who fumbled the ball, and why.

Just Posted

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Highest earning staff at Fraser-Cascade School District made public

Also board looks into seat belts on school buses, Marv Cope gets road in his memory

Agassiz teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

AESS students say they had the experience of a life time

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants couldn’t find the net: coach

Even with a six-on-three advantage, the Langley-based hockey team couldn’t earn points Sunday.

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

UPDATE: Hells Angels on scene after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Most Read