8 April 13,
Reference: Your recent email regarding the RDCO budget for 2016 and in particular the item concerning the renewal of the two water reservoirs here in Westshore Estates for an estimated $943, 000:
I confess at the outset that my feelings towards the RDCO administration are less than positive primarily because of their drawn-out handling of the water issue in our community, a topic too convulsed and ruffled to summarize in language that merits 'family audience' label. In addition my vexed feelings are not assuaged by what I hear and read about the RDCO's apparent indifferent, if not altogether farcical, manner of dealing with the issues important to this and other small communities in the district, a topic that merits the Association's sustained attention in much greater detail.
The news that our reservoirs need replacing this year for a hefty amount came as a great and unexpected shock to me as well as others with whom I have spoken. The need to replace them this year was, to my knowledge, not raised at the last RDCO public meeting held at Killiney Hall where we were invited to 'make a choice' of rate increases which ultimately resulted in a 26% increase in our rates. Given my negative attitude towards anything to do with RDCO, I am inclined to believe that the decision not to raise the reservoirs topic was deliberate, it being easier to slip it into the budget where few would notice. If, however, the RDCO did not know about the state of the reservoirs at the time of the meeting then it speaks volumes about how the administration of our local affairs are handled: with a total lack of foresight or planning. Which is even more worrisome!
Perhaps there is room for another sequence of events, one where our District Representative was informed about the need to replace the reservoirs sometime ago but the information did not promulgated until the budget was published. That raises an important topic: whose role it is to inform the community at large? How is that to be done, with what frequency and how are expenses to be covered?
Which brings me to my final point: both our present Director as well as his predecessor have pointed out a major concern in the RDCO's legislative structure: the overriding, intimidating power of the larger cities which all but neglect the wishes and needs of the smaller communities and which contributes to our community's feelings of apathy and indifference towards the RDCO. It also diminishes our Directors (east and west) to mere potential rubber stamps in the legislative process. All this puts the concept of Incorporation in a context that merits examination and exploration by the respective communities, including our own. I hope that this might be led by our Director in close collaboration with the community organizations at the earliest opportunity.
Arie G. van der Vlist