Below is a short (?) update of what happened at the Community Information Meeting(CIM) held last Sunday, September 9th.
Never mind the very windy an rainy day, 26 Mudge Islanders showed up for the scheduled meeting. Thanks to the MICS folks and a number of volunteers, tents were set up and chairs provided that allowed people some level dryness, despite the weather. Special thanks to Mark Woolley who provided us with a portable microphone and speaker setup that allowed speakers to be heard, particularly as the rain pounded on the tents.
Islands trust staff provided a presentation on Proposed Bylaw 299, then proceeded to take questions and comments from our community. Several questions were raised about not only the specifics of the Bylaw, but the process moving forward. Sadly, a lot of us were hopeful that the Bylaw would receive 2nd and 3rd readings at the Local Trust Committee Meeting (LTC), schedule for September 27th. This is not going to happen as the proposed Bylaw needed to be sent to 5 different agencies for comment. These agencies, such as First Nations, MOTI, Forestry etc, are given 45 days to comment. I think it is possible to have 2nd reading at the LTC meeting on the 27th. There may also be a need for an additional CIM between 2nd and 3rd readings, though it sounds as if there may be an easier and quicker process. We will have to wait to hear more about that.
Never mind what has happened in the past during this process, we ALL still have a role to play moving forward. The General Election Day for new Trustees is October 20, 2018. So far there are three people running for the two Trustee positions. There may be more as Friday September 14th is the last day for nominations. Of the three candidates so far, two have reached out to us to discuss our concerns. These two have been very knowledgable about our LUB saga, having attended past LTC meetings and reviewing our letters posted on the Islands Trust website. This is great news for us as a community. Every single property owner on Mudge has a vote, whether you reside here full time or not. Mudge and DeCourcey Islands are given a special voting privilege owing to being designated as “remote from voting places”. We can send in mail ballots, which is great for the vast majority of you who do not reside on Mudge year round.
I have copied a link to the RDN election site where you will see an application for a mail ballot. You need to print this off, fill it it, sign, date then send to the RDN. You can return either by regular mail, email, or drop the application off if you live in Nanaimo.
In addition to registering to vote, and actually voting, we are working to have an all candidates meeting on Mudge. This was done for the last election with great results. I am trying to figure out the exact process of arranging this meeting, along with the when and where. Once we get it sorted out we will let everyone know.
Two things became abundantly clear to us as we worked our way through the Lot Coverage process. The first, in our opinion, is that the Islands Trust didn’t try hard enough to fully engage our community. The second is that neither did we as a community get engaged in the process. Our normal and preferred stance of being left alone has resulted in a very restrictive Land Use Bylaw. We have a great opportunity to actually make a difference in the upcoming elections. My understanding of the last election results is that the Trustees elected (Melanie Mamoser and Heather O’Sullivan) won with roughly 1100 and 1000 votes respectively. We truly have enough votes, if exercised, to make a real difference in this election. Let’s, as a community, work to elect Trustees that will continue the work of Heather and Melanie.
It is an old adage, but very true, “the world is run by those who show up”.
I think maybe it is time for our voice to be heard.
As always, if anyone has questions of comments, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.