thoughts on Last Resort draft plan

I've read and studied the draft LLRS plan that's posted on their web site, llrs_plan_draft.pdf at https://www.judithfishercentre.com/

Using wood heat from wood that is grown and regrows on Lasqueti is not sustainable if it entails burning huge quantities of wood and the heat from it is not harnessed and used efficiently. For details, read the Operations Committee report, also on the Judith Fisher Centre website, operations_committee_report_-_draft_4.pdf at the link above.

There should be no surprise or disappointment that the Health Centre is not currently used more than it is. There are other meeting and workshop facilities within a short distance, with very low rents and open policies, What, other than roughly weekly nursing clinics and quarterly doctor clinics, occasional meetings, and occasional use of the respite room, bathing facilities, etc,. do we think might happen at the Health Centre? There is apparently a belief that if there is administrative staff at the building two days a week, it will be used more often. I don't see any basis for this, or any reason to think that it might be used more often in the near future. What need might be filled by using the Health Centre? Why does it need to be used more?

Current and projected expense for administration is way too high, being at least 20% of the operating expenses. Board members and community volunteers need to do more.  I was surprised by the statement at the third public meeting, after Melinda listed all the administrative tasks she does, that "everything that the board of directors used to do" was added to the list. The administrator prepares the agenda for the board meetings, and takes the minutes. Many of her assigned tasks have nothing to do with, or are only peripherally related to, the Health Centre. 

I don't believe that energy, water and heat can be provided for $10,000 per year, rising slightly over the next five years. The budget for this needs to allow for purchase of firewood, paying a maintenance person to fire the boiler daily, and do whatever work is required on the other systems, including purchasing needed supplies.  Potable water system is budgeted at an additional $4,000 per year, rising to $5,000.

On the revenue side, occupancy fee (i.e. rent for the cabins) is the  basis for increasing revenues and decreasing tax levy to $17,625 over the next five years.  It is not at all clear to me that, even if we can build four more cabins over the next four years, that they will be needed or wanted. There is no guarantee at all that they will be occupied, or that the monthly rental from each cabin of $650 will be forthcoming. There is at least a good possibility that the cabins will have to be rented to non-seniors, or people without health or ability issues, simply to garner the rental income, to balance the books.

It would be far better to simplify the systems, reduce costs and balance the budget (or come more closely to balancing it) that way. The deficit for last year was just under $15,000. It should be fairly simple to cut costs by this amount.

If the Health Centre funding referendum fails to pass, the LLRS board can begin a process of consultation with the community, and together we can work towards a  plan and a budget that most people can agree with. At that point, as long as there is community support and agreement, it could be implemented by our regional district, without waiting four years for a new local election and new referendum. This would also help to unify the community and LLRS board on plans and directions, and consequently elicit more support from the community for all aspects of the LLRS operations.

If the referendum does pass, it would be a good idea to go through this consultation process, so that the community and the LLRS board are working on the same program.

 

Comments

rjw413's picture

Be Positive

Really Peter? Spreading false fears isn't helpful for our community at all. For example, I guess you didn't know that the volunteer Cottage Committee created a policy of requirements and a way to choose from the already expanding list of interested applicants to occupy an available cottage. This completely negates the very first paragraph of your posted list-email yesterday. I could go on but my point is to publicly ask you to please start looking at facts before spreading more false fears in your lack of support for our Health Center.

By the way, here's part of an email I got yesterday from a Lasquetian who supports the Health Center referendum:
"Owning 16 inland acres myself, my share is 27.50 per year. Big deal!
And it's the waterfront property owners,-- many are "summer people",-- that bear the most in land taxes, anyway..some people here never consider this."

Positively,
Robert Wallace

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