My response to Dave Olsen's "apology" and response to my post on his misinformation

Dave Olsen's "apology" includes further wrong and misleading information.

He implies that Peter Luckham resigned as our LTC chair because of issues arising from some of Dave's astute questioning. In fact, Peter traded LTCs with another Executive Committee member because it seemed like the right thing for him to do, for both LTCs.

Dave correctly states that both Tim and I voted for the budget that Trust Council adopted. We did, and it was not the budget that had first been put forward, to which there was much public opposition. Trust Council heard the opposition and significantly reduced that budget to the one that we adopted. 

The consultation process on the budget, like all consultation processes, is merely a consultation. It isn't a vote or a poll to which Trust Council is bound. The elected trustees make decisions, sometimes  after consultation. The consultation process always causes reconsideration, and often, but not always, adaptation or modification of the proposal, depending more on reasons and arguments put forward, rather than numbers.

Dave's use of the word "slush" about any Trust funds is needlessly offensive and ignorant. It's understandable that lots of the budget details are opaque and difficult to understand. I've been reading and working to understand them for seven years as a trustee, and for many years before that. The General Revenue Surplus Fund, and the other two funds (LTC Project and Special Tax Requisition Fund for Salt Spring Island) are money that was budgeted but not spent in the previous year. That money is brought into the next year's budget as revenue, since taxpayers have already paid it, and that means that less tax is needed in the new year. 

Every budget is an estimate of what will be needed through the twelve months of the fiscal year. The Trust, staff and trustees, carefully monitor spending through the year, and it is common that there is a "surplus" left at the end of the year. We keep funds in reserve, to cover the period between the beginning of the fiscal year and the receipt of property tax revenues (which is always later in the year) and in case of unforseen need. We also each year pass a bylaw that authorizes the Trust to borrow money, if needed, but it is never needed, because of good, careful management and monitoring, and an annual outside audit of the Trust's spending and finances. To suggest that something dodgy might be taking place, without any evidence or indication, is irresponsible.

If anyone has questions or comments, please write them here on this web page, or email me or talk with me.

Thanks for reading this, and being involved and interested.   Peter

 

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