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Elections stall transit body

Nov 29 2011

The recent municipal elections have derailed decision-making at the Victoria Regional Transit Commission along with - at least temporarily - a potential double-digit tax increase.

Setting a provisional budget for next year was to top the agenda when the transit commission meets today.

But the Nov. 19 municipal elections decimated the ranks of the commission, which won't have a quorum beyond the end of the month.

"I'm still planning to go ahead with the meeting to basically look at where we are and tread water, but I've got no intention of passing any taxation authority because I think that's up to the next commission," commission chairman Christopher Causton said.

Staff budget reports in September forecast the need for at least a 10.1 per cent property tax increase.

That would translate to a hike of about $12.25 per household next year.

Causton is one of the members who will be required to step away from the commission table, as he did not seek re-election as Oak Bay mayor.

The other exiting members are Central Saanich Mayor Jack Mar and Sooke Mayor Janet Evans, neither of whom sought re-election, and Victoria Coun. John Luton, who was defeated.

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin, Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard and Saanich Coun. Susan Brice are left to carry on until the province appoints replacements.

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

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