How Much are We Worth?
– Measuring the true “value” of Esquimalt
Wow! Like many of you this past week, I received by property tax notice in the mail and it was a jump, a rather high jump. Suffice to say, I was expecting a figure a fair bit more south than what I will have to hand over to Esquimalt’s municipal coffers. That got me thinking about the true value of Esquimalt property and how we go about determining our community’s “value”.
When most people think about the various communities of the Capital Regional District, places like Oak Bay often get top consideration as the most valuable land while Esquimalt—rather unfairly—gets the short shrift. Those of us that actually live here in Esquimalt, however, see our community as a very precious place. Sure, we have experienced the on-again, off-again promises of building a better, more aesthetically pleasing use of our land. Maybe, it will happen one day and maybe it won’t. Nevertheless, there are other more meaningful ways for measuring a community’s value.
Esquimalt’s value is not so much about dollars. Yes, we have the “location, location, location” aspect that realtors love to go on about. Our close proximity to the water, green spaces, and downtown Victoria satisfy all those checkboxes. But, more than that, we have a much higher value that comes from being a strong community.
Our community is active, engaged, and committed to providing a place that we all feel great affection for. That became quite apparent when a group of residents assembled last month at Municipal Hall to provide their input on the true meaning of Esquimalt. The gathering came as a result of an open invitation by Esquimalt’s Centennial Planning Committee to help define Esquimalt’s “brand” in preparation of our municipality’s fast-approaching 100th birthday in 2012.
The meeting’s facilitator was Victoria Symphony music director and Esquimalt resident, Peter McCoppin, who led the enthusiastic group in a manner not unlike conducting a lively movement of music.
Our history, our geography, our uniqueness, and most importantly, our people were all articulated with the confidence of a fine-tuned orchestra. The lesson: Esquimalt has great value, a very special kind of value that surpasses anything that our property assessments, tax notices, and realtors can measure.