Editorial: Spending the Penticton taxpayers money

There is an old saying that you have to spend money to make money.

There is an old saying that you have to spend money to make money.

Meaning that in order to be successful in a business, you have to be prepared to invest in not only your product, but supplies, advertising, staff and other expenses.

There has been some concern among taxpayers over the City of Penticton’s spending habits in recent months, especially when 2016 started with the city implementing a 4.5 per cent property tax hike, news that the city was looking at millions to repair and maintain aging facilities, and was pleading poverty as it fought an arbitrated settlement with Penticton firefighters.

Standouts include plans for a $500,000 light canopy over Main Street, which was subsequently dumped. But the city also hired a new special projects manager, contracted an engagement consultant, and has now allocated $250,000 for a review of the official community plan over the next 18 months.

In the end, it’s hard to argue with these hires. The city has a lot of goals and projects to accomplish in the next few years, including the massive undertaking of the Official Community Plan review. Items like developing infrastructure and facilities plans are also in the works.

Like the OCP process the special projects manager is leading, the city says they want to get meaningful public input and engagement on these plans. And it all adds up to a lot more work, and all of it has a common goal of developing a better financial picture for the community, whether through more refined, efficient planning and operations, or making the city more attractive to investors.

Only time will tell if the city’s investment is paying off, but it seems the idea is to spend money to save money in the long run.


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