City of Penticton looks to create efficiencies

The City of Penticton is joining forces with nearby governance organizations to find potential shared services.

The City of Penticton is joining forces with nearby governance organizations seeking areas where they can create efficiencies with shared services.

Last week, Penticton, Summerland, the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen and the Okanagan Skaha School District issued a joint request for proposals, seeking a consultant to research areas where shared services would result in efficiencies for all.

“The same taxpayer is paying for someone to mow the lawn and what difference does it make if they work for the city or they work for the school board?” said Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit, noting that a single entity could be responsible for cutting all the lawns in the city, or even the district.

“It seems so simple, but we always get bogged down on turf wars, no pun intended,” said Jakubeit noting that concerns range from job losses to administrative difficulties. “They use that as an excuse or barrier to not take it past just a conversation.”

A third-party consultant, Jakubeit explained, should be able to look at the situation with an unbiased eye and find opportunities for shared savings.

“It might be with our phone system, everyone uses the same phone system, or GIS mapping or computer software. We all have our own computer networks; maybe one of the entities has all the servers,” said Jakubeit, noting that with modern information technology, there is no need for servers to be in the same building as the user.

“Instead of spending 300,000 every couple of years on server backbone, we all share in that.”

The RFP specifies the focus should be on how local authorities can improve service delivery within existing operations and should not consider outsourcing. The consultant will look at both internal services like human resources, information technology and procurement, as well as external; bylaw, permitting, public works and maintenance.

“I don’t think any of these shared services really result in significant changes to staff, they are more efficiencies for capital and to some degree, operational (budgets),” said Jakubeit. “That is really where some of these big ticket costs are and big savings are.”

Between Oct. 7 and the end of the year, the consultant is expected to come up with recommendations  on how the authorities could work together to achieve lower costs and higher levels of service, along with identifying two areas suitable for a pilot project, expected to take place from January 2017 to September.

“They will look at some baby steps where you can test this model or theory. It is not happening overnight where you are all of a sudden going to have this massive switchover,” said Jakubeit. “Within a 15-minute drive, you have the city, you have the regional district, the school board, and we have Summerland.

“Surely there has to be some savings, because there are overlaps in all those.”


Just Posted

Travel Penticton went to city council for support in increasing the tax on short-term stays to fund a convention bureau and affordable housing. (File photo)
Travel Penticton seeks to grow through increased hotel tax

The increased funds would go to creating a convention bureau and to affordable housing

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Penticton Indian Band joins for the Children Caravan to Kamloops

The Okanagan Nation Alliance has arranged a ceremony for local nations to pay respects

Directors and alternate directors at the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen received nearly $560,000 in remuneration and expenses in 2020, according to the Statement of Financial Information. (Black Press file photo)
Almost $560,000 in remuneration for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen board

Costs of directors and alternate directors outlined in Statement of Financial Information

(File photo)
$8M in wages for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen staff

34 employees paid more than $75,000 in 2020

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus students Ethan Reid, from left, Brenden Higgins, Ty Oviatt, Kaleb Alphonse, Nathan Kendrick and Landon Brink with RCMP officers Const. Nicoll and Const. Stancec. (Photo submitted)
RCMP thank 6 teens for helping prevent forest fire in Williams Lake

The students came across fire in a wooded area and used the water they had to try and extinguish the flames

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses a crowd of more than 100 people who gathered at Stuart Park on June 12 to honour the Muslim family who was attacked in London, Ont., on June 6. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
‘It’s gotta stop’: Kelowna mayor, local faith groups honour victims of London attack

Faith groups at the event included the Okanagan Jewish Community, the Baha’i community and the Sikh community

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Most Read