Patrick MacDonald details a long list of complaints against Dan Albas and city council in his letter to the editor.
Patrick criticizes Albas for voting to impose taxes on service clubs. I agree.
Again he criticizes Albas for deflecting monies from contingency funds to offset flow-through electricity costs. This has helped many families and seniors in this community to financially straddle unexpected budgetary increases and has provided balance by mitigating the excessive cost increases tacked onto Fortis and West Kootenay rates for many years.
It would be more productive to criticize Fortis for its inability to save for infrastructure improvements, which is causing these huge rate spikes; focusing on changing the structure of these huge infrastructure conglomerates that pay all monies out in shares, keeping nothing back for infrastructure improvement.
Your comment: Council gave itself much praise for an insignificant property tax cut.
The tax cut was not insignificant. The expected tax increase for this year could easily have reached 10 per cent without the diligence and hard work of your city council. The half per cent reduction was just a feel-good-option handed out by council for the taxpayers because an election is coming and amounted to only about $150,000 in budgetary savings. It would not have significantly reduced the fee structure at the community centre. The fact that council was able to reduce taxes can only be attributed to Mayor Dan Ashton’s perseverance, as he led this council through the many cutbacks required in the Core Services Review that brought unnecessary spending down to responsible levels.
Ashton promised in the election to be financially responsible and open and transparent.
The Core Services Review was part of Dan Albas’ election platform.
In my opinion both men delivered on their promises. The taxpayers owe Dan Ashton and this council their thanks for doing what every previous council ignored at City Hall.
Mr. MacDonald criticizes this council for cutting taxes and raising fees on the new community centre.
I remember the outcry over any attempt to control labour costs at the renovated community centre. These same employees over the years were willing to pick up extra work at other community centres at lower rates while simultaneously receiving a higher rate in Penticton.
The newly renovated community centre is a Mercedes model compared to the old version. You can have what you want as long as you are willing to pay for it. The costs of running this renovated facility have likely doubled over the old facility.
A better question in my opinion would be why is Penticton subsidizing the surrounding 30-mile area for recreation facilities?
You are right Mr. MacDonald, you are what you eat. Penticton is eating the costs while surrounding communities pay lower taxes and dine tax free.