Council must protect tax dollars

Barry O’Neill CUPE BC president is asking us to tell city council to clean up its act so they can get on with holding the taxpayer over a barrel. He and his union are not going to be pushed around by a bunch of bullies according to the Western News, Jan 28. I would submit Mr. O’Neill that the opposite is true and has been for many years.

Barry O’Neill CUPE BC president is asking us to tell city council to clean up its act so they can get on with holding the taxpayer over a barrel. He and his union are not going to be pushed around by a bunch of bullies according to the Western News, Jan 28. I would submit Mr. O’Neill that the opposite is true and has been for many years.

Mr. O’Neill is very lucky he is not dealing with me on this negotiating team. The first thing I would be looking at is the unfunded liability of the CUPE pension scheme which is like winning the lottery. The taxpayer is on the hook for the life of the recipient. Millions of dollars of unfunded pension liabilities are sitting on the town books, and we all know what that means in tax dollars.

Years ago the civil servant worked for low wages, received job security and was looked after in their old age. Today they are organized and if any city council in B.C. caves into any CUPE demand anywhere in the province, all the municipalities have to contend with the consequences. There are probably a hundred thousand organized CUPE workers in B.C., allied with a million or so across Canada, headed up by big-city heavyweights that don’t have anything else to do but use pry bars on the public purse.

Our council is doing just fine all by their lonesome in their negotiations, Mr. O’Neill. They are looking after the taxpayers’ dollar, which is what we paid them to do.

The community centre in Kelowna was privatized, and local residents I have talked to that have visited it have given me rave reviews. So don’t roll into town with your big city scare tactics.

If the employees at City Hall want to strike it is their choice. The taxpayers of Penticton do not owe your people a job. Like private industry, they should compete or lose it. Even if the community centre was privatized, these same people could still work for the private contractor.

But you wouldn’t like that, would you? Private industry has to be cost competitive. They don’t have a bottomless purse like the taxpayer.

To our city council, I say stand tall and do what you have to do. The decisions you make on this contract will benefit not only our city but the whole province as well.

Elvena Slump

Penticton

Where will privatization end?

If the pool is privatized, the theatre will be privatized too.

Special interest groups should realize that their costs will probably increase dramatically. Case in point, in 2010 a $1,000 cost to hold Miss Penticton became $10,000 because it had to be held in a privately run facility, with Global Spectrum. So what about the dance schools, choirs, swim clubs and other community groups, where will they get that kind of money?

The council (taxpayers) paid the $9,000 difference for Miss Penticton and tried to cut a deal for other events. Tried. How much money was paid out in grants to that private company?

What happens year after year when community events cost the budget an increasing amount? That cost will be trimmed, no money for grants. Community events cannot pay the price asked for by the for-profit companies that will be running our no longer community centre.

Will a for profit company hold a Re-Act class in the pool for recovering heart attack patients if they have two participants? Not likely, no profit in that. Will a for-profit company hold a one-on-one swim class for a handicapped child? Not likely, no profit in that. If they could make a profit on it, not many could afford to take those classes.

Kids, adults, public groups, private groups, fit people and not-so-fit people will all be effected.

I suspect that all of us know that we will have to pay more to use a beautiful new facility. Rumour has it we will be paying for parking too. We have to pay the private company that now looks after the parking meters.

If the community centre is privatized we will pay more — how much more and for what standard of service could be mirrored in the deal with the SOEC. Are you willing to lose the heart of the community, pay $5 million-plus a year to Global Spectrum and $5 million-plus a year to a for-profit company for less service or less affordable service?

I thought we elected politicians to manage public services. What will politicians do when all those services are privatized? They will certainly have considerably more time to cut ribbons and use those free tickets they get to costly events.

Maybe we could keep them busy reading our emails and listening to us tell them “Leave the pool and theatre alone, our system is not broke.”

Lynn Crassweller

Penticton

Say No to privatization

Here it comes, its finally here; Council is negotiating but it’s us they should hear. The news is out; And now we must shout, shout, shout!

They are planning that our pool be privatized; Now that it’s been revitalized. However will it still be; Full of the amazing programs we hope to see.

Our lifeguards truly are amazing; Always, were they gazing. As we swam to and fro; Checking to see our prowess grow.

Our programs cater for all ages; And listed activities on so many pages. All levels of humanity swim there; And all are treated with much love and care.

People come from far and wide; To enjoy facilities that are offered with pride. That’s what our community centre is all about; So come on everyone we need to shout, shout, shout!

Val Gardner

Penticton