EDITORIAL: City of Penticton poorer for staff loss

We are as quick as any to call attention to mistakes, poor planning or just plain bad decisions made by City of Penticton staff and council.

We are as quick as any to call attention to mistakes, poor planning or just plain bad decisions made by City of Penticton staff and council.

But in our quest to keep tabs on the people responsible for spending our tax dollars and planning the future of our community, we sometimes forget to talk about the good decisions they make too.

And hiring Chuck Loewen to manage the city’s recreational facilities in 2011 was one of those good decisions. Loewen, who has been acting as city manager since Annette Antoniak left in February, announced his resignation this week, though not where he is moving on to.

One thing is certain, though. The management of Penticton will be the poorer for his loss.

One of Loewen’s major accomplishments was reducing the subsidy needed to operate the Community Centre, from over a million dollars to $232,000 last year, streamlining the operation and improving the working atmosphere as well.

If that had been the only accomplishment we could name for Loewen, he would have earned his salary. But Loewen also played a key role in the turning around fortunes of the South Okanagan Events Centre, working with Global Spectrum (now Spectra) and the SOEC Advisory Committee as the city’s representative.

Both the community centre and the SOEC have become models other communities are looking at, asking ‘what are they doing right in Penticton?’

With those kind of successes, it’s no surprise that Loewen, like Antoniak and Anthony Haddad before him, should have come to the attention of others looking to hire a skilled administrator for their operation.

And considering his skills and competence, it’s not really necessary to wish Loewen well in his future endeavours, but we would still like to add our good wishes to those of the city and council.

Good luck, Chuck.