Letter: Cost of engagement in Penticton

This new hire is doing what this council were elected to do and are being paid to do.

I had reason to attend a council meeting recently to hear a presentation from a committee I’m privileged serve on, the South Okanagan Performing Arts Committee (SOPAC).

While there I decided to hear the rest of the reports. The one that really struck me was from the young lady who has been hired by this council to find out what residents of our city have to say about the decisions and performance of this council. I will commend the lady, she didn’t pull any punches in her 15-minute report.

Now correct me if I’m wrong, this lady was hired for two years with an annual salary of $70,000 plus annual expenses of $15,000. So having only been employed for just two weeks her 15 minute presentation cost we the taxpayers roughly $3,200. Now as I say the lady didn’t pull any punches in her presentation, but she said it was tough to be alone trying to answer the criticisms of the council that she heard.  Under the discussion with council that followed, the mayor and council said they would go out there and help her answer the questions from the residents that show up to her next scheduled events?

So what’s wrong with that? When elected to public office you have two main responsibilities, communicate with the public, and listen to the public. This new hire is doing what this council were elected to do and are being paid to do and because they are not doing their job, they have cost the city an additional cost of $85,000 a year.

We recently heard that the cost to fix the Memorial Arena has almost tripled in the estimated cost to fix the structural and mechanical damage.

Was that estimate done before the decision was made to locate the casino into the parking lot?  I’d like to have the answer to that question.

Jake Kimberley

Penticton