LETTER: RDOS unfair to Penticton taxpayers

It is time the satellite communities stepped forward with money in their hand instead of dipping into the pot.

Thank you for your response Mr. Handfield. (Western News, letters to the editor, Aug 3) I appreciate your articles also.

Leverage was a polite way of saying that Penticton voters are continually ripped off by the satellite communities. Many young families living in these outlying areas believe they should support the building, maintenance and running costs of Penticton recreational facilities. They are outnumbered by the negative cheapskates that once used similar facilities paid for by other taxpayers. Penticton taxpayers carry this heavy burden.

All of a sudden the RDOS is seeking community involvement in environmental conservation. Is this the same RDOS that refused to support community involvement in recreational activity costs? Instead saying, ‘raise the rates for out-of-towners’ knowing full well the negative effect would deter Penticton council from doing so.

I happen to agree with you Mr. Handfield, it would be too bad if this initiative failed. However to grab 40 per cent from Penticton to subsidize the majority of projects that will take place outside our community is just another burden because satellite communities steadfastly refuse to pay their share.

You mention the Oxbows. What costs are the PIB paying? Penticton has already taken strides to rehabilitate Penticton Creek. We can still pay our share of these two concerns using our own tax dollars without giving away 40 per cent or more to other communities ad infinitum.

You say there is no basis for an increase to $25. I have attended two meetings where this subject was discussed both times and mentioned as the ultimate goal. The $10 is a sop so the taxpayer will let this pass protest-free. I repeat $25 is almost a two per cent tax increase in Penticton; on top of heavy tax increases this year and expected future onerous tax increases to cover costs of public facilities in disrepair.

I want to make it clear. Community involvement means just that. It is not a one-way street. Unless this changes I will be making the effort to vote against this during the alternative approval process.

The satellite communities are the benefactors of millions of dollars investment in recreational buildings: and millions more in annual running and maintenance costs. Almost $30 million is required for building repairs on these and other public buildings in Penticton with compensating increases in taxes.

It is time the satellite communities stepped forward with money in their hand instead of dipping into the pot.

It is not becoming.

Elvena Slump

Penticton