Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: Reality check on City of Penticton budget

The results of the city’s budget deliberations dictate a minimum tax increase of 3.4 per cent.

As the present city treasurer reported to the council, the proposed increase is a result of “zero” budgeting that council endorsed in 2009. Three of the present council members endorsed those “zero” budget years. They also endorsed the firing of senior staff with years of experience at a cost within the millions of dollars. We are now having to pay the catch up cost of those “zero” budget years and the wrongful and totally unnecessary dismissal of senior staff. Experienced staff who were replaced by in-experienced senior staff.

The 2009 council were elected on bringing a business approach to city hall. If city hall was a business, unlike a private business, and if it weren’t for the opportunity of this business council to tax properties the city would be out of business and declaring bankruptcy.

In reality, if senior staff were put forward what they would need to get a tax increase to satisfy their much needed funding for their departments the council would be looking at a 10 per cent to 15 per cent tax increase. Especially the Public Works department, which reported a much needed infrastructure expenditure of $172-million. Yes that is million.

That same council of 2009 (three on this present council) also introduced property tax exemptions for new construction for up to 10-years. As I have said many times before, that lost property tax revenue will never be recovered to help keep the city’s infrastructure up to date.

Just access your own personal situation, say you want to renovate your bathroom or kitchen and you decide to put it off for a couple of years. Guaranteed the inflation cost on materials and labour would add another 20 per cent to the cost of your improvements.

Demand on materials and labour will add millions to the estimated $172-million to bring the city’s infrastructure to where it was at in 2008. Some materials during the construction of the South Okanagan Events Centre were increased by 100 per cent.

This council literally wasted close to a million dollars building the vendors road through Gyro Park, money that could have been put towards the $1.7-million now needed to upgrade the 300 block of Main Street.

The reality check is that the budget cuts councils have made since 2009 will never ever allow the city to catch up with the city’s infrastructure. The image of our city has been downgraded since 2009 by those persons on past councils just wanting to get themselves re-elected.

Jake Kimberley

Penticton

Just Posted

This parking on the east side of Martin Street will be removed permanently Monday morning (June 21, 2021) to put in the Lake to Lake bike lane. (City of Penticton)
Parking removed permanently to make way for bike lane in downtown Penticton

Work begins Monday morning to replace parking spots with bike lane on Martin Street

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Gord Portman getting ready for the Father’s Day dunk tank fundraiser for Discovery House. So far Portman has raised $3,000. (Facebook)
Penticton man takes the plunge for recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

(File photo)
Supreme Court Justice rules Bay has to pay Penticton’s Cherry Lane mall

The ruling found that there had been no unavoidable delay preventing the Bay from paying their rent

Summerland cidery Millionaires' Row is hosting a Father's Day car and art show. (Facebook)
Vintage cars, art and cider for Father’s Day

Summerland’s Millionaires’ Row Cider Co. is hosting the car and art show

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Most Read