Letter: The costs of all of Penticton council attending UBCM

The city seems to have discovered some newfound wealth.

The city seems to have discovered some newfound wealth.

This seems to be reflected in the fact that City of Penticton has hired a communications officer. ($85,000/annum). Not much if you say it fast, you say? However, with the city trying  to milk society (e.g. paid parking; increasing taxes; hiring new personnel and the like) it does have an impact on the social structure of the city.

Recently, the annual UBCM convention was held in Victoria with all seven council members in attendance. Can you imagine that, council of the whole attended. It brings up several thoughts. First, that council coffers can afford to send all seven. Secondly, that councillors in spite of their hectic workload and schedule, need a little respite to soothe their frayed nerves from all of the social media flack that they are receiving lately. Thirdly, the premise might be that with all seven present the understanding might be greater and their effectiveness as councillors may be enhanced.

If you believe that any of these apply, boy have I got a prime piece of property to sell you in Okefenokee Swamp.

Let’s look at a possible cost figure for seven people for four-plus days. Again, these are only guesstimates. The city crew will probably try to tell us that they got special money saving packages et al.

Anyway, let’s investigate. Hotel accommodation about $190 per day per person. This would be the low end plebeian hotel package. Four days for seven people at $190 per day — approximately $5,320. Airfare (with a 10 per cent discount) would be approximately $2,814. Meal coverage at $100 per day per person could be approximately $3,500. This would work out to approximately $11,634 in total for all seven.

Would you consider this as good bang for the tax dollar? You know what my thoughts are on this one. This whole convention thing could have been handled by two councillors quite nicely. How much more information will be brought back by an additional five people is anybody’s guess.

Once again it will prove the old adage that in such cases, “one succeeds at his/her own level of incompetence.”

In summary, it would seem to indicate that it takes seven people instead of one or two to understand what goes on at an annual general meeting.

Is there a learning curve here? Besides, if memory serves me correctly isn’t there always a recorded set of minutes for such sessions? Why the need for seven of you to get the message when the message is duly reported and documented. Slow learners perhaps?

Ron Barillaro

Penticton