LETTERS: City council needs common sense

Mayor and council, if you want to impress me then get us out of the red and back into the black.

Now that I have retired from my municipal job with the City of Penticton, the muzzle is now off and I have officially been de-Harperized when it comes to municipal affairs. I would sincerely like to thank Elvena Slump for saying many of the things I wanted to, but was forbidden to.

The first thing I would like to address is the financial wizardry of Dan Ashton, when anyone with half a brain knows the city could not afford zero per cent tax increases for three years, especially after just blowing $79 million on the SOEC. This was simply a political move to make himself look like some kind of money magician and to further his own political career. Apparently his plan worked.

The next thing I would like to address is the staffing shortage (union staff). About a dozen union positions were lost and never replaced. The city keeps growing and developing, but no staff are added to help maintain all the new infrastructure. It is placing extra hardship and stress on the current employees, and it always seems to be a question of money, but cash never seems to be a problem when hiring a new manager.

I can tell the taxpayers of this city one thing for sure; you are not getting the same level of services now that you received five years ago thanks to budgets being cut to the bone. The street sweeper used to be out eight hours per day and today it is out maybe three to four hours per day (some days), Some infrastructure maintenance has gone by the wayside. Just look at any rusty and flaking fire hydrant along Skaha Lake Road or bollard in Okanagan Park and you will see what I mean. Sidewalk spraying for noxious weeds now only takes place on the main arteries, with the onus now placed on the residents to control the weeds around their property.

Either the Canadian economy is in the toilet, or our economic development plan needs a severe shakeup. The most common sign I see in building windows nowadays here is “for lease.” I do not understand why we do not advertise ourselves more, whether it be through TV, radio, or any other means of getting ourselves out there.

We have to stop ignoring infrastructure repair/replacement in favour of large scale projects that we do not need, and get our priorities straight. There needs to be a much better balance between development and infrastructure needs.

Mayor and council, if you really want to impress me and leave a lasting memory of yourselves, then get us out of the red and back into the black without slashing more union jobs. Start re-paving our crumbling streets. Use a little common sense. It’s all I ask. Keep your eyes open folks. Now that I have all this time on my hands, you just may see my name and face on an election placard in 2019. Stay tuned.

Mark Billesberger




Just Posted

SOWK MP unsurprised by Scheer resignation

“It’s a very tough job being a leader of a party, and we thanked him for that service,” - MP Cannings

Penticton’s Barley Mill, Santa donate to SOS Medical Foundation

The brewery and local Santa raised $1,000 for the foundation on Dec. 7

Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce concerned about proposed business tax hike

The City of Penticton is considering raising the BTM to 1.83 per cent in 2020, 1.91 per cent in 2021

Give back to the BCSPCA this holiday season with Coldwell Banker

The Furry Paws for Santa Claus Holiday Fundraiser runs on Dec. 14

Summerland grape growers issue fundraising challenge

Gerry and Kathy Ryan have donated $5,000 to the Tree of Dreams fundraising campaign

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

Vernon bylaw says Frosty has to go: store owner

Vernon Teach and Learn told to take down inflatable snowman

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP surprised by Conservative leader’s resignation

Arnold predicts Conservative party will remain united in its quest to become government

Vernon business evacuated after gas line hit

A natural gas line was struck, emergency responders unsure of size

Most Read