LETTERS: Council should follow their mantra

Council seems to have trouble following its own recommendations on shopping local.

If there is one thing that has remained constant with all Penticton city councils the past couple of decades it is the mantra, “shop local.”

Yet council seems to have trouble following its own recommendations. A good case in point was the awarding of the Adidas Sportsplex to a now-defunct company based in Arizona.

What investigation into this company did council do before awarding this contract? I heard the Arizona company had little experience in the field.

How could a company in Arizona be expected to have the knowledge to build a bubble in Penticton that could withstand our varied weather?

Who originally designed this sportsplex? Was it just some bulk plan that worked well in the southern U.S.? Who was responsible for installing it and ensuring that it conformed to Penticton standards? What did city staff do to ensure structural integrity that the bubble size would withstand our high winds and cold temperatures for year round use; the proper installation of a heating system; site planning to ensure deflection of water?  Surely this is fundamental? Isn’t that why taxpayers’ pay planning staff?

Penticton is in an economic meltdown. Ask any homeowner: Everything costs twice as much when you have to do it twice; allow it to deteriorate (many municipal buildings) or sell things you need elsewhere at give-away price.

We just gave the Penticton Indian Band 10 per cent of the casino grant. That is somewhere between $160,000 and $200,000. We sold eight-year old lights from the South Okanagan Events Centre to another municipality that we likely could have used in the curling rink. I guess people in Prince George know a good deal when they see one.

Add lack of tendering of the lighting contract at the SOEC. Was the sportsplex tendered? How many companies bid on the sportsplex? What were the bids? Who specifically did due diligence of these bids to ensure feasibility; company reliability and plan integrity?

If a bid was tendered on the sportsplex why were tendering rules ignored for the subsequent SOEC lighting contract?

According to a recent statement by the mayor; $250,000 represents a one per cent increase in taxes for the residential taxpayer. This is eight to nine per cent increase in taxes and that is not taking into account deteriorating municipal buildings.

Elvena Slump

Penticton