This council is going to add five more police officers over the next five years (Penticton Western News, Dec. 1, Top cop wants more officers).
Has the mayor (their boss) told them to resolve the problems centering around the former Bel Air Motel, now an affordable housing complex, wreaking havoc at the south end of the city? Or, is it just the same old same old.
Speaking of the 3.4 per cent tax increase Mayor Jakubeit was quick to attack taxpayers’ saying: “There are some out there who always expect us to cut, cut, cut wherever we can” — blaming previous councils (of which he was one) and giving the excuse of increasing pressure on social programs.
Mr. Mayor it is not the duty of council to fund social programs or attack taxpayers for complaining about city council waste. It is the duty of council to fund infrastructure.
The 3.4 per cent increase projected over five years is a 17 per cent increase over present-day taxes. When is city council planning on treating residents fairly instead of always giving preferential treatment to the business community forcing subsidization of the satellite communities; tourists and developers onto local residents?
There should be no parking fees on city streets for Penticton residents, this includes homeowners and renters. It should not include non-resident property owners, as they are likely operating a rental business and receive tax deductions. Their renters pay the property tax and should receive the break. It should not include business property owners, as this is also a tax-deductible business and they are already subsidized by the residents.
This can easily be accomplished by residents taking a copy of their driver’s license and car registration into city hall and receiving a delicate annual pass to be pasted on their windshield. Staff would have to ensure that satellite communities using a Penticton address do not receive these passes (West Bench, Penticton Indian Band). This pass would allow residents of Penticton to park free within city limits and non-residents would be expected to contribute for parking. It would simplify ensuring that the satellites pay their fair share of recreational infrastructure instead of city residents subsidizing their use.
Costs at the ageing South Okanagan Events Centre are increasing. A $1 million deficit is projected for next year. Yet, staff recommendations from the parking and transportation survey do not include pay parking for non-residents while excluding local residents.
It is time city council showed some good will towards those it is supposed to serve.