Weighing the price of apathy

We have two white elephants not really paying their way. However, you as a taxpayer will be paying for these, like it or not

Not long ago we were blessed with a mayor and council decision to become the proud owners of a “class-act events centre”. It was touted as being needed and that it would be brought in at a fixed budget and on target. Most of us know the eventual outcome of this. There were cost overruns for various unexplained reasons. There were several discussions as to the efficacy of such a venue. There was no real tangible referendum-like poll taken. As a consequence, we now have a “class-act events centre” that doesn’t generate much net revenue for our fair city.

Recently, city pundits, behind closed doors (reserved for in-camera discussion) decided that there was a need for another class-act building. The question was where to put it. As everyone knows, the final decision of where to put it and what to build was sealed by most of the last group of councillors behind closed doors. The public (we, the taxpayers) had little or no real say in the matter.

Some time ago, the council of the time paid $2 million-plus for a parcel adjacent to the events centre. Nothing was said about what would be done with this property at the time. It was in the future reference file. In the interim, a local hostelry nearby had asked council as to erecting a multi-storey building on its property. However, the city pundits refused to grant the necessary permission, rezoning, etc.

Now we have a scenario where not only is a multi-storey building going to be built in this same area, but the property in question was proffered for use by the hockey school for a dormitory (multi-storey). How hypocritical is this? All of a sudden the city has poetic licence, if you will, to do whatever it wants, and the plebian businessman gets his nose rubbed in the dirt.

On top of that, the land was acquired for about $950,000. Imagine your hard-earned tax money paid into a project at a giveaway price. There are no apparent tax benefits for the city for several years. So now we have two white elephants not really paying their way. However, you as a taxpayer will be paying for these, like it or not. Who knows, your children may still be paying for these things after you are gone. Enough said.

How  could this happen, you might ask? It’s very elementary, my dear Watson, as Sherlock Holmes might have said. When we look at the voter turnout in the Nov. 19 civic election, an abysmal 33.5 per cent of the eligible voters in the city, we begin to understand why some of these so-called “transparent dealings, showing fiscal responsibility and financial restraint” were nothing more than meaningless, political rhetoric, or “heifer dust” as the cattleman might call it.

The long and short of it is that not enough of the registered voters in the city cared enough to get off of their dead fannies and vote. Once again, apathy prevails. When will some people learn that one vote can make a difference?

Ron Barillaro

 

Penticton

 

 

Just Posted

James Miller, the managing editor at the Penticton Herald, has been voted in for Jake Kimberley’s vacated council seat. (Submitted)
James Miller elected as Penticton city councillor

Penticton also voted yes to allowing up to 25 years for a Skaha Marina contract

The Eyes of the Tigers on the 2021 Beer Rune on June 19. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Beer Runners take trip around local beaches and brews

Over 160 people signed up to come back after the 2020 run was cancelled

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

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

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

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read