Waste of tax dollars
Dear editor: Government is expensive and when it is multiplied by four: regional; municipal; provincial and federal; costs can easily escalate out of control. It takes responsive, concerned politicians with non-mercenary motives to take on the responsibility of keeping costs down. Those are unfortunately as scarce as hen’s teeth.
Kelowna is a good example. Kelowna directors of the local regional district (RDCO) are meeting for as little as seven minutes at a time with Kelowna councillors averaging $750 an hour (Daily Courier, April 12).
According to the 2018 budget, the average Kelowna householder with a house the value of $692,000 paid $182.52 for the privilege of being milked by their local council. West Kelowna ($682,000) paid $196.19. Lake Country $202.67.
Why wouldn’t it be of benefit for these three municipalities to amalgamate and go to the ward system for individual representation and accountability?
In the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, just south of the RDCO, Penticton pays about 40 per cent of the RDOS budget. The percentage varies year to year.
In return for this, we get milked by the surrounding communities that depend on us for their recreational needs. We pay the shot and they graciously participate.
Penticton is facing a $40 million infrastructure shortage. And pressure to increase infrastructure to fulfill the needs of the community at large.
Vernon has a better system with a graduated payment contribution structure for services used. The Greater Vernon parks, recreation and culture service area includes the City of Vernon, the District of Coldstream and the RDNO Electoral Areas B and C.
Amalgamation and the disbanding of the RDOS has been an issue in Penticton for years. But, the satellite communities have the attitude why pay when you can ride for free? Need water go to Penticton (West Bench). Need sewer expansion to build shopping centres and housing developments (Penticton Indian Band). Penticton will do it. Our politicians are too spineless to stand up to them and demand they return the favour by supporting other recreational services. West Bench alone lends small support.
Duncan/Cowichan is considering amalgamation. Also Victoria/ Saanich and the District of North Vancouver and City of North Vancouver are considering a referendum on the subject. According to a North Shore News poll conducted on April 12, 72 per cent of North Vancouver residents are in favour of amalgamation.
Doubling; tripling and quadrupling of the civil service to fatten the purses of politicians is an abuse of hard-earned tax dollars. Elvena Slump