Core review generating questions

Politicians raise concerns over consultant possibly using data from Kamloops and Kelowna

Scrutiny of City of Vernon operations may not be comparing apples to apples.

Some council members are concerned that the consultant overseeing a core service review is using data from Kamloops and Kelowna as part of the analysis.

“Kelowna and Kamloops are three times our size and they offer programs we can’t afford,” said Coun. Catherine Lord during a presentation from KPMG Monday.

Coun. Patrick Nicol also questions the relevancy of Kelowna and Kamloops.

“They have heavy provincial spending (because of government offices generating revenue),” he said, adding there is a need to balance off the data considered.

“Salmon Arm is more realistic.”

KPMG states that Kelowna and Kamloops were selected partly because of their shared geography with Vernon.

Other comparative communities are Penticton, Mission and Campbell River.

The goal of the review, which will be completed by April, is to make sure city services delivered are of the highest value, remove lower value services and direct limited resources to the delivery of community-valued programs.

Individual council members were interviewed by KPMG Monday and Tuesday.

“We want to find out the key ideas and opportunities for change that you think are worth considering,” said Brian Bourns, core services review leader

As the process unfolds, residents will also have a chance to provide input on city operations.

“I’m happy that we’re to the point where we’re going forward with it,” said Coun. Bob Spiers, who has been lobbying for a review for years.