So 91 individuals with the City of Vernon earned more than $75,000 in 2012.
What would that number be if we included Coldstream and RDNO employees in the count, perhaps 110 to 120, more?
At the lower number that’s an annual and increasing payroll of $8.25 million.
Ask yourself how much of that is duplicated planners, chief administrative officers, fire chiefs, engineers, mayors and councils? The list goes on.
And of course they all have expense accounts.
So let’s address the elephant in the room, amalgamation.
If we draw a 30-kilometre diameter circle with Vernon in the middle, we’d have an area encompassing Vernon, Coldstream and most of Areas B and C in which we have three local governments and all of those expensive, duplicated senior staff we identified earlier.
The population is likely between 60,000 and 70,000 to be generous.
In contrast, Kamloops has a population of 85,000.
Nanaimo has a population of 83,700. Prince George has a population of 88,000.
Chilliwack has a population of 80,000 (all numbers rounded).
And these jurisdictions get by very nicely with a single mayor and council, with a single complement of senior staff and, without the on-again, off-again inter-jurisdictional bickering that has shamed Greater Vernon politics for years.
Imagine the more efficient use of your tax dollars with a single mayor and council, a single set of planning regulations and a single set of senior employees.
Imagine actually beginning to replace the aging infrastructure instead of complaining about the size of the deficit.
Imagine moving ahead with planned growth throughout the area.
As a Greater Vernon taxpayer, I observe that the solution to a substantially more efficient use of our tax revenues is within each citizen’s grasp.
Demand a referendum on amalgamation be included with the 2014 municipal elections and let’s move on from there.