EDITORIAL: Core review requires time

City of Vernon officials need to consider the implications of potential cost-saving measures

It’s good to hear that members of Vernon council aren’t making any rash decisions about  the much-anticipated core services review.

On Monday, consultants will be presenting an extensive list of options that could allow the city to reduce spending while increasing revenue flow.

But no one should anticipate firm action right there and then.

If anything, Mayor Rob Sawatzky is right to suggest that council will require upwards of six weeks to chart a direction.

“There are a number of opportunities identified but a number of them have roadblocks and difficulties implementing them,” he said.

“We need to get more information first and we need to know the consequences for other parts of the organization.”

No one likes paying taxes, but everyone expects to receive a certain level of service. What is the impact on residents and the ability of the city to function if an array of cost-saving measures are implemented? There’s already been a backlash to higher parking fees, so what will be the response if other levies climb further?

There are some suggestions about contracting out some services or handing them over to other agencies. But will that provide the city with the transparency required when taxpayers’ dollars are involved?

The fate of city staff shouldn’t necessarily be the top priority during the review, but they should be considered as many of them not only have significant skills, but they are committed to the community and public service.

It will be interesting to see which route council ultimately takes with the core review. But while the process shouldn’t drag, there’s no prize for finishing first.