EDITORIAL: Public dollars in limited supply

Greater Vernon Advisory Committee shelves big-budget requests from community groups

There will be sad faces at some cultural and youth organizations.

On Thursday, the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee shelved some big-budget asks from community groups and largely decided to hold the line on financial assistance.

“We have to be responsible in funding all phases of services to taxpayers,” said director Rob Sawatzky, pointing out that local governments face significant challenges and are trying to ease the burden facing taxpayers.

As an example, the City of Vernon is moving towards a 2014 tax hike of 1.8 per cent for operations (and a further 1.9 per cent for infrastructure).

Now no one around the GVAC table dismisses the importance of the cultural and youth groups. They provide services that add to our quality of life and without their involvement, local government would have to provide these programs at a higher cost.

However, everyone who accesses tax dollars must understand that the economy remains challenging and some residents have lost their jobs or have had wages frozen. Essentials, such as food and electricity, continue to cost more.

Organizations have to be concerned about the perception of asking for too much.

As an example, the Vernon Public Art Gallery was seeking a 3.6 per cent hike to its  2014 operating grant at the same time that it’s lobbying the public to spend millions of dollars on a new facility.

Ultimately, there has to be an acknowledgement by residents and politicians of the vital work cultural agencies do, especially as these groups’ costs also rise.

 

However, the reality is that taxpayers can’t be everything to everyone.

 

 

Just Posted

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Kootnekoff: R v. Sidhu, was he asleep?

Driver in Humboldt crash wasn’t distracted at time of collision with bus,… Continue reading

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Four people displaced by Taylor Road fire

The Kelowna Fire Department say no one was injured and the cause of the fire is not suspicious

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

Most Read