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

Vernon Vipers name Connor Marritt captain

Takes over from graduating veteran, and fellow Okanagan native, Jagger Williamson

Vernon pitcher tosses second no-hitter of season

Jarod Leroux has two no-nos in his last three starts for the BCPBL’s Okanagan Athletics

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Heat, sun and a chance of thunderstorms for Father’s Day

Morning pancake breakfasts and fishing derbies across the region will see sun, showers may follow.

The annual event takes place Sunday, June 23 at Creekside Park in Coldstream

Pre-registrations, sponsorships and donations for the CMHA annual Ride Don’t Hide event… Continue reading

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

VIDEO: Horseback riding helps North Okanagan residents with special needs

North Okanagan Therapeutic Riding Association needs more volunteers to continue offering sessions

South Okanagan pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioid treatment drugs

B.C. College of Pharmacists alleges Sunrise Pharmacy dispensed treatment drugs against rules

Police seek two suspects and car after stabbing in Kelowna

The stabbing took place on Friday evening on Wilson Avenue. It sent one man to hospital.

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland ready for dry summer conditions

Province has declared Level Two drought, but Summerland has not increased watering restrictions

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Most Read