In the interview with Vernon’s mayor, he seems to like all of the rest who want to supply money to all of the groups that want it.
He says he wants a museum, art gallery, more ice, and the rail line.
I have not ever seen any financial papers indicating that a museum and arts gallery will do anything more than be expensive to build and then be supported every year. Most museums and art centres in other centres all run at a loss. It will not bring any employment to the area that is much needed.
New ice would be nice but we must take a long hard look at the demographics of the area regarding population and age.
The population has been dropping every year and the average age of people in Vernon is increasing (this means more use of transport, medical and less spending).
So what do we need in the future?
The infrastructure must become the priority and get the streets paved and sewer and water lines updated.
The mayor indicates that we need to make Vernon a destination for tournaments. Well sorry, but Kelowna, Penticton and other cities are already set up for that and have a name in this area, so we are facing a daunting job.
The mayor also indicates we must make the use of public parking in the off-street areas. We own the land and another company runs the cash register if I am not correct. So the parking lots are just city-owned and then rented out.
It has been shown that municipal employees are now the most overpaid employees for the job they do.
I think it is now time to draw a line in the sand and start lowering their wages and benefits until they are in line with the general workforce.
The mayor and council must also demonstrate to the employees and managers at city hall that they are the elected officials in Vernon and because of this, they control the hiring, and communication from city hall.
The managers should be doing their jobs and finding business (how many buildings and offices are empty – let’s get a list published). Take a look at the want ads, not even a page, and tell me the economic people are doing their jobs?
If groups want to get us to borrow money, then have them publish proper financial reports with costs, who controls the new business, who is responsible for future costs and economic impacts.