Funding requests

Letter writer questions all of the various demands for tax dollars

I wanted to welcome you all back as it appears that you may have been in Washington recently to enjoy the euphoria of their pot legislation. Otherwise, I am not sure what other products you might be enjoying to arrive at a decision that our community should spend possibly $41 million for a recreation complex, art gallery and museum.

As we all know, the possible costs are mere folly when it comes to city spending. Heck, why not throw in the expense of underground hydro installation at the Coldstream Hotel site? Just possibly a money-maker.

I was lobbied very strongly to vote for the current mayor and some council members as the new voices of reason and restraint and that they would use common sense in new capital program budgeting. Once again, so much for election promises!

While these are all valid and worthwhile projects, have any of the council members canvassed their constituents — their neighbours, their families or the business community — to ascertain the tolerance and the financial threshold ability that they all can absorb during these economic times?

Or was this merely a matter of running it up the flagpole to see if the public would let the flag fly?

No financial subsidies were mentioned for any of the possible referendum voting, nor were any taxation funding released to indicate the possible assessment derived from taxation levies on the tax roll of the community.

Why can’t the council indicate how much the possible costs and revenues derived would be for each?

Would it not make sense to deliver up a cost/revenue analysis to the community and let them decide, by referendum, what facility they are prepared to fund initially rather than suggest that taxpayers can absorb this type of expense over a short period of time?

I am willing to wager the public works/parks division could supply a monumental list of works required in the city. But, alas, these are not an image issue. They are required but not pretty enough for council. It certainly appears the divergent lobby groups are having an effect on reporting the issues.

Most recently, we are told that there may be a difference of opinion on sharing a building by two of the requested funding groups. I would think that it would make total financial sense to combine these two to reduce land acquisition costs and the duplication of numerous and expensive capital/servicing costs.

In closing, we note that the new provincial local government auditor watchdog commences work Jan. 13. Wouldn’t Vernon be a great place to start?

Jeff Wuolle

Vernon