Opinion

EDITORIAL: Spending breakdown

Regional District of Central Kootenay director Andy Davidoff (rural Castlegar) is asking for a community-by-community breakdown of RDCK spending.

And while accounting staff informed him a monthly purchasing list would be difficult, an annual breakdown is possible.

Thank you, Mr. Davidoff.

Ever since the furniture-gate incident last month (where the RDCK passed on a local, cheaper bid, in favour for a higher out-of-town bid) questions have been asked by the media and the public about local spending habits.

While the RDCK justified its furniture decision, based on the quality and servicing of the out-of-town product, media scrutiny has shone a light on the spending issue and thrust it into the public light.

It’s a light that some politicians may be less comfortable in.

RDCK chair John Kettle said he has had many calls from constituents about the spending issue, but added that he felt the issue may be an “overreaction.” Still, he acknowledged spending is something people want to know about.

It’s curious that issues that shine a potential negative light are overreactions while positive stories are always welcome in abundance.

The fact is, media coverage on the furniture decision, combined with a large public interest may be the catalyst for some changes at the RDCK. Mr. Davidoff’s request is a perfect example.

Remember though, stories can work both ways. There are plenty of examples of positive articles that show the good quality work being done in the region as well. But the public rarely gets overly worked up about success stories.

All politicians know that they are answerable to their constituents. Sometimes a good newspaper story gives those voters a nudge in the right direction.

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