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Council priorities in wrong place
(re: Council claws back exemptions; Western News, Oct. 9)
Here I was this morning, happily enjoying some beautiful sunshine, as I strolled, coffee in hand, to pick up my copy of the Penticton Western News.
Behold, but what do I see on the front page of today’s paper, Council Claws Back Exemptions.
There went my jovial mood. Favouring a silly piece of history, such as the SS Sicamous, over the human race? My, my, what has this city become?
Don’t get me wrong, I think the SS Sicamous Restoration Society is a great cause, and worthy of funding from private donors. But, when one really thinks about it, it is not a necessity that the city should be responsible for.
It’s actually nothing more than a washed-up, stranded boat with some history and fancy gardening around it. Its existence really does not benefit anyone, except for those who live for material and eye-catching things. The city doesn’t need it for any real purpose.
I mean, how can anyone, in their right mind, choose a piece of old, rotting wood over the life and well-being of a child? Get your priorities right, council!
The Salvation Army’s Food Bank, for example, is the very difference between life or death from starvation and malnutrition for so many children and families in our beautiful community, perhaps, even yours one day.
I know this, because my daughter and I would not have made it, had it not been for their help when we truly needed it.
The South Okanagan Brain Injury Society keeps families together after a life-altering, traumatic event, such as a head injury, which causes permanent brain damage.
I know this, because my father suffered a serious head injury, thanks to a drunk driver. Without the help of a brain injury society directing us to appropriate counseling in the community I lived in, my family would have fallen apart very quickly, and us kids would have been severely messed up.
The Senior’s Drop-in Centre? Face it, you folks, sitting rich and mighty in your cushy government positions, are going to realize the true benefit of places like this, if you have the blessing of a long life on this planet.
I’m sure, if you didn’t have that cushy retirement pension to look forward to, you’d be begging, on your hands and knees, to have somewhere where you can receive the necessary assistance and camaraderie that a senior’s drop-in centre provides. Oh yes, you’d really be lost in the dark without their help!
You, councillors, say you have to make cut-backs. Why don’t you cut back on those things that have no real importance, like spending on ridiculously, over-priced artwork you erect around town. If someone wants to donate their work, great, let them pay for the cost of putting it up, maintaining it, and getting their free advertising for it. This kind of stuff is not a necessity to the vibrant survival of our community.
Why not cut back on your own, overly-generous, city salary? You don’t need to live in a fancy house or stay in an expensive resort while out of town on city business.
Do what every other middle-class citizen does — drive your own car, pay for your own gas, and use the receipts for your personal tax deductions. If you have business at the coast, fly economy-class, stay in a three- or four-star motel, rather than a five-star casino.
The city needn’t be required to fund visits from political, snob-nosed or other celebrities, like politicians or royalty from other municipalities or countries. Those folks can pay their own way. Then there’s the endless, waste-of-money things like parades, triathlons and the extra-policing necessary for these events.
You enjoy watching or participating in these? Great, but, donate your own and your family’s time and belongings to make sure they go off without a hitch. It is not fair to the citizens of this fair city to be abused financially, because you, council members, feel like you deserve to be spoiled.
Use city funds for things that really are worthy of them, like your own citizens, for example, especially the innocent children who are stuck suffering because you value material and eye-catching, trivial, visual things over your own people.
Give these kids role models that they truly should follow. Not greedy fools who get high off of the suffering of others.
I feel better now, after letting all of that out. But, I’m sure it will only fall on the deaf ears of our greedy wonderful city council members. Any of you councillors wish to prove me different?