Letters: City needs to come clean on Challenge deficit

Challenge deficit budget needs clarification

Mayor Litke and council, we hear the buzz words of honesty, transparency, openness and accountability from the big table at city hall.

Challenge Penticton is owned by the taxpayers of Penticton and is administered by city council through a society of appointed directors.

Council is very hesitant to provide taxpayers with the actual deficit incurred by Challenge Penticton. The top city bureaucrat is the treasurer of Challenge Penticton, strange that she does not know the total deficit. Therefore, it is necessary to do some estimating and have council refute the estimates below. Council, if you wanted to explain the implications of the 2013 race, would you not be open with the total costs of Challenge Penticton.

Let’s assume Challenge Penticton had an estimated deficit of $300,000 after receiving a grant in kind of $106,700 from the citizens of Penticton. Does this not mean Challenge Penticton had an estimated deficit of $406,700? Council, have you not just hidden the $106,700 in grants paid out and shown the grant as income on the records of Challenge Penticton.

Does it really make sense to pay a grant to yourself, just be honest and record all of the entries through the records of Challenge Penticton.  The deficit will need to be funded by the taxpayers one way or the other.

You now need to add the trip to Germany of $40,000 and 43 per cent of the grant paid by the Regional District which would amount to $10,750. Penticton pays 43 per cent of the regional district’s administrative costs.

The accounting system at city hall does not track labour costs, and I will estimate that $100,000 of direct labour costs were incurred for Challenge Penticton and these labour costs are hidden under various departments allocated to labour.

Added to this would be a 30 per cent benefits load for a total of $30,000. Total estimated labour and the benefits load would amount to $130,000.

So if we add the $406,700, $40,000, $10,750 and $130,000 we arrive at a total deficit estimated at $587,450.

Readers, caution because this amount of $587,450 is an estimate. Hopefully, it will force council to get honest with the Penticton taxpayers.

The $200,000 line of credit guarantee is a meaningless figure. One way or another taxpayers are responsible to fund 100 per cent of the costs and deficits incurred by the Challenge Penticton Society.  Many of the above costs have been estimated and it will be necessary for council to correct my assumptions to the actual costs incurred and present an accurate accounting.

If council cannot bring the deficit under control, council will be forced to sell the rights of the Challenge Penticton event to the private sector.

Ted Wiltse



Treatment of veterans appalling

Mr Harper and Mr MacKenzie I am totally appalled by your treatment of our Veterans.

Even I did not believe our government could sink so low.

You recently gave millions of our tax dollars to foreign countries while our veterans, who have been used and abused by our country to attack other countries and have been forced see horrific actions around the world, are now abandoned by the very government that used them in the first place.

And yet I read this morning that millions of dollars are being used for ministers offices around Canada.

This while the offices that are supposed to help our veterans are being shut down.

You make me ashamed to be a Canadian.

That our government could abandon those  in need is an indication that the people of Canada are all cannon fodder to be used and abused as long as they can pay taxes but after that they are to be tossed aside.

Shame on you and your government.

Rebecca Gingrich



Firefighters appreciate support

The Penticton Professional Fire Fighters Union would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported the Penticton fire fighters in 2013.

With your support, we were able to raise and donate more than $40,000 to local, provincial and national charities.

We raised and donated $18,000 to Muscular Dystrophy Canada and $20,000 to the BC Burn Fund Operations and construction of the BC Burn Fund Building.

The Burn Fund Building will provide accommodation for burn survivors and their families allowing them to recover together.

Locally, we raised and donated over $3,000 to several charities, including the Good News Bears, Penticton Library, Penticton Safety Village, Penticton Minor Hockey, Miss Penticton, Have A Heart Radio-a-thon and the South Okanagan Women’s in Need Society.

Without the support of our community, we would never be able to achieve our goals.

We are proud and honored to be serving Penticton and area, and we will continue to work hard at our fundraising efforts as well as for your safety and well being

Thank you for your support and have a safe and prosperous 2014.

Mike Richards

President Local 1399 IAFF


Lights out

(re: New Electricity Rates Zap School Board Bottom Line, Western News, Jan. 17)

Perhaps the school board could economize by hitting switches.

During two weeks of Christmas break 27 lights blazed over the Pen High parking lot illuminating only two school buses much of the time.

Security lighting is necessary but this is overkill.

Other people have complained about this situation but nothing has ever been done about it. If not originally built into the system, switches could be installed for night lighting when needed for school or Shatford Centre  events.

I hope to see this fixed before spring break.

Anne Ginns



SPCA says thank you

What an amazing community.

This past holiday season the BC SPCA’s South Okanagan Similkameen Branch in Penticton was over whelmed with an outpouring of generosity from this amazing community.

Not only did we receive donations of food, blankets  and toys around the Christmas tree for our shelter animals but thousands of dollars in donations, many in-kind donations and unbelievable support of the shelter.

As the new manager of this fantastic branch, it is indeed very heartwarming to be part of this community and know that there are so many incredibly caring animal people out there.

So I would like to thank everyone for their ongoing commitment to the branch and invite the public to come and see the facility and think of choosing us for any future adoptions.

We are open to the public from 12 to 5 p.m. daily and closed on Sunday.

Corinne Ross

SPCA Branch Manager

South Okanagan Similkameen


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