City budget

Resident expresses concerns about the City of Vernon's financial plan

Well, the mayor and council are trying to sell us this budget from his financial manager as holding the line and the best they can do.   How naive do really think us the taxpayers — the people who voted you into office — are?

To start with, the online version is 527 pages (no wonder the photocopiers are getting old). Let’s get rid of the glossy pictures and all of the pie charts and condense the paperwork.

If you published this thing for people to read, you are going to break the bank for publishing it.

The plan states that the raise rate is 1.9 per cent. Does this include:

The hospital is asking for an increase of 13.9 for in indeterminate number of years, amounting to they say $10 per household, but this is based on last years assessments.

In order to fund future infrastructure upgrades, (administrator Will Pearce) is recommending council raise taxes at least 1.9 per cent a year, for the next 10 years in order to build up a pool of funds.

Administration also recommends council initiate a dedicated 1.9 per cent tax rate increase, to be cumulative for 10 years (that is 1.9 per cent  dedicated tax rate increases each year for the 10 years proposed) in order to build the financial capacity of the city to deal with looming infrastructure issues

Plus, the automatic wage and benefit increases for all union employees. Do you have the nerve to put this number out for everyone to see?

There was $570,000 to demolish the old Coldstream hotel site. He came to his senses and stopped it Add the sports complex that he is hoping to have built.

To do this they are suggesting:

Raise some of the rates at the pool. This is the only place some people and the elderly can go and get exercise at a reasonable rate.

Raise the parking meter rates, the fines that go along with this and the weekly and monthly lot rates. Well you might as well ring the death toll for downtown because nobody will want to go down and shop or eat because of the extra cost. Those that work in the downtown area will not be able to afford the high cost of parking.

Why do just about all the departments have a food and coffee account? Are we supplying all employees with coffee and snacks? Most of these are new in this budget.

Suggest reducing road sweeping, then why do you have a request for a new sweeper in this budget?

Now is the time to e-mail, write or call the mayor, council members and the regional district directors and let them know that we do not want increases in our taxes. We want to get our debts paid off before we go bankrupt as is happening in other counties, even Canada.

Garry Haas



Vernon Morning Star

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