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2019 Budget Talks

10 months ago

What questions or comments do you have for staff and Council?

Consultation has concluded

  • PT Gayler 10 months ago
    Will the City include in its Land Management Strategy initiative a comprehensive assessment of each of the 500+ properties they manage (on our behalf?) for their strategic value and economic benefit that accrues to the citizens of Penticton ... including whether or not the value or benefits would be diminished if the properties were sold ? For example, if the SOEC was sold to a for-profit enterprise, what might the sale proceeds be ... and could the responsibility for providing adequate parking be successfully transferred to the new owner ? ... and what would/could be the impact on City revenues, expenses, staffing, capital budget, "infrastructure deficit", etc ? Or, for example if the golf course property was sold what might the sale proceeds be. Or, if it was repurposed, what are the beneficial alternate uses for the site ... like a master-planned residential community specifically designed to address forecast housing shortfalls that developers don't seem to have any interest in: low-to-moderate-income families and seniors. The scope for assessment of vacant land and underutilized structures, particularly in the downtown area (bus depot, bus barn, proposed Performing Arts Centre site, etc.), must provide assurances to ratepayers that these so-called strategic investments are a wise use of their property tax dollars.
  • PT Gayler 10 months ago
    Will the City include in its Comprehensive Development Plan initiative a comprehensive assessment of each of the utilities they operate for their strategic value and the economic benefits that accrue to the citizens of Penticton ... including whether or not the value or benefits would be diminished if the utilities were sold or, better still, converted to regional co-operatives ? Specifically ratepayers ought to know what value the City adds when it buys electricity from Fortis at wholesale prices and sells it to residents and businesses at retail prices. Why they do this for electricity and not for natural gas. What additional benefits would accrue to Penticton residents if utilities (hydro, water, sewer, garbage, recycling, composting, etc.) had a regional mandate (i.e. all of the South Okanagan). Why the same principles and practices employed for policing (RCMP), ambulance (BC Ambulance), waste disposal and recycling (Waste Connections), telephone, cable and internet (Shaw, Telus) are not applied to emergency response, water, sewage treatment, bylaw services, snow removal, landscaping, library, etc ?.
  • Deb Webb 10 months ago
    Can the Library building please be painted some colours like ochre yellow, terra cotta, warm brown instead of the ugly grey cement? (especially on the west side. Deborah
  • Wayne 10 months ago
    Why do we need another 7.5 new staff positions resulting in an excessive tax increase when the population of the city has not increased that much and neither has it's physical foot print? Why are there not other solutions present such as identifying citizen priorities on the transfer of services from say economic development to bylaw?Why is there such urgency in spending money to support bylaw enforcement when those problems are far better solved though strategic solutions and use of resources rather than just throwing yet more money and people at it? To be blunt, when are staff going to quit empire building?Why are solutions such as setting performance targets (financial and otherwise) and redesign of work duties (e.g. putting RCMP on the street instead of cars?) not being considered instead?Why is the Business Tax Multiplier only proposed to go to 1.8 when it is much higher for comparable municipalities such as Vernon? Also, given the concept of the revenue neutral policy, why is it not being increase more at this time to increase our taxation capacity for the business property class? Why are more stable targets such as residential pays 60% of total taxes and all other classes pay 40% being considered?Why is there an increase of 0.5 FTEs in economic development when that area has not shown any return on investment since 2010 when the budget for it was near $250,000. It has now grown to over $500,000, could be cut back to 2010 levels and economic development functions could easily be assumed in the roles and responsibilities of existing management staff. How is this request any different than the empire building comment I placed earlier?Why are expenditures for non-essential services (tourism funding, economic development, communications, building a new website, process improvements that only favour identified groups like developers, etc) not being transferred to areas where citizens express priorities?
    • Admin Commented COP Community Engagement 10 months ago
      Hi Wayne, Thanks for your message. I will provide your message to staff for a response. Stay tuned. JoAnne
    • Deb Webb 10 months ago
      Wayne has it right, the Economic Development department costs a lot for the little that has been returned. The turnover in the E.D. Officer position is evidence that it is not producing any tangible results - what is wrong with that role? Why is it not being scrutinized and reworked? Maybe a part-time role is all that is needed top provide real value back to the City. I do disagree with Wayne in that some RCMP must stay in cars to be able to serve the wide area that must be covered. An officer on foot near Skaha Lake could not possibly attend an incident in West Bench or downtown or Uplands. A car is also a visible presence and can cover a large area. Officers on bicycles in summer are great, maybe an electric scooter or electric motorcycle could be used in addition to cars in summer months?
  • Deb Webb 10 months ago
    When will we have the proposed Community Performing Arts Centre in downtown Penticton open for business? Why isn't the City planning for this project in its budget? When will both the Art Gallery and Library get more funding and space to provide their excellent services?
  • Brent Carson 10 months ago
    Why not switch to zero based budgeting to control costs more effectively and make every dollar spent be thoroughly justified?What are equivalent wages and benefits for equal PRIVATE sector positions?