Letters to the Editor

Letter: Business ‘handpicked’ council to ‘spend, spend’

To the editor:

‘Do nothing if you want new police detachment’ is a salivating title. Unfortunately, for me, I cannot digest the logic of a building three times the size of the present one. If we need that much space, then Mounties presently must be sitting on each other’s knee.

First: the borrowing of $50 million. Councillor Blanleil says this is not a frill because he is not usually in favour of spending a lot of money. But this project is a necessity. Hence, the need to borrow $42 million to be paid over the next 30 years.

As for the ratepayers, it would be a miserly $3.50 per month for the same 30-year period, besides the usual tax increases that has been going on for over the past 20 years old. Here we are telling our kids they cannot spend more than they earn, only to have a council that has not mastered that wisdom. If we choose to do nothing, then we are willing and ready to fork out a lousy 42 bucks each year over the next 30 years, for a grand total of $1260.

Now let me ask Blanleil and Mayor Gray, who are two businessmen, a question that probably a high school student should be able to answer.

The new detachment building will have 28 cells. Just like the present detachment building. If I remember correctly what I read from council, each of these 28 cells would cost $200,000 for a grand total of 5.6 million. I remember asking, in a letter, if the walls of each cell would be of solid steel that would not allow even Houdini to break free. I am still waiting for an answer.

Can someone tells me a why a cell costs more than an average home, on a piece of title-free land?

I am aware it is not the role of council to provide social services. But, if it did, just imagine how many homeless and hungry people we could accommodate for the price of just one cell?

Recently, I read about city hall going to the public with a web site, For the Record, because it has the perception, perhaps paranoia, of being negatively portrayed by the press and the public at large.

In my almost 40 years as a resident of Kelowna, I have never seen such an act of desperation by any previous council. The mayor wants to show accountability. Well, Your Worship, why I am still waiting for an answer of how much the city spends on consultants to tell staff what to do? Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, I have yet to see the expenditure mentioned in the budget, never mind getting a written response from city clerk.

I am going to be selfish. The building, if there were no opposition from the public, would be able to accommodate more cops for the next 30 years. Should I tell my children and grandchildren to pay for it?

If there is no opposition from the public, will there be an open tender in B.C. and across the country, or is it tailor-made for local entrepreneurs?

In conclusion, Kelowna is open for business and that is why in the last election, pro-business 4Change, spent almost $35,000 on advertisements to handpick a mayor and a council that will spend, spend, spend on business.

Mo Rajabally,

Kelowna

 

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