To the editor:
I spent 40 years working for a shareholder owned company. Much of that time was spent before management boards trying to justify spending money. Spending was categorized as either repairs and maintenance or an addition to capital. No matter how passionate I felt about a particular need, management always boiled it down to two things. If repairs, would it save the company money over x number of years. If it was capital, would it generate a return to shareholders. Usually the time frame was five years.
Now we get to civic government where city council is the board of directors and staff are the ones pleading for money. Staff want to tear down Parkinson Rec. Centre because it is 40 years old. Oh, and Kelowna Community theatre because it is 50 years old. Good job City of Paris didn’t buy that or the 224-year-old Louvre museum would have been gone 175 years ago.
Both buildings in question are made of brick, like most 200-400 year old buildings in Europe. They will stand for decades longer. Yes repairs are needed and an expansion of Parkinson is as well. These can be done at much less cost than building a new recreation building at a cost of $13 million (which we all know will balloon to $22 million before it is done) plus cost of capital.
City council no longer has someone who understands corporate finance and are continually being duped by city staff. It is time to send the planners back to their cubicles and come up with a reasonable, cost effective plan. If they can’t, perhaps we should contract the work out to people who can think more creatively.
Bruce Stevenson, Kelowna