Letter: Safety before city hall in West Kelowna

Who is paying for the YES vote campaign in West Kelowna?

To the editor:

I received a mail-out the other day. On it was information about where and when to vote on the referendum to borrow money for a new city hall.

I flipped the card over and there I found propaganda about why I should vote yes in the referendum. But there was no information about what a NO vote would look like for the City of West Kelowna.

Why not? That got me thinking about who is funding this mail-out? Who if funding all the Yes vote signs? Who is funding the Yes campaign office next to the library?

It appears that city council of West Kelowna has authorized a budget of up to $25,000 of taxpayer money to pay for the Yes campaign.

That is my understanding, so would someone please confirm that.

In my opinion then, our political leaders in West Kelowna are using our own money to try to convince us that we need a new city hall.

They say, in their mail-out, that there is no additional tax increase and the cost burden and risk will be reduced. What they failed to mention was that they want to borrow $7.7 million and then repay this debt using taxpayer money over 20 years. They failed to mention that the cost of borrowing the $7.7 million will be $1.75 million.

I had to hunt for that number on the city’s web site.

So, by voting yes, the taxpayer of West Kelowna is actually voting yes to $9.45 million and not the $7.7 million that the YES campaign alleges. In the flyer, I am told that no projects in the existing 10-year Capital Plan will be affected. This tells me that there is no flexibility in this plan either.

So that means, folks, will just have to wait for improvements to the safety and quality of life that they should be getting now.

What about new projects that will arise in the future? That extra $1.75 million, we will be forced to pay in interest charges, could go a long way to help with better roads, sidewalks, bike lanes and water treatment. These are things we need now not a few years from now.

Silly me, I thought that we elected people to represent us and to work on our behalf to provide for our needs as a society. Such needs are those that are required now that will make our lives better and safer.

We don’t need a new city hall. It will not make our lives better or safer. A new city hall is a lovely concept but we do not need it.

Apparently our Mayor and Council and some developers and businessmen want it. And they want the taxpayer to pay for it.

For those who argue that the current city hall is getting overcrowded then perhaps you can go support our local school district. You can go support all those students and teachers who are forced to start up the new school year in portables. And perhaps you can accompany these same students as they must go from their portables to the main building, across open outside areas in rain and snow just so they can use the washrooms, use the library or use the gymnasium. They would like to get their own classrooms in the main building but that is not going to happen for awhile, and neither should the new city hall.

Are the interests of the citizens of West Kelowna being best served, by borrowing $7.7 million, and then having to pay $1.75 million in interest charges for a building that most of us will probably never use? I don’t think so.

I would rather drive on safer roads and drink safer water.

Lorne Brown, West Kelowna

Just Posted

Heavy rain causes flooding in the Central Okanagan

Portion of lower Glenrosa Road closed due to flooding

Feature Friday: Is the sky the limit for downtown Kelowna construction?

City building up, not out, as high rise living becomes more popular

Wild weather leads to power outages

Thousands woke up in the dark this morning, as Fortis crews scrambled to get power up and running.

CNIB promises to respond to criticism

Blind community advocates call for inclusion initiatives

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Are you going to turn off the lights for Earth Hour?

BC Hydro report says fewer people in the province are taking part, but feel it’s still important

Marijuana edibles won’t be regulated in 2018

Health Canada says edible regulation is still more than a year away

Letter: Speculation tax outrage ignores the most vulnerable

Kelowna letter-writer says it’s the rich and development crowd who are against the new tax

Rainstorm causes road flooding in South Okanagan

Flood assessments conducted in Okanagan Falls and Naramata

Fat joke on B.C. school’s sign not appropriate, woman says

Surrey mother says weight issues are no laughing matter

McMaster out, Bolton in as Trump’s national security adviser

President Donald is replacing National security adviser H.R. McMaster with John Bolton

Two killed, dozen hurt in French supermarket hostage-taking

French counterterrorism prosecutors are taking charge of the investigation into the shooting of a police officer in southern France

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read