To the editor:
We have a major problem with City Hall and council. The letter by Adrian Witt is just a primer. (Up To Public to Say Not to Cop Shop Plan, June 20 Capital News.) The city is giving our mounties a Taj Mahal at a time the city is bordering on another recession. Please do not listen to financial experts, and certainly not to Mayor Walter Gray’s euphoric assessment.
The problem is mainly with voters. You get elected if you put fires out. You get elected if you are voted man or woman of the year, or as sympathy, and so on. So be it. But quit complaining after the fact.
While many are sweating it out with low-paying jobs, bureaucrats are laughing all the way to the bank. How many of you remember the song we have had from past mayors? It goes something like this: “We have to keep them and pay them well. If we don’t, they will go somewhere else.”
Nobody comes out and tells council to put up the red carpet for them to go somewhere else. Now council has hired a consultant to find out what people think. If they don’t know, they simply cannot be that smart. Or, perhaps it was a suggestion from competent bureaucrats. And at what cost? I guess we will never know.
City Hall bureaucrats are so competent that they had to hire a consultant to find out how to disburse money for the arts for a pittance of 25,000 bucks. I bet you a high school kid could come up with a solution.
Do you know how many times I have asked city clark and council how much the Einstein and Marie Curie of City Hall spend on consultants? I never got an answer. It is never in the budget and I wonder what on earth councillors are doing. Don’t they ask questions, let alone grill the bureaucrats for stupidity?
They asked ‘Four Change’ and they got it. I am not finished. Two weeks ago, I saw a fellow with a tripod on Highway 33. I asked him what he was up to. He told me he works for a paving contractor and he was surveying. As I have nothing to do with my time, I went up and down Highway 33 from 97 to Rutland Road a few times. Unless I am Ray Charles, I could not find anything wrong that required the entire piece to be paved. If city staff worked on commission, contractors would owe them a fortune. To say they get a golden handshake would be preposterous.
The answers I have gotten from his worship have been baffling: “We might as well pave while cost is low.”
How many voters would buy new furniture even if they do not need it because prices are low? That is Kelowna for you—the envy of the world.
Whether you believe it or not, Canada is financially strapped and so is the world, except for China and Russia. Yet, City Hall spends, spends and spends. Needless to say, they need bread from people for their extravagance, especially seniors who are strapped.
If you are thrilled with council, then let it be. I am not. In Kelowna, nothing would change because the large majority of younger people do not vote. It has been like this for almost 40 years.