Letter: Waste a way of doing business, running gov’t

The City of Kelowna could operate for the next five years with a zero tax increase.

Open letter to Kelowna Mayor Basran and council:

With respect, let me explain why your 4.1 per cent proposed property tax increase is unsustainable, especially for the many Kelowna seniors who are living on fixed incomes.

While I worked as a business professional, we used author Tom Peters’ book In Search of Excellence, which stated that companies and large organizations, especially government, can be as much as 60 per cent inefficient in running their operation. Managers who are confronted with this laugh and say: Not us, that is completely ridiculous. However, I can guarantee a review by a qualified outside source not affiliated with your operation, will find numerous ways that you can save money, a fact proven by Peters.

What I am saying is that the City of Kelowna could operate for the next five years with a zero tax increase.

Never, you politicians roar, the people will never accept the service cuts that would follow. But guess what, an in-depth review of your total operation if independently made, would find enough dollar savings to not only increase services but to also hire your six RCMP officers for 2016 without a tax increase.

You may know that in 1787, Alexander Tyler wrote in part, “ A democracy will continue to exist until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy …” This was supported by Plato almost 2,500 years ago. A very recent example of government extravagance is 383 Canadian officials attending the Paris climate conference at taxpayer expense.

But in spite of these truths, you will do nothing and I will tell you why. Unless very disciplined, managers always ask for more people because it creates greater responsibility thus a higher salary for themselves.

And your union members are bound by the mandate not only to keep but in fact to increase jobs.

Thirdly, local councils seldom if ever seriously look for real cost savings because they always believe the way to do it is to just add to the previous base of cost. Finally, imposing operation savings for the city can be unpopular for you politicians and it is a huge amount of work that almost everyone is reluctant to undertake.

Don Haaheim, Kelowna

 

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