To the editor:
Why are we building a City Hall 50 per cent bigger and 125 per cent more costly than recommended by the City of West Kelowna’s own consultant (Mr. Huggett) three years ago?
Why are the citizens giving financial support to one developer, who is in competition with non subsidized commercial competitors like Lakeview Plaza and the many successful residential developers who pay much higher site development costs?
The only reasons are very clear to all but the developer’s YES committee, realtors involved, city staff, politicians, and other people who will benefit directly from this project.
For the average citizen it represents waste, higher taxes, lowered emergency reserves, and delayed starting of urgent infrastructure.
The costs escalated because of using a 3P partnership (Ontario AG calculates 16 per cent over cost of non 3P), excessive space, excessive personal space per staff person, and purchasing land when there is under-utilized and/or vacant city land already available.
The city’s demonstrated lack of respect for the citizens who, despite the bureaucratic obstacles, still got out and voted a resounding no [in an alternative approval process] to this project is unseemly.
The planners at the city would have you believe the development costs will be lost and this city’s office space will become a rat-infested nightmare if we say no. Not true, the planning can all be used, another location settled on, a practical sized space created from the existing plans all in weeks, not years, if the will and spirit of cooperation by the city is there.
If ever there was a case of David verses Goliath this is it; a well financed, registered political pressure group, vs the underfunded local taxpayers.
The only sensible and financially sound decision is to vote no to this project.
Doug Waines, West Kelowna