Letter: West Kelowna: Do what constituents want

A good legacy for all of you to create is not a building, but the growth of communications to “all” of the taxpayers…

Open letter to the mayor and council of West Kelowna:

I am not a taxpayer that puts their feet up and lets the politicians make all of the decision. I have learned from the history and experiences of earlier generations that if you don’t stand up and speak out, the next generation will suffer.

Our West Kelowna city council is responsible to the taxpayers not big business. If I had my way, politicians would not be able to accept election monetary support from big business, which includes developers and consultants who have different desires and direction than taxpayers. Yes they are taxpayers too but they have the money to possibly influence politicians to achieve the big business long term goals.

I do not believe in the so called “public private partnerships.” Recent history has shown that the private portion of the partnership always benefits more than the public (taxpayer) portion. City councils should never fall to the lures of public private partnerships.

It would appear that on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, the city council will be reviewing the proposed new city hall that was rejected through the alternate approval process. It also appears that you are looking at a full referendum because you did not get your way. If that possible referendum does not win, you can do it again in six months and then again in six months until you get what you want.

An electorate of 6,650 voted in the 2014 municipal election. Yes, I am concerned that only 33 per cent of the electorate voted. However, almost 4,000 voted against borrowing to build your new city hall. This 4,000 is more than any of the mayoral candidates and any city councillor received in the last election. I do not understand how any of you can disrespect those that voted by pushing for a referendum.

Please respect the voters. Stop this proposed city hall project.

• Re-evaluate the location to one that the voters respect (which apparently is on existing city-owned property).

• Save all of the plans and consultation documents that you have already paid for and hence own.

• Do not do another public private partnership. Let developer land owners build on their properties if it makes sense to them not because the city is willing to spend a larger per square foot cost to build a city hall.

• Re-evaluate why you need to spend as much as you are proposing (especially the FF&E costs, contingencies, land costs, and a high per square foot building cost).

• Start a reserve fund from the three per cent taxation increase to pay for such a building.

• Lease a few extra thousand square feet to accommodate your short term needs.

• Provide details of your desired budget spending to the taxpayers.

• Regroup and meet the direction of the taxpayers with respect.

A good legacy for all of you to create is not a building, but the growth of communications to “all” of the taxpayers with a passion to help develop the next generation of people who may lead with core values and integrity.

Cheating ourselves through the intent of progress, is going into debt and asking the next generation to pay.

We cannot and will not give away our taxpayer power because we will stand up and vote.

Thomas Lovell, Wes Kelowna