How the Penticton deficit came to be

In reference to our $175 million infrastructure needs, we should analyze how this came to be.

For about the last five years I spent working for the city, I have been witness to ever-shrinking operational budgets. Instead of listening to experts within the city ranks, present and past mayors and councils have basically ignored requests for infrastructural repair/replacement in favour of unnecessary mega projects (hockey dorm, pool (and we all see what a great job was done there), and how many millions wasted so far on the Skaha Park water slide issue. The downtown revitalization in the 200-block of Main Street was a little over the top with the raised intersections and fancy bricks. I wonder how much money could have been saved without this?

The plow drivers are really going to love this, but I guess mayor and council did not consider this.

The people I feel sorry for are the departmental managers. They have been under the gun for years to still try and get the job done on basically a shoestring budget. It must be incredibly stressful.

There were years of no tax increases (and even a tax decrease one year) under the Ashton regime when everyone knows we could not afford this and expect to maintain a minimum standard with respect to our infrastructure.

What it all boils down to, ladies and gentlemen, is poor fiscal management by mayors and councils past and present. End of story.

Off topic, I see Trio Marine came in at the 11th hour just under the wire with a financial plan in place for the marina and restaurant. I would love to know which financial institute backed this project so I can avoid it like the plague. It would be an extremely risky roll of the dice for any bank or credit union, as far as I am concerned. Maybe Trio marine got a hold of Loren Reagan for the cash.

I would be extremely upset if I were to find out the city was backing this by lending out taxpayer money.

Mark Billesberger

Penticton