Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Selected articles -- Morning Star, June 23, 2010.


It would be nice if we could afford to have all users pay nothing for recreation facilities. It would also be nice if people supporting free use of recreation facilities would come out in droves at budget time and support tax increases to fund those request. However, the opposite happens: people complain bitterly for even fractional tax increases.

Taxpayers have funded the infrastructure costs of our sports facilities. They are also subsidizing the operation and maintenance of those facilities to a large extent. We must be careful how much taxes we require from our taxpayers for sport subsidies.


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1 comment:

VernonResident said...

Greater Vernon's main recreation contractor is the City of Vernon, whose collective agreement spells out 4.8% annual wage increases. Staff costs eat up the majority of the recreation budget. It is therefore not surprising that there is intense pressure to increase user fees at the regional level.

Surely budget time isn't the only time that public discussions could be hosted on what types of sport subsidies/facilities/services are most required by this community.

There is a Parks and Rec service review currently underway.

Perhaps it is time to check and see whether the Regional Board's priorities still match those of the community at large? How about a spirited discussion of subsidies and other issues, with the public invited to attend and provide their input?

For example, how much should hockey be subsidized versus soccer? Or ultimate frisbee? Who decides what should be subsidized and how much?

Taxation is one component of funding recreation, user fees are another.

Perhaps those who oversee recreation at the regional level would welcome the chance to listen to the various user groups and individuals, instead of only those who cry the loudest. Perhaps all our user groups and individuals would gain a greater understanding of how difficult it is to make the right decisions for the entire community, not just for themselves.

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.