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Mayor Sharon Shepherd. (File Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet)
Mayor Sharon Shepherd. (File Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet)

City asks UBCM to set record straight

by - Story: 50896

Kelowna City Council wants to set the record straight when it comes to municipal spending.

At the urging of Mayor Sharon Shepherd, council has agreed to ask the Union of B.C. Municipalities to comment on just how municipal spending occurs.

This is in response to a survey sent out by the Federation of Independent Businesses earlier this month which said most municipalities in the province were spending at an unsustainable high rate.

The survey used growth and cost of living figures versus increased rates of spending to draw its conclusions.

It indicated municipal spending across the province grew by 43 per cent between 2000 and 2007 while population and inflation grew by only 25 per cent.

"It would be helpful if UBCM, which represents all municipalities and regional districts in the province, were able to put out a statement regarding how municipal spending occurs," says Shepherd.

"It can't necessarily be based on a cost of living formula which seems to be the perception in the community. We recognize there needs to be education of components to the taxpayers to the municipalities and it would be better to come from the UBCM as opposed to individual municipalities."

The report from the business federation was released as most municipalities across the province get ready to deliberate the 2010 budget.

Kelowna Council will hold budget deliberations just prior to Christmas.

"We welcome them (the public) to come to our budget deliberations but unfortunately very few people participate in that option, so they don't understand the discussions that council does go through in order to make decisions about the needs that are identified for our community."

Shepherd says council has asked Councillor Robert Hobson, past president of the UBCM, to take their message to the municipal organization.

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