RE: Imagine Kelowna

I read Gord Marshall's letter today with interest and agree with most of what he writes. The request for input from the public is a giant waste of time and money, and is a move right out of the Vision Vancouver playbook. Namely, pretend to care what residents think, hold public meetings, then completely ignore what people say and do what you wanted to anyway. It is a ploy to deflect criticism. What I would like is for the city to do the job that they were elected to do and do it properly.

The construction of the interior health building downtown was a good idea, but the provision for parking spaces was woefully inadequate and could have been foreseen at every stage of planning. Either this was incompetent or it was a very good plan to have have hundreds of employees looking for parking. Many of those would have been forced into city lots, in addition visitors to the building take up parking spaces on the adjacent streets. Coincidentally the city increased the charges for on street parking at exactly the same time. We now pay more to park for an hour downtown than we would for an hour on Main Street, Vancouver.

To add insult to injury we then have Tracy Guidi telling us that, among other plans for the future, the city are considering a gas tax. We should all be outraged that this is even being considered. First we get to pay for the construction of streets in our annual property taxes, then we get charged to park on them, now there is the prospect that the city want to add to the tax burden on our already overpriced gas.

We are told that there will "only" be a 2.9% increase in our property tax bills this year, even though that is over the rate of inflation, this would be acceptable if there were no new construction this year, but in fact hundreds of new houses and condos have been built and are contributing millions more dollars to the city. Why should there be any increase at all? Why can't the city learn to do what every family has to do, live within their means. Instead of looking for ways to increase revenue streams from residents and businesses, how about cutting back on wasteful expenditure and vanity projects like the "Active Transportation Corridor" (AKA the million dollar cycle path to nowhere).

Yes Gord, we need some changes at the next civic election.

Peter Emery

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