Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Guess Who Said It...

"It's time for governments to work toward a change in the way we conduct business."

Vernon Mayor Sawatzky?  Nope
Coldstream Mayor Garlick?  Nope

A hint...

"At the City, we're in the midst of changing the corporate culture, with the goal of being a high-performing, customer-focused organization.  Part of that process is an aggressive assessment of the services we provide, our business processes, our fees and charges, the way we consult with the community and our customer service initiatives."

Vernon Mayor Sawatzky?  Nope
Coldstream Mayor Garlick?  Nope

Okay, a last hint.
And frankly, ask yourself if Vernon or Coldstream have said/would say these words.

"Looking ahead, we've probably experienced the last prolonged building boom we're likely to see for a while.  With the baby boomers retiring, sensitivity to tax increases becomes more acute and every level of government is facing a prolonged period of financial restraint."

Give up?

All quotes are from Kelowna City Manager, Ron Mattiussi.
And he does have something to brag about in that city.
Because they've worked hard to create it.

Some Kelowna stats:  
Population 119,000
Bike Lanes 428 km
Housing Starts 559
Parkland Hectares 1,055
Business Licenses 9,144
Airport Passengers 1.44 Million annually 
Tourists 1.5 Million
Transit Riders 4.97 M
Protective Services 39 Million
Building Permits $287 Million
Non-profit Tax Exemptions $960,000
Development permit applications 508
Professional Arts Grants $340,000
Hours of Recreation Programming 45,000
Bike-to-Work Week Participants 1,412
Graffiti Removals 7,000 
Council's vision is to focus on the big picture, as stated in their annual report.  Page 7 of 78 is particularly enlightening--especially to a resident of Vernon--as the goals and vision of Kelowna seem multiples of miles distant from those of our near-and-dear administrations.

Just think...9,144 business licenses.
Nine thousand, one hundred and forty-four, and all the tax dollars they contribute.
Because they wanted to set up shop in Kelowna.

And residents--while not all were extremely satisfied with services or taxation policies as outlined in Kelowna's Citizen Survey, were at least engaged and interested.  Extremely so, with 97% respondents participating in the survey.

Even during an economic slowdown, Kelowna has an enviable atmosphere and positive "vibe".

"But we don't want to be a Kelowna," sneered Coldstream Mayor Garlick on several occasions during the last election campaign.

"No danger of that," offers Kia, adding "unfortunately."
Miles behind, our administrations are still averse to acting on the core review... (sigh)

...an afterthought...unable to confirm this, but we've heard Kelowna's Roads Manager (a fellow named Joe) is also manager of Parks and several other departments.  One guy.  And here?  The corresponding management responsibility here is, we believe, handled by two--maybe three--managers.  And our roads management people don't oversee parks.  That's another boss.   Or two. 

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