LETTER: Utility increases, RDOS pay increase are disappointing

Increases will affect those on low incomes

Dear Editor:

It was very disappointing to read Summerland council’s decision to raise the utility rates over twice the cost of inflation for 2020.

Unfortunately we’ll likely see a property tax increase as well. Having spent 16 years on council, including nine as mayor, I know we can do better, and based on the economic outlook for Canada over the next number of years, we are going to have to.

READ ALSO: Summerland utility rates to increase

READ ALSO: Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen directors to receive pay increase

What happened to the “windfall” of new tax income from approximately $50 million in new construction?

Also why a higher increase in water rates over the electrical rate increase when after infrastructure cost, administration, etc the water runs free from the hills, whereas we purchase our power from Fortis?

Summerland, like many communities, has a number of homeless families. Do we really need to make it more difficult for low income families and seniors on fixed incomes to stay in their homes?

In closing I would like to thank Coun. Holmes and the other two Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen board members for voting No to the ridiculous stipend increase of 11.9 per cent for board members, at the recent RDOS board meeting.

I’m quite aware of the lost tax perk they and I enjoyed for many years, but that’s exactly what it was, a perk. Perks can come and go.

Any board member who felt it was a hardship could have claimed the expenses as a tax deduction.

Unfortunately the resolution passed 16-3, so now the taxpayers will have to pick up the tab.

Don Cameron, Sr.

Summerland

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