To the editor:
Thank the people that took the time to vote no.
The actual rail trail legality issue aside, this loan offer from Kelowna is actually about amalgamation of power.
The economy locally, and pretty much everywhere else, operates on a seven-year cycle. It inflates much like a balloon in exponential growth—and debt—until it doesn’t anymore and the bill comes due.
Larger centres are better insulated from the drop in asset values because of diversification. So people sell their places and retire to cheaper, less populated areas.
After an economic pop, rural areas stay at a low plateau for a long time. Eventually the imports look around and get nostalgic about all the amenities they left behind from parks, roads, bus service, libraries, city halls, fire halls, ice rinks, curling rinks, playing fields, sidewalks, schools, to water, sewer, garbage improvements. Those are all wonderful things—if you have the tax base to support them.
The post-65 imported retiree is looking at his homeowner’s grant and 65 plus discount is not going to actually be paying for any of it.
Progress does require a certain amount of vision and we thank them for introducing ideas. However, eventually reach extends grasp and a council crosses the line between using reserves and contingency funds and uses debt.
There is always someone waiting in the wings to hand them that debt with an agenda attached. All is well when all things look rosy in year five and six. We are all busy ignoring the large cracks developing in year seven.
Honestly look at the budget stress breakpoint on the working, tax-paying base in Lake Country.
And every time there is a critical issue that comes along after the pop when the economy flatlines, usually in utilities, an expensive functional repair, structural failure, weather crisis or a change in provincial code, the credit cards are maxed out and the politicians can’t afford enough TP to wipe their…noses.
There is always a big brother municipality handy that says: ‘Give me your tax base and I promise all will be well.’
Problem being, the bigger any entity becomes, growth and survival is based on expansion. Shark models also die if they don’t keep moving. There is no point in romancing the wife if you have your eye on the next girlfriend.
All those promises in exchange for taxes never quite arrive, as anyone that has ever lived in an amalgamated town knows. The resources are strip mined and used to leverage further expansion. Nothing new, this exact same scenario plays out right up the global food chain.
Whenever debt is suggested or offered, look for the underlying agenda. The only way to exempt yourself from that machine is pay as you go, with no debt.
Nola Marth, Lake Country