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May 3, 2012

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Public consultation on Powell River finances begins Monday

POWELL RIVER— Bricks and mortar alone won’t make Powell River successful, that’s the message from CUPE 798. 

CUPE 798, the union representing municipal, library and regional district workers, met with Mayor and Council today to discuss the 2012-2013 budget.  The budget was recently announced and focuses solely on infrastructure improvements paid for by cuts to services. The union fears that Council is headed in the wrong direction.

“We want Powell River to be a successful city, and right now we are going through some changes,” said Danielle Craigen, president of CUPE 798. “A balanced approach, improvements to infrastructure combined with quality public services, is the best way to achieve success for Powell River. Public services are the heart of any community, we can’t forget that.”

Guided by a flawed core services review produced by the Helios Group, Craigen says that the City should reconsider their budget for the upcoming year.

“When Helios made its initial recommendations they believed we were in a financial crisis,” notes Craigen, “however, after the report came out we learned that there were several flaws in their findings. While Helios amended the errors in their numbers, they never changed their recommendations”

According to Craigen this means that Council is basing the budget off recommendations that are not related to the true financial state of the City. She says that CUPE 798 has come up with alternatives to the service cuts - revenue generating ideas that would help put money back in the community.

Revenue generating ideas include: adequately staffed and consistently enforced by-law enforcement, better management and increased staffing in the arena concession and marketing Powell River as a city for tournaments and events.

Public consultation over Powell River’s five-year financial plan will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 7 in the Arbutus Room at Powell River Recreation Complex.



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