In 1981 there was a referendum to extend the City boundaries — basically Southside of Downie St. to Williamsons Lake, plus the Big Eddy got brought into the City. At this time the combined population of City and Regional District was passing 5,000. This was the magic number that allowed the federal government to start charging the community at large for policing. It was interesting to see the approach used. There seemed to be a move that implied that if there was no amalgamation, the citizens of the City would bear the cost of policing alone. While it was not true, for the record, it was the City vote that brought the Regional District area into the City not the RD.
As Revelstoke is a small City isolated from other populations, it is hard to compare us to others. I have always watched the RCMP budget and staffing. I feel it is a very good and stable reference point to compare percentage increases in other City departments. Our population from 2006 to 2014 has not changed significantly though it has actually declined. There is no major change in the kilometers of roads or new parks, but we do have a new pool. There has been some new building and yes RMR. The City budgetary process has always been lean on the RCMP side so it is a good one to compare against. The RCMP should be congratulated, as they are the poster child of Do More With Less. I am sure it is difficult at times, but they do it. We unfortunately cannot say the same for other areas. The following chart shows the basics of some of the departments – keep in mind that the numbers are budget not actual.
Total budget increases 2010 to 2014 (millions)
|Parks & Rec||2.443||3.212||27.2|
I wrote a letter back in 2011 after the first Financial Focus Committee was done. I had run percentage increases from 2006 to 2010 for the above departments. They are as follows:
|PARKS & REC||32%|
If you take the RCMP for the total time frame, it is a 44% increase. This is my baseline, it is not all encompassing, but I believe it gives good perspective. Park & Rec comes in at 59.2% with the new pool, although it surely accounts for a large part of the increase. It still is 15% above the baseline. Fire comes in at 78.3% making it 33% above baseline. Public Works is 151.7% making it 107% above baseline.
There are individual issues in every area that cannot be factored in easily. I think this process is a logical and common sense approach to monitor change. It is an entirely different matter as to whether the increases are acceptable to the citizens of Revelstoke.
Elections are a good way to give your feedback … GO VOTE!
Revelstoke, B C