The mayors of the Okanagan’s four biggest cities have sent a letter to the province, over concerns of how policing costs have been mandated onto municipalities.
Vernon mayor Akbal Mund says his city along with Kelowna, West Kelowna and Penticton are looking to get more notice when RCMP need more funding.
“The issue is not that we have these costs mandated, it’s how it’s occurred. Typically we get notified within less than a month’s time frame before the initiation of the municipality actually paying for the cost, so that becomes the problem,” Mund tells CJIB News.
Mund says Vernon will be taking a resolution on the issue to the Southern Interior Local Government Association meeting in late April, which if passed, would go to the Union of BC Municipalities conference for support.
“Municipalities have one way to increase revenue — and that is at budget time. Some of these costs come out — we could be downloaded two or three items a year — where are we going to find the money?”
Vernon wants the RCMP to provide one year notice to municipalities when there will be budget requests with an impact of ten thousand dollars or more.
“It would help every municipality with the pending costs. I’m not saying it’s wrong or right, but we need to be notified of it and communicated that next year, you’re going to be paying for this,” adds Mund who was part of a meeting at the UBCM office in Richmond Wednesday with Clayton Pecknold from the Attorney General Ministry and councillor Bruce Hayne from Surrey, the co-chairs of the Local Government Contract Management Association.