During the election campaign, there wasn’t a member of city council that didn’t talk about the importance of supporting local businesses as a means to keep Salmon Arm’s economy strong.
So the news that the city awarded the contract for their $25,000 website re-design to a firm from Kansas instead of a local, B.C. or even Canadian firm has raised more than a few eyebrows.
It is a major gaffe. And council should be deeply embarrassed.
By many accounts there are certainly people in this area with sufficient skills and talents to take on this job.
The current city website certainly is in need of an overhaul, no argument there. But one of the major complaints about politicians is that they say one thing and act differently.
It becomes very difficult for our civic leaders to preach to the community to spend locally when the municipality is outsourcing work across our national border.
While we understand that our city council is also charged with making the most fiscally prudent decisions, it is critically important for local firms to be given weight at decision time — after all these are the people who pay into our municipal tax coffers.
It seems there is little that can be done about this particular situation now that the contract has been awarded. But council can be assured that the business community is watching future contract decisions very closely.
Council would be wise to do the same.