EDITORIAL: PCCC needs to find middle ground

It would be good to see the society develop a plan that reduces the annual taxpayer subsidy for the facility

The Parksville Community and Conference Centre is at a crossroads.

For starters, it is getting more scrutiny from city council than it has in years. The board of the society that operates the facility and its executive director might not like the attention or the tone, but it comes with the territory when 57 per cent of your budget comes from taxpayers.

And frankly, the society that runs the PCCC, and its executive director, haven’t faced much public/city council scrutiny in at least the last four years, so they are due.

At first glance, it’s easy to take aim at taxpayer-subsidized facilities like the PCCC. Why don’t they market themselves better? Why don’t they raise their rates? How can they keep expanding staff while they continue to ask for more in subsidies? Why should staff get automatic raises based on the cost of living instead of based on the centre’s performance? Why doesn’t the society aim to reduce the subsidy each year with an aggressive make-more-money plan instead of the public-trough-will-be-there-for-us stance?

First, it’s important to note the society that operates the PCCC is run by volunteer board members. These are community-minded people who give their time and effort for no financial gain. They hire an executive director to run the place and that, really, is the board’s most important task.

Secondly, the PCCC’s mandate is to operate as a community centre first and foremost. That means booking community non-profit groups ahead of more lucrative bookings like weddings or other private functions. Also, the way the agreement is worded, city hall essentially has the right of first refusal for booking dates.

It is the city, through its taxpayer representatives on council, that must change the mandate of the PCCC if it wants to see the facility make more money. That, as the society president pointed out Monday, would likely squeeze out some non-profit community groups.

As with most issues, there must be a middle ground here. We believe the PCCC needs to do a better job budgeting (it’s currently an illogical mess), a better job marketing and it needs to set goals that will reduce, not increase, the taxpayer subsidy. We believe that can be achieved without shutting the doors to community non-profit groups.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Parksville Qualicum Beach students the catalyst for #TrustYourself campaign

Social media initiative urges survivors of sexual assault to seek medical care

ORCA continues push for track upgrade at Ballenas

Running association official plans to meet with MLA on Thursday

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks cheese linked to 5 E. coli cases in B.C.

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh weighs in on Vancouver Island fishing ban

Singh and MacGregor say improving salmon abundance is important

Feds respond to sexual assault investigation at B.C. naval base

Report of Oct. 5 sexual assault on Vancouver Island base taken over by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

EU divorce deal in peril after two UK Cabinet ministers quit

Negotiators from Britain and the European Union have struck a proposed divorce deal that will be presented to politicians on both sides for approval, officials in London and Brussels said Tuesday.

Most Read