Editorial: Crunching numbers

Black Press papers in the West Kootenay decided to join forces to bring a more complete picture to the financial statements.

Each year, local governments are required, by law, to release financial information detailing how much was paid on salaries, including a list of all employees that made more than $75,000 per year.

And each year, most media outlets grab those numbers and throw them into their newspapers and onto websites.

The difficulty is, they are just numbers. You can gaze at them for hours but they won’t tell you anything, not without context.

Does running these numbers serve the public? Does it explain government spending?

With those questions in mind, Black Press papers in the West Kootenay decided to join forces to bring a more complete picture to the financial statements.

Led by Nelson Star reporter Greg Nesteroff, reporters in Castlegar, Trail and Grand Forks began compiling information to create a comprehensive package that examined, not just the salaries paid, but at the population of the communities and the services offered.

Instead of just looking at the totals, our reporters explored where that money was being spent.

The result is a three-page feature called Crunching Numbers. It looks at local cities, school boards and regional districts in our area and compares their figures. The special news feature will be published in the next West Kootenay Advertiser on July 31.

We encourage everyone interested in knowing where their municipal tax dollars are going to read it.

More importantly, we want to know what you think. Did we dig deep enough into the story? Does it make the numbers more understandable? Do you want more features like this?

Send your editor an email, a letter, post to Facebook or on our website. Make your opinion known.

– Kevin Mills, Nelson Star Editor

 

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

VIDEO: Canadian Forces members begin helping out flooded B.C. communities

Three-hundred personnel in B.C. in some off hardest hit cities

Residents sandbag Ruckle in advance of predicted Saturday flood

Residents were allowed back in for 12 hours on Thursday.

Riverside warnings issues for Grand Forks properties

The RDKB has not issued orders to leave, but owners should be aware.

‘Catastrophic’ flooding will echo for years

Last week’s flooding broke records – and there is more on the way

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wed in Windsor as millions watch

Windsor sparkled on a warm spring day as tens of thousands of people jammed its quaint roads

3 survivors after airliner with 110 aboard crashes in Cuba

It was Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades and its third major air accident since 2010

Most Read