Parks process proceeding
Resolving Greater Vernon’s parks and recreation conflict remains on track.
Trafford Hall, Regional District of North Okanagan administrator, hopes to bring Vernon, Coldstream and the two electoral areas together for further discussions by the end of April.
“I see this as a negotiation. We need to allocate two full days to this,” said Hall of potentially hammering out a deal between all parties.
The jurisdictions met in February, the first formal session on a parks and recreation review since last summer.
In the past, the participants have disagreed over governance of the function, control over parks maintenance, service contracts and who is responsible for the recreation complex.
Opinions have evolved partially as a result of new politicians being elected in November.
It’s been suggested that a new structure may alleviate concerns and that led some officials to investigate the Regional District of Central Okanagan’s service model.
“The last service review there was three years ago and it was in and out, no problem,” said Mike Macnabb. Greater Vernon Advisory Committee chairperson.
RDCO’s function only deals with 28 parks and is not responsible for recreational facilities (those are handled by individual municipalities).
It also covers the entire regional district while GVAC only looks over Greater Vernon and not other parts of the North Okanagan.
Of the 12 RDCO board members, six are from Kelowna.
“Kelowna carries 70 per cent of the weighted vote but there has been parks acquisition across the entire area,” said Bob Fleming, a GVAC director.
“Within their system, they operate pretty well.”
Other potential governance models will also be considered.
“We should see how other regional districts are operating. Why keep reinventing the wheel?” said Macnabb.