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Coldstream wants extra seat

Coldstream’s play for a bigger regional voice is generating considerable debate.

Regional District of North Okanagan directors agreed Wednesday to ask member jurisdictions if Coldstream should be allowed a second representative at the board table.

“Maybe the voting unit should be looked at. More voices are better,” said Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director.

Presently, each jurisdiction is allowed one vote per 2,500 in population but it takes an accumulation of five votes to gain a director. Even with Coldstream’s population climbing from 9,471 in 2006 to 10,314 in 2011, the municipality is still only entitled to one board director.

Coldstream is suggesting RDNO change its structure so there is one vote for every 2,000 people, meaning it would gain another seat at the table.

“When you look at the numbers, there seems to be a discrepancy so it’s something to look at,” said Shirley Fowler, Armstrong director.

Vernon’s Juliette Cunningham isn’t sure about the proposal presented by Coldstream Coun. Maria Besso Wednesday.

“She’s suggesting we change the whole structure for Coldstream. It doesn’t do anything for anyone else,” said Cunningham, referring to the fact that virtually all other jurisdictions would remain with one director each.

Vernon is entitled to a fourth director under the current system because of population growth during the 2011 federal census.

Eugene Foisy, Cherryville director, is undecided on the need for a change.

“Are they looking at what Vernon’s got and trying to keep a balance?” he said.

“When everyone gets along, it (voting strength) doesn’t matter.”

In making her presentation, Besso insisted that Coldstream is under-represented at RDNO.

“Coldstream has a population of 10,134 and the same number of directors as Area E (Cherryville) with a population of 939,” she said.

Besso denies her concept is a direct response to Vernon receiving an additional seat at the regional district.

“It’s not to take power away from Vernon but to create a balance at the table,” she said.

 

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