Greater Vernon parks debate still unresolved

There’s still an elephant in the room.

Greater Vernon politicians have found common ground on recreation and cultural facilities, but agreement over the future of parks is still unknown.

“The two municipalities have to decide where they want to go,” said Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director.

“They have to say, ‘Can we live with this or that?’”

Representatives from Coldstream, Vernon and the electoral areas met Thursday as part of an ongoing discussion about the parks, recreation and culture function.

There was little talk about parks, but that is the outstanding matter.

Specifically, Vernon and Coldstream must determine which model they want: keeping all parks in the collective with each providing maintenance or some parks being turned over to them for control.

Governance structure — how votes will be conducted — must also be addressed.

“It’s important to get this done so we can get on to other things,” said Jim Garlick, Coldstream director.

Recreation facilities and cultural support would remain part of the collective.

There was some suggestion Thursday about having separate functions for parks, recreation facilities and culture.

“The less a bylaw deals with, the simpler it, is the cleaner it is,” said Rob Sawatzky, Vernon director.

Presently, all of those aspects are combined under one omnibus bylaw.

“We have separate services for performing arts and the multiplex and there are no issues there,” said Macnabb.

Garlick believes several committees could be positive.

“We could spread some of the work around and involve more people,” he said of instead the same small group of individuals dealing with everything.

Discussions will resume in two weeks.

“It’s not how fast you go, it’s that you go straight,” said Trafford Hall, regional district administrator.



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