News

Petition refusal draws protest

There are concerns that a component of democracy has been cast aside at Vernon city hall.

Coun. Patrick Nicol wanted to give a resident the ability to present a 1,670-name petition on the future of Okanagan Landing firefighters. But  a majority of his colleagues denied the request Monday.

“We’ve always received petitions,” said Nicol, adding that residents should have the right to appear before their elected officials.

The issue arose after Mayor Rob Sawatzky decided that a resident could not present the petition Nov. 26.

The petition calls for the reversal of a decision to cancel a service contract with the Landing firefighters.

Sawatzky stated the petition dealt with in-camera matters of labour and legal contracts and permitting a presentation would leave people with the false impression that they can overturn a council decision.

“It is poor policy to allow contractors to stir the public and bring forward petitions that influence decision makers and staff,” he said.

That argument didn’t go over well with Nicol.

“We’ve been influenced by so many benefitting parties over the years,” he said.

Coun. Juliette Cunningham supported Sawatzky’s original move not to allow a delegation.

“I looked through the signatures and many were not city residents. Many did not know what they were signing,” she said.

Once again, Nicol protested the discussion.

“We had people giving input who didn’t live in the city and we accepted it,” he said of the last official community plan review.

Nicol only garnered support from Coun. Bob Spiers.

“I see nothing wrong with receiving the petition of an interested party. We’ve received them before. We should have received this one,” said Spiers.

Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe was absent Monday.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Jack Talstra made Freeman of the City of Terrace
 
The 2015 Santa Claus Parade in Cranbrook
 
Dodge Cove residents ready to take the fight to Nexen as focus shifts to Digby Island
Hikers rescued from Mount Hays
 
Castlegar Winterfest cancelled
 
Robots battle it out for supremacy: Combatants came from around the West Kootenay
Demolition to begin soon to make way for Nelson Commons
 
Helping literacy
 
Finning employees make large donation to United Way

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 26 edition online now. Browse the archives.