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Amalgamation effort growing
Advocates for a single Greater Vernon governance model insist their case has gained strength.
The Society for the Future Governance of Greater Vernon announced in mid-November that it had 2,930 petition signatures asking local and provincial authorities to develop a plan to combine area jurisdictions into a single entity. However, that has now climbed to 3,159 names through door-to-door efforts.
“The total number of signatures to the petition in Coldstream is now 816, or 11 per cent of eligible voters and 34 per cent of the 2011 voter turnout,” said Bruce Shepherd, society president.
In Vernon, there are 2,052 names or 23 per cent of the 2011 voter turnout, while the 291 signatures in Areas B and C translates into 24 per cent of the turnout for the 2013 sports facility referendum.
“We are inspired by the comments of citizens who have asked that facts be provided to them so that they can make an informed decision when a formal question on governance preference is asked,” said Shepherd.
The society will meet with Vernon and Coldstream councils Jan. 13 and presentations will also be made to the directors of Areas B and C.
“The society will be conducting research through various provincial and local sources to determine the scope of recommendations we should be making,” said Shepherd.
“The society believes it will be important that an unbiased party be carefully chosen to review all of the existing documentation.”
Shepherd says that the society’s role beyond Jan. 13 will be to ensure that local and provincial authorities listen to its results and provide residents with unbiased information in order to make their decision in a referendum.