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Vernon politicians open to governance review

Other jurisdictions are firmly opposed, but most Vernon politicians favour a governance review.

The Greater Vernon Governance Society asked city council Monday to call on the provincial government to fund a study into the pros and cons of a single entity encompassing Vernon, Coldstream and the two electoral areas.

“With more than 3,000 people signing (a petition), this thing has some life,” said Coun. Brian Quiring just a few hours before Coldstream and the electoral areas announced they would not back a study,

While there was a move for city council to take a stand Monday, officials will hold off until Jan. 27 because the procedures policy says no action should occur until two weeks after a delegation.

But even with the delay, it appears like there is broad support at city hall to investigate a possible merger.

“Look at the (society) directors and how many are not from Vernon,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

Coun. Juliette Cunningham believes a study would provide residents with necessary information on a contentious issue.

“I want to do it once and for all. We don’t know what the ramifications are,” she said.

Mayor Rob Sawatzky has previously stated he also favours a study as a way of making the public more aware.

But even if Vernon council endorses a study, the process appears stalled given the decisions made by Coldstream council and the rural directors.

“You need a partner to agree to it,” said Coun. Patrick Nicol.

The society collected 3,160 names on a petition supporting a governance study.

“Most of us want to know the facts so an informed decision can be made,” Peter Moore, society director, told Vernon council Monday.

The society says a new municipal structure could create efficiencies and conserve dollars for infrastructure, economic development and cultural amenities.

“There is no downside to researching the options,” said Bruce Shepherd, society president.

“It’s the only way, once and for all, to deal with the question.”

 

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