EDITORIAL: Political games are tiresome

The children are at it again.

Elected officials and staff spent much of Wednesday’s North Okanagan Regional District board meeting bickering back and forth over the most divisive of issues — fire protection.

NORD staff are insisting that the City of Vernon provide financial details first before asking rural Commonage residents if they are willing to participate in a new service, while the city is demanding to know how many residents want to be involved before it will put together projected costs.

It’s a chicken and egg thing. Which comes first?

But ultimately it doesn’t matter which jurisdiction takes the lead — just get on with it.

The reality is that upwards of 90 properties in the Commonage currently have no access to fire protection and that puts homes and lives at risk. Director Mike Gavinchuk has shown leadership by responding to the concerns of his constituents and by bringing the city to the table although Vernon initially wasn’t interested in providing the service.

All Wednesday’s debate did was highlight the ongoing hostility between the regional district and the city, and that the well-being of residents is being negatively impacted by this turf war.

What should have been a basic process has now been delayed for two months so the city and regional district can gather more information.

But let’s hope that when those two months conclude, the issue is addressed in a mature manner and both sides have agreed to a co-operative relationship.

The antics at the political playground must cease and desist.

-Vernon Morning Star

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