Council upset with city over parks

Coldstream politicians continue to express frustration over the future of parks and recreation.

Coldstream politicians continue to express frustration over the future of parks and recreation.

Council briefly discussed Monday the City of Vernon’s decision not to support any changes to the parks and recreation service, including turning over operation of some parks to individual jurisdictions.

“It raises the issue of having a service review when one of the participants stonewalls and says it doesn’t want to discuss it,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.

Coldstream has sought the removal of some parks from the regional function so it can have more control over maintenance.

However, the city recently indicated that it wants the structure to remain as is because it believes it is meeting the  needs of Greater Vernon residents.

Coun. Maria Besso says the city has changed direction because the concept of removing some parks from the system had previously had broad support.

She also questions why city council’s recent decision about parks was made behind closed doors.

“A public matter was discussed in-camera,” she said.

“The public was not privy to that discussion. I don’t know  what the in-camera rules are that lets this issue be taken in-camera.”

The other contentious issue has been governance.

The city  could possibly receive an additional vote at the table based on the 2011 census.

Coldstream and the electoral areas have expressed concerns that could lead to Vernon dictating parks and recreation policy.

Vernon officials have suggested the issue of governance be put on hold until after November’s civic elections and until the census results are known.

But Coun. Gyula Kiss believes the situation must be addressed now.

“If we wait until they have an extra person, how will you make any changes if they control the board?” he said.