Gavinchuk calls for amalgamation

A retiring politician claims amalgamation is the only solution to Greater Vernon’s squabbling.

A retiring politician claims amalgamation is the only solution to Greater Vernon’s squabbling.

Mike Gavinchuk won’t pursue a second term as BX-Swan Lake director and he says it’s largely because of the ongoing conflict between Vernon, Coldstream and the Regional District of North Okanagan.

“We need to come under one roof,” he said of having one council making decisions.

“It would avoid conflict among the jurisdictions.”

Gavinchuk admits that while he favours amalgamation, he has numerous concerns about how the City of Vernon handles its regional partners.

“The infighting between the regional district and the city has brought this to a point (his departure),” he said.

Gavinchuk says the current disagreement over parks and recreation is largely a result of different philosophies among the jurisdiction and a proper operating agreement not being established.

“There’s nothing to say how parks should be run and who reports to who. You don’t run a business like that,” he said.

He is also frustrated that the city won’t provide fire protection to the Commonage, which he represents.

“I was not able to achieve the things people wanted,” he said, adding that bureaucracy in all jurisdictions prevent common sense decisions.

Amalgamation could lead to higher taxes in the electoral area, but Gavinchuk says the ongoing political impasse is forcing residents to consider the option.

“Everyone says we need to clean up the mess.”