Some Vernon politicians are disappointed their counterparts aren’t willing to give residents a say on possible governance changes.
The city has received a letter from the Regional District of North Okanagan indicating that Areas B and C residents will not be asked if they support investigating merging all Greater Vernon jurisdictions.
“It makes it sound like that if you are advocating for a study and information, you are advocating for amalgamation and that’s not necessarily the case,” said Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe.
“It would be good if we got the facts on the pros and cons so people could move ahead informed.”
Coun. Bob Spiers would have also preferred that the Areas B and C directors had held a referendum just as the city has proposed doing with its constituents.
“I wish B and C would give their citizens the same right to see if they represent their citizens,” he said.
With the electoral areas and Coldstream opposed to studying governance options, it’s not known if the city will still hold a referendum this November asking its voters if they want a restructuring study.
But Spiers believes a referendum should still proceed.
“It would give direction to the next council,” he said.
In their letter, the directors for Areas B and C state they do not support an amalgamation study or the expenditure of tax dollars and staff time needed to have a question placed on the Nov. 15 ballot.
“We have made great strides recently to divest responsibility away from sub-regional partnerships in order to provide local autonomy,” said Bob Fleming, BX-Swan Lake director, and Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director.
“We are supportive of this continued direction and remain committed to working with our Greater Vernon partners to provide efficient and cost-effective services.”