Options considered to end parks dispute

Resolution of a simmering dispute in Greater Vernon could eventually come from outside.

Resolution of a simmering dispute in Greater Vernon could eventually come from outside.

Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director, is suggesting the ongoing parks and recreation conflict could be settled by looking at how other communities provide that service to residents.

“If we look at options, it can give us a better service,” he said.

Macnabb anticipates that other regional districts would make presentations on their parks and recreation service models — including the positives and negatives.

“We can look at efficiencies because there is only one taxpayer,” he said.

Vernon, Coldstream and the Regional District of North Okanagan have had differences of opinion on how the service should be provided, with the primary source of conflict being governance of the function.

Macnabb is convinced now is the time to try and resolve the matter because November’s civic election led to new elected officials.

“There is a change around the board and a willingness to discuss the issue,” he said.

Investigating operational options for parks and recreation has support from Greater Vernon’s other partners.

“Understanding how it’s done in other areas can’t be bad,” said Doug Dirk, Coldstream director.

Rob Sawatzky, a Vernon mayor,  also believes there is merit to looking outside of the regional district for a possible resolution to the dispute.

“How can a person ever know too much? It’s a matter of getting all of the information we can,” he said.