An Armstrong councillor wants more leadership from the City of Vernon at the regional district board, along with an end to the “bitching” and “nit-picking.”
John Trainor, who sat as Armstrong’s representative on the North Okanagan Regional District board for two years before being replaced by Shirley Fowler this month, spoke his mind at council after two letters were received in regards to regional district issues.
One was the City of Vernon calling for a re-review of the fire training centre service. The other was a request to support the Village of Lumby withdrawing from the Okanagan Film Commission Grant Service.
“The fire training centre is one symptom of what’s going on there at the regional board,” said Trainor. “I saw it from the inside, the lack of cooperation amongst the players there, the stuff they throw at staff like these endless service reviews and now a re-review of a service.
“Staff’s hands are so tied up doing that kind of stuff the day-to-day business of the regional district gets left aside.”
The City of Vernon has said it has a lower cost alternative to the fire training centre service; that current fire training courses are not accredited and that the existing service has reduced accessibility and flexibility for scheduling and conducting training compared to the proposed Vernon Fire Rescue Training System.
The current system has received support from Spallumcheen, Armstrong and rural Lumby, while Enderby is considering options if Vernon pulls out.
Trainor said rather than trying to drive a wedge between all of the players and all of the services, and sit in constant confusion and argument all of the time, he’d like to see Vernon step up to the plate.
“What a bright light it would be for somebody to come and say, ‘let’s get everybody together, let’s go have dinner, have a couple of drinks and let’s sit down and get this thing figured out and quit all of this bitching and nit-picking because it’s just a waste of time and money,” said Trainor.
Vernon Mayor Wayne Lippert who, along with Couns. Patrick Nicol and Buffy Baumbrough represents Vernon on the regional district board, shares Trainor’s sentiments.
“I would agree with him on that, that’s what we’ve been trying to do for the last few years,” said Lippert of Trainor’s desire to see an end to the squabbling.
As for more leadership, Lippert pointed out that Vernon has only three of 13 board votes and that Trainor himself voted against the city on some matters.
“We get outvoted whenever we do try and take something on,” said Lippert. “People like John Trainor, when he was there, he had one of those votes and he didn’t always vote along when we tried to make some changes”
The City of Armstrong, meanwhile, declined to give its consent to the NORD board to amend the Okanagan Film Commission Grant Service establishment bylaw to remove the Village of Lumby as a participant.
Only Couns. Ryan Nitchie and Shirley Fowler voted in favour of the amendment.