Funding of a business improvement forum has generated some debate.
There was a push among some City of Vernon councillors Tuesday not to pay $1,500 for a forum and to pass most of the cost on to the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.
That plan was shot down.
“We’re trying to consult with stakeholders and now we nickle and dime them. It’s not right,” said Coun. Scott Anderson.
As part of the discussion, Coun. Brian Quiring also questioned why a development review action team would be created before the forum.
“The outcome of the forum may mean a different approach to the solution. I don’t want a preconceived notion,” he said.
Ultimately, council decided to establish an action team after the forum.
The forum will be held in November.
“The chamber looks forward to sitting down with both the elected and non-elected officials at the City of Vernon to see how processes can be improved to ensure we have a strong investment climate, not just now but in the long term,” said Dauna Kennedy Grant, chamber of commerce president.
“We believe there has to be continual engagement with the development community to ensure efficient processes are in place at city hall so we continue to be open for business and are able to attract new investment.”
Tent cities a complex issue
City of Vernon officials have learned that a lot of complexities exist when dealing with the homeless.
During the recent Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, some local politicians attended a workshop on tent cities. They heard from communities where tent cities have taken hold.
“There’s no silver bullet,” said Coun. Scott Anderson, adding that when addressing tent cities, there is a need to consult with everyone impacted.
“You can’t label anyone on any side with one label,” he said.
Community policing on the move
Community policing will have a new home in downtown Vernon.
The program will move to the city-owned Toppers Cleaners building on 31st Avenue, next to Cenotaph Park after renovations are done.
Community policing’s current office on 32nd Avenue will be demolished.
“It is an older building approaching the end of its useful life cycle,” said Will Pearce, the city’s chief administrative officer.
“Moving the community policing office into the former Toppers Cleaners building, an underutilized building, will reduce overall costs, while placing the community policing service closer to clients and volunteers.”