Water committee membership determined

A previous role in the water process won’t stop individuals from taking a leadership role in the future.

A previous role in Greater Vernon’s failed water process won’t stop individuals from taking a leadership role in the future.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee voted Thursday not to rule anyone out for membership on the master water plan stakeholder advisory committee.

“Who’s on it should be based on what they bring to the table,” said director Bob Fleming.

It had been recommended that participants in the advisory committee not have previous involvement in the master water plan process, which led to an unsuccessful $70 million referendum last fall.

“Anyone involved before from this (GVAC) committee on the previous technical advisory group would be disqualified,” said director Bob Spiers.

Staff insists that it wasn’t trying to restrict who takes part in the advisory committee.

“The intent was to say we’re trying to provide as fresh a look as possible,” said David Sewell, Regional District of North Okanagan chief administrative officer.

“We don’t want to be burdened potentially with the biases associated with the development of previous plans.”

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has asked for a seat at the stakeholders’ table.

“We request that the regional district reflect on ways in which the business and investment community can be engaged in any discussion as you move forward,” said Jaron Chasca, chamber president, in a letter.

“The establishment of a multi-stakeholder steering committee such as was done with the development of the regional cultural plan may be of value in this situation.”

Juliette Cunningham, GVAC chairperson, says the chamber’s request will be considered.

“They have a good communications network and getting feedback from their members,” she said.

GVAC will begin advertising for potential stakeholders committee members soon.

“We will have to see how much interest there is. We want buy-in from taxpayers,” said Cunningham.

“We want them to understand why we need a master water plan.”