Westside governance debated

Open house Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Killiney Beach Community Hall to get the public’s feedback on possibly initiating a governance study

The future of the North Westside Road area is uncertain.

A open house will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Killiney Beach Community Hall to get the public’s feedback on possibly initiating a governance study.

“We want to see if we can support ourselves. We need that information,” said Bob Andrews, North Westside Communities Association president and a member of the North Westside Governance Committee.

The North Westside is part of the Central Okanagan West electoral area in the Regional District of Central Okanagan and has one director at the 12-member board table.

“It’s our only form of governance and because our director is always outvoted by the municipal directors, there is no representation,” said Andrews.

Wayne Carson, Central Okanagan West director, says the current situation at RDCO is frustrating for him and Patty Hanson, who represents Central Okanagan East (Ellison-Joe Rich).

“There is a lack of local voice in the governance and how are taxes are spent,” said Carson.

“We put a significant amount of money into the regional district. Our local services are not getting the attention we deserve.”

As an example, Andrews says a utility pole was installed on a public beach at Killiney Beach against the wishes of residents.

“It is our understanding that almost $6,000 has been spent in an effort to keep a pole no one wants,” said Andrews.

The governance committee is lobbying the provincial government to sanction a study that will determine if the existing RDCO system works for the North Westside or if other governance options should be considered.

Among the options are the North Westside forming its own municipality or forming a municipality with Ellison-Joe Rich, which is north and east of Kelowna.

Andrews hopes North Westside residents will attend Thursday’s meeting.

“We want opinions our director can express to the community development minister,” he said.

RDCO is saying little about a possible governance study on the North Westside.

“The regional district board is aware of the initiative by the residents,” said Bruce Smith, RDCO communications officer.