An unfortunate pattern

Resident challenges decisions made by city hall and the regional district

I see in some promotional material for the twinning of Kal Tire Place that lands to the west of the present facility are currently unavailable.

Underlying this bland statement is a way of conducting the public’s business that is truly sad.

For years, many politicians and municipal administrators in the Greater Vernon area have operated on the basis that kicking the can down the road is a perfectly respectable way of dealing with the area’s issues and needs.

Twinning to the west of Kal Tire Place may or may not be the best solution, but the reason the lands to the west are unavailable is not due to some unforeseen and unassailable act of God.

The land is unavailable because a group of local officials decided they would rather not conclude the outstanding legal issues that began in 2010 with the Okanagan Equestrian Society.

In fact, the Regional District of North Okanagan and the City of Vernon agreed in February of 2013 to put the whole matter on hold because the city and the region were preoccupied with other matters.

It was only in 2015 that Vernon city council woke up to the need to resolve the matter. By then it was too late.

The same thing is happening with respect to the western bypass. In August of this year, most members of Vernon city council voted against adding a site-specific western bypass to the city’s 25-year master transportation plan.

Too risky a decision: punt it.

Some councillors worried about property values, and others said we shouldn’t identify the route before we need it.

Really? Is it really in the best interests of Greater Vernon to wait until time has eliminated choices or made routing options orders-of-magnitude more costly for future taxpayers?

I don’t think so.

Those who believe that we needn’t plan for the long-term have only to look at the mess with the master water plan.

Over many decades, a variety of special interests have been accommodated by local officials and municipal politicians only too anxious to avoid conflict while dealing with day-to-day problems.

Poor decisions, combined with a reluctance to make decisions at all, have been allowed to pile up, one on top of another, because we have been led to believe that good enough is fine for Greater Vernon.

We’re told we can’t expect to do what’s best for the future of our community on the water issue because the baggage of the past weighs too heavily. Just accept that and move on down whatever suboptimal pathway is available, they say.

So, we see a pattern here. A racetrack. A bypass. A water system. All too often, our municipal politicians settle for the expedient, short-term decision.

Better yet, they happily make no decision, failing to see that not making a decision today is, in effect, making a decision that will have consequences in later years.

What we need, indeed, what we should be demanding, are local politicians who see planning for the long-term benefit of Greater Vernon as a priority and who are held accountable for the futurity of decisions they make today.

 

Roy A. Derrick

Vernon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

GALLERY: Vernon painter captures beauty of Davison Orchards in new series

In a new painting, card series, artist Patricia Lawton was inspired by resident dog, Harlow

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Car show a hit at Vernon retirement resort

GALLERY: No drooling over the classic cruisers parked at Parkwood Retirement Resort

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter

Nicola Sanders hopes to spread the word to get Nala home to her son, the rightful owner

Okanagan, Creston cherry and apple farms in need of workers

The worker shortage is due to the COVID-19 restrictions on international travel

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Mitchell’s Musings: Hockey’s comeback begins in earnest in August

Sports is back. Well, at least sports in a bubble is back.… Continue reading

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Police watchdog deems Kelowna RCMP not responsible for man’s death

The man spoke to police after a car crash before leaving on foot; he was found dead six hours later

Most Read