When asked at the U.S. border recently where my passenger and I were from, we both answered “Vernon.”
I didn’t answer “BX, Area C” and he didn’t answer “Coldstream,” because we are both from this wonderful single community, Greater Vernon, in which I have lived for 37 years.
Nov. 15th’s edition of The Morning Star quotes Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick as saying, about the Greater Vernon Governance Society petition on the question of unification, “they are presumptuous on the clout they carry with the numbers they have,” and “this is just six per cent of the total voters.”
But 611 of Coldstream’s 7,424 registered voters (or more than eight per cent, by the way) are asking that the question of unification be put on the 2014 municipal ballot.
That is not a presumptuous but rather a significant portion of Coldstream’s population who are asking for the right to vote on a question of increasing efficiency in the use of tax dollars.
Some may be in favour of combining local government and some opposed, but it seems Mayor Garlick wants to avoid asking the question and avoid dealing with it once and for all.
Area C director Mike McNabb points out that 898 signatures from outside the City of Vernon (or 31 per cent of the total signatures) is “not overwhelming support from the other jurisdictions to join Vernon.”
Thirty-one per cent does, in fact, seem overwhelming. He should note, too, that the petition has never called for any jurisdiction to join Vernon. The question has, from the outset, been to ask about combining into a new, single entity and only if it improves services and efficiencies.
If the population votes no, then at least the issue is dealt with once and for all.
The objective of the Greater Vernon Governance Society has been to petition the provincial government to give us, the citizens of the Greater Vernon area, the information on possible saved costs or possible added costs of unification, so that we can collectively make an informed decision as to our long term direction as a community.
According to our MLA Eric Foster, this can only come from local government officials asking the province to call the question.
A significant number of citizens are asking for that question to be called.
Why not our local elected and appointed officials as well?
Governance Society director
and Area C resident