Council supported the funding application on March 14 and on June 13. Council made and confirmed the following resolution: “That council instructs staff that subject to successful award of the 100 per cent $868,000 gas tax innovation fund grant to proceed with the implementation of the road diet on 43rd Avenue between 27th and 32nd streets,” (Spiers opposed). The news release on Sept. 27 stated that council’s resolution at the time of application was that no decision on the commencement of the project would be made by council until such time as grant approval had been made from the gas tax program. This does not reconcile with the council motion stated above.
Mayor Lippert stated on the radio that the road diet is only a proposal and stressed that city council had not approved the project. Mayor Lippert also stated that, “suggestions that council was going ahead with the changes are incorrect.” Totally misleading. He also suggested that someone had “twisted” the information for their own ends, made reference to this being an election year and refused to point any fingers. Mayor Lippert and staff are the ones that have “twisted” the facts.
The Greater Vernon area contributed to the widening of 43rd Avenue from 32nd Street to Alexis Park Drive when Wesbild Centre was built. To reduce the capacity for traffic going east from Wesbild Centre is really irresponsible and negates the value of the previous expenditure.
So much of the spending by this administration and this council has been for projects that do not address the serious deficiencies in critical infrastructure that exist and do not address the structural financial deficit that they have created. The absurd and excessive expenditures on 29th Street and lack of concern and consultation with the businesses further illustrates the arrogance of this council and administration. Consider the comments by the chair of the regional district: “We need to have openness and honesty and people are not being open”.
Look at the fiasco created by Vernon related to fire dispatch which resulted in extra costs for Vernon taxpayers. No wonder frustration forced the chair to retire. It is time for major changes at city hall before it is too late.
Barry Beardsell, Vernon