City needs industry-friendly focus

What has happened to the Vernon economy? The locals are indignant about the latest assessment...

What has happened to the Vernon economy? The locals are indignant about the latest assessment given to Vernon regarding our well-being.

When our children were still pre-school age my wife and I decided to move to where the action was.

That was 1971.

The logging industry was going full swing, equipment shops, and considerable industry was everywhere you looked. Shoppers actually came from places like Kelowna and Kamloops to do their business.

I don’t know how many industrial shops were bullied out of local areas because houses were built on adjoining properties where people complained about the noise and losing the very jobs that stimulated the local economy.

In 42 years one would lose count of the number of business venture applicactions which were rejected during that time.

Where did they go – to Kelowna and Kamloops of course.

The numerous city councils over the years began focusing more on building houses and retail outlets to increase the tax base, and cater to the tourist industry.

So what do we have – temporary construction and minimum wage retail jobs.

I see many areas where houses and apartment buildings are going up that would be suitable for industry locations and yet there is little or no place to start up light manufacturing plants.

I guess when the residential developer pays for the infrastructure it doesn’t cost the city anything to get more tax base.

When Vernon stops catering to the residential developers and focuses on making the area more industry-friendly there will be more of a balance between the size of population and the available jobs to support it.

Until council finally gets their act together, I guess we can build more houses. And more houses.

Gabe Siska

Vernon