Defining democracy

Resident questions the actions of Coldstream council

From media reports, it would appear that Coldstream council has invented a new meaning for the word democracy.

The media reported that 64 people attended a Coldstream ratepayers meeting in the local hall.

I would assume that a number of those attending were partners in ownership (husband and wife, etc.)of a Coldstream property. Being generous, I would estimate this group would represent about 40 to 45 properties in Coldstream and Lavington.

It would appear that most in attendance were opposed to having a study done on the merits of amalgamation in the Greater vernon area. This study supposedly would be mostly funded by the provincial government.

Mayor Jim Garlick then asked for more feedback from other Coldstream  residents.

It would appear council has so far turned a blind eye to those requesting the study.

The Greater Vernon Governance Society presented a petition to Vernon and Coldstream councils which contained 816 signatures of Coldstream residents who were asking for a study regarding the existing and future governance of the Greater Vernon area. If the study indicated a better and more efficient means of governing the district was available through amalgamation, then a referendum should be held so the residents, not the politicians, would decide their future.

Using the same formula as used for the ratepayers meeting, this 816 signature would represent about 514 property owners. That would be 45 owners opposed and 514 owners in favour of a study. Wow.

Is this an indication that council feels 816 residents, or 514 other property owners, have no say regarding a study and their request for a study doesn’t count?

I thought an elected council was supposed to represent all of its residents in the municipal area.

I realize there are many more concerned citizens in Coldstream that have opinions on both sides of this issue, but those I have pointed out are the most vocal to date.

Will the minority, instead of the majority, be the driving force behind councils decision on this issue?

Is this the new meaning for democracy in Coldstream? Only time will tell.

Doug MacGregor