It’s a breath of fresh air.
After years of fighting, the positive relationship developing between Vernon, Coldstream and the electoral areas is welcome news for residents of all jurisdictions.
The most recent example is the discussion over how recreational facilities should be managed and operated. Everything appears to be on the table when it comes to options.
Coldstream director Jim Garlick suggests that the best model is for the city to manage facilities under a contract. BX director Mike Macnabb admits Vernon’s interests need to be considered because it pays a majority of the budget.
However, there’s openness on the other side as the city says it’s not opposed to considering the regional district being the operator and manager.
“We want to provide a cost-efficient, effective service. We want the model to be responsive to governance and what the community wants,” said Rob Sawatzky, Vernon director.
All of these comments are a welcome departure from the previous firm stances that were drawn in the sand. While some former officials clung to their turf, the current offering of politicians appear willing to look at the broad interests of Greater Vernon as a whole.
The challenge, though, is the next election is only a year-and-a-half away and if there are a significant number of new people around the table then, any of the progressive work that is currently being done, could unravel.
Because of that, it is vital that our officials try and hammer out a comprehensive agreement that meets everyone’s interests, even if compromises are required.
If the pact is sound, future generations may be reluctant to return to jurisdictional battles.