There’s no question that bad blood exists among many North Westside residents and the Regional District of Central Okanagan.
Strongly worded letters and e-mails between both sides are numerous and disagreements have broken out at board meetings between North Westside director Wayne Carson and chairperson Gail Given.
The bottom line is there appears to be little trust among some North Westside residents that the regional district is representing their best interests.
As an example, the North Westside Communities Association’s request to appear before the board as a delegation has been denied twice because Given insists that the subject — a power pole on a beach — is an operational matter and not something directors should be involved in.
And then there is the concern among some residents that RDCO is standing in the way of a study that would consider governance options for the area.
With all of this animosity, there is a genuine concern that the ability of the regional district administration and board, the residents and Carson to work co-operatively on key issues, such as parks, water and other services, is seriously hampered.
A way beyond the conflict must be found, and that may very well mean RDCO allowing the North Westside to see if other governance options exist.
But to find some middle ground, all players need to be at the table.
It’s time for a third party, whether it’s the provincial government or a representative from another regional district, such as North Okanagan, to act as an intermediary and bring everyone together.