EDITORIAL: Other issues require attention

Push for amalgamation study may take a backseat to more pressing issues, for now

The Greater Vernon Governance Society’s push for a study of amalgamation is becoming indicative of the old saying: you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

Obviously there was some interest in amalgamating Vernon, Coldstream and Areas B and C or the society would have never been formed.

While Vernon is in favour of looking at the option via a study, the other jurisdictions have made their opposition clear. And the province has stated it will not fund a study unless at least two areas show interest.

But now, the governance society has urged the province to review actions taken by Coldstream council.

It’s concern stems from a Coldstream Ratepayers Association meeting preceding council’s formal decision to oppose a study. The society accuses council of not following proper process and meeting as a quorum with the CRA (all but three of the seven politicians were in attendance).

But as politicians, isn’t it their job to listen to the concerns of their community?

The society also claims that council encouraged CRA members to support their position.

But the CRA had already made its position clear prior to the meeting. And it was this group which asked the politicians to speak at its meeting to inform taxpayers about the merits and pitfalls of a study.

Not surprisingly the province has cleared Coldstream of any wrongdoing.

It’s expected the amalgamation debate will surface again during November’s elections and that’s fair as candidates seek voter support and a variety of subjects will be discussed.

But until then, there are a lot of major issues that require political focus such as the growing infrastructure deficit.