EDITORIAL: Parks debate sets right tone

Optimism and co-operation among Vernon, Coldstream and electoral areas refreshing

The sense of optimism and co-operation is refreshing.

Officials from Vernon, Coldstream and the electoral areas sat down twice this week to discuss the ongoing parks and recreation dispute. And while no concrete directions transpired, it was obvious that everyone around the table is open to compromise and finding a resolution.

As an example, Vernon is proposing options on voting structure that may alleviate the concerns of its partners, while Coldstream has expressed a willingness to keep parks within the collective instead of pulling them out.

“I don’t mind looking at a middle road and not upset everyone too much,” said Jim Garlick, Coldstream director.

It’s a complete departure from the turmoil prior to November’s elections, when the politicians of the day waged a war of words and it appeared that the joint parks function was near collapse. The situation may have evolved because some individuals are no longer at the table, but it could also be that the jurisdictions have finally realized that it makes sense economically to work together rather than to go it alone.

Obviously the current good will could become strained as firm details are hammered out and jurisdictions consider their specific interests. But all of the politicians must remember why they are there, and that is to represent their constituents.

More meetings are scheduled for next week and while a quick timeline has been set, additional negotiations may realistically be required. And that’s OK because while this issue has dragged on for years, there is a need to get it right.

– Vernon Morning Star