EDITORIAL: Parks talks spark optimism

Spring optimism is in the air as Greater Vernon politicians look to ease parks and recreation dispute

Maybe it’s just a case of spring optimism but, hey, let’s all hope for the best anyway.

Regional politicians agreed Wednesday to fast-track a process that could lead to an end of wrangling over parks and recreation services in the North Okanagan.

Apparently they hope to complete a memorandum of understanding by May 31 of how best to run the function for all involved.

And that’s not the only thing they agreed on. They also agreed to meet once a week for three weeks and that they want to continue with a joint service, although possibly operations would be conducted in a modified format.

“I think you’re so close to a deal,” said Trafford Hall, Regional District of North Okanagan administrator, to Vernon, Coldstream and regional directors.

A sense of fairness and flexibility also seemed to be the order of the day for all participants.

If a joint parks and recreation services model that is used by all area residents at a reasonable cost to all involved simply sounds like common sense, you’d be right.

However such goodwill and understanding and at least willingness to work together hasn’t been heard on this issue for, well, years. Of course that goodwill and willingness to be flexible will be sorely tested when it comes to the details of any agreement but talks are off to a positive start.

And at least a beginning to a solution that seemed so far away amid the bickering and grandstanding just a few months ago, is something residents and politicians alike can feel good about.