Give us something to vote for

Resident raises concerns about some of the decisions made at Vernon city hall

So Catherine Lord wants to retain her seat on council to oversee actions in place to improve our economy and sustain our infrastructure, presumably taken during her tenure. What initiatives?

Business permits have not been published on the City of Vernon website since the complete disintegration of the downtown core in 2010. Property tax incentives for new building and an overall poor economic environment have devastated existing landlords with a spate of vacancies.

The relocation of the visitor centre has left RV travellers with a difficult location to park.

Hardly what one would call a vibrant downtown, an official community plan (OCP) centerpiece.

Overall, the actions of council and the recommendations of the OCP are totally at odds. There can be no affordable housing or light industrial zoning (both top priorities) with a proviso to protect agricultural land. Developable land in Vernon is completely held within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

It’s one, vast, highly-subsidized green zone for both water locally and help from the province or federally. It’s either protect the subsidy, or grow and develop a more productive tax base.

Water should be on a pay-for-use system and allocation off of the backs of taxpayers.

Moreover, her claim to hold staff to an already bloated 1.8 per cent increase is hardly a welcome chime to taxpayers.

And now Jamie Morrow wants a collaboration process as the base for his economic building plan as mayor. Even the myopic can see what has to happen to get this city on a more progressive tract.

Why can’t he show us some leadership as he plies for the top position and bring some real ideas to his platform and give us something to vote for?

Brian Quiring feels a second term can continue to use his skills to improve the development permit process.

Vernon is reasonably governed when it comes to new building development and is arguably as good or better than other jurisdictions. In fact, the process is well documented and easy to follow, leaving little for Quiring to prattle on about fixing in the next four years.

Whatever the November outcome, the OCP has remained unchanged for almost 12 years with little leadership from our politicians. Between the swimming pool failure and various other water problems in city infrastructure, our administration is also showing signs of wear when it comes to economic development and tourism.

The last regime certainly delivered nothing worthy of its ballot promises and the new lot are clearly heading in the same direction.

Unfortunately, property taxes and utilities are now nothing more than legalized extortion and withholding for poor administration is not an option. More likely than not, it’s simply another four years of opening our wallets to the next litany of excuses that our politicians can’t seem to come to grips with.

 

Alan D. Wilson