Golf course deserves much better

Resident challenges elected officials over water rates

As we have people running for mayor and council in Vernon and Coldstream, most of them spread the same message. “We want to bring jobs and industry to Vernon and attract tourists,” when in fact, their policies drive businesses out of Vernon in my opinion.

Not to mention how the taxpayers are being ripped off on their water rates.

I have been a golfer at Hillview Golf for 28 years. It is affordable as well as good exercise. Hillview provides a place to golf for tourists and the people of Vernon and area who can’t afford to play the big courses.

It employs 30 to 35 people and is a clean, environmentally friendly industry. I suppose the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee chairperson would have us carrying our golf clubs around the new track as a form of exercise.

To have your water rates go up 35 per cent from 2011 to 2015 is absolutely insane. Hillview pays two to four times higher than other golf courses in B.C.

No wonder when you consider who is running Greater Vernon Water in my opinion.

Some cities, to attract industry, offer free taxes for five to 10 years to get them to relocate to their city. All they would have to do is give Hillview the agricultural rate for water.

It’s a simple fix to save 30 jobs and provide a clean industry for all of Vernon to enjoy. What has to happen is local government has to take the power away from Greater Vernon Water and put it into their hands to set water rates.

However, we have some members of council more interested in getting free medical and dental benefits than looking after the people who elected them in the first place.

They say they don’t want to have a raise but the benefits add up to about 25 per cent. Not too bad.

When your water bill for the year is higher than all of the taxes you pay on your house and another rate hike is forthcoming in November, hello GVAC chairperson, do you get the point?

So Vernonites, here is the challenge. Make water rates one of the main election issues and only elect people who are committed to a solution rather than being the problem.

John Hegler

Coldstream