Just say no to amalgamation

Coldstream resident opposes joining forces with Vernon

As a Coldstream taxpayer of 38 years, I would like to give Brandon Lee a suggestion:  “Let it rest.”

Why is it that you feel you can speak for the residents of Coldstream, in that you presume we want amalgamation?

The tone of your letter does not reflect that we may have an opinion or a preference on this long, drawn out, tired battle. I can tell you quite emphatically that we do have a preference and a choice.

As you have chosen to live in Vernon, so to, have we chosen to live in Coldstream.

Your comments regarding “possible tax dollars saved” are based on saving Vernon residents some taxation, certainly not on saving Coldstream residents any taxation.

I wonder how long you have lived in Vernon?

Most people, who reside in an area for any length of time, come to have a sense of community and a belonging to something greater than just the square footage of their home. I hope you enjoy that in your neighbourhood in Vernon.

As a small community, Coldstream provides and sustains that. We don’t have the gas station on every corner and the light industry edging into so many neighbourhoods as a city does.

We actually like our lifestyle in Coldstream, and don’t want the feeling of living in a city. Granted, Coldstream has, unfortunately, increased the density of neighbourhoods’ in recent years, but even those retain a rural feel.

As a Lavington resident, (and by the way, are you aware Lavington is part of Coldstream? A “bedroom community” you might say) I do not want to become a Vernon taxpayer.

History tells the story; Okanagan Landing amalgamation for one example, including the hostile takeover of their fire hall. I suggest you read about 30 years of back issues of the local newspaper if you are interested in more of them.

Coldstream’s debt is considerably smaller than the City of Vernon’s, so I don’t believe the majority of Coldstream residents would appreciate taking on that tax bill.

Nor would Vernon taxpayers want to take on the more than probable future issue of sewer lines all the way out to Lavington.

Coldstream residents don’t want to pay for infrastructure in Okanagan Landing or the BX. Vernon residents don’t want to pay for infrastructure issues out here in Lavington. Coldstream house taxes are cheaper than Vernon’s.

Our agricultural lands are one of our greatest assets and if the powers that be continue to recognize that, we can go into the future with some sense of self-sustainability.

We may need to grow our own food one day and eating up the remaining lands able to do so is very short sighted.

If Vernon were to become the omnipotent controller of Coldstream land, those lands would disappear, agricultural land reserve or not. Pressure from a tenacious party seems to sometimes weaken that particular entity.

Let’s save all taxpayers some money: forget the vote.


E. Reade