I am in favour of and support the many others who want to see binding referendum to deal, once and for all, with the issue of amalgamating into the City of Vernon, the District of Coldstream and other areas of the Greater Vernon region.
As a former resident of North Vancouver, I saw the millions of taxpayers’ dollars go to waste supporting and managing two bloated hierarchies (city and district) when one would have been much more cost efficient.
When I moved to Vernon in 1990 as manager of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (1990-1993), the need for amalgamation of at least Coldstream and Vernon became quite apparent.
But the old boys who were well entrenched in the two communities scolded me when I had the audacity to suggest they even consider it.
Well now, 20 years later and happy to call myself a long-time resident of either Coldstream or Greater Vernon, and after a generation of waiting, I am glad it is finally being considered.
Think of it.
An almost immediate saving of more than $2.3 million dollars just in salaries and expenses for the Coldstream elected officials and staff alone.
Many of the employees earn more than $75,000 per annum and have rich expense accounts. How many more RCMP officers would that buy us? How many more potholes would that fill?
I say, go for the referendum. Then if people vote for the amalgamation of the community they reside in with the City of Vernon, so be it. And if they vote against it, so be it. Then the people whose hard-earned income goes to cover the salaries and expenditures of municipal employees of the area in which they live, will have to be satisfied with the majority rule.
Get it on the table, vote on it and get on with saving money for us beleaguered taxpayers of the North Okanagan, or forget about it for another 20 years.