Priorities need adjusting

Fellow citizens urged to contact Mayor and council to make Vernon a better place to live for the most needy amongst us

I am writing to urge fellow citizens to contact Vernon’s Mayor Akbal Mund and council to re-focus and take concrete steps to make Vernon a better place to live for the most needy amongst us.

Vernon’s 2014 annual report illustrates how at sea this regime is.

It says ‘All the following goals are equally important to council’. It then goes on to list 51 goals. The general tenor of the report is everything is rosy and all is well.

With respect, having 51 equally important goals is not something I find believable. It boggles my mind that Mayor Mund signed off on such a preposterous statement.

How can everything be well when not so long ago The Morning Star reported that the Salvation Army had to make drastic cutbacks that included letting such a prominent citizen as David McBain go in order to keep its core mandate of helping the needy functioning at a much reduced level.

More recently, it was reported that the Upper Room Mission has far more people showing up and that their clientele now includes many more seniors and families with young children having difficulty feeding themselves.

Here’s one concrete suggestion for Mayor Mund and Vernon council to chew on.

In Vernon these people, who are obviously struggling to make ends meet, are forced with paying more than $400 a year for no water at all and then are charged for the actual water they use.

It doesn’t matter if they are a homeowner or not, it will just be reflected in their rent cheque in one way or another.

That $400 represents most of a monthly Old Age Security cheque or most of a monthly rent cheque

That is a major disadvantage of being poor and living in Vernon.

No one did that maliciously, it just happened. It happened because sufficient care and attention was not paid to the consequences of not doing what other cities do to shelter their most needy from excessive price gouging of a commodity as essential as water. They better balance their water funding needs. Vernon does not.

That’s what happens when you have 51 goals all of which ‘are equally important to council’.

So, Mayor Mund and Vernon council here is a specific that needs to be addressed and corrective action taken.

It needs to be acted upon and rectified as soon as possible. Dithering is not acceptable.

Poor people in Vernon are, quite literally, having their pockets picked of money that they need for food and lodging.

Fellow citizens, please do your best to get Mayor Mund and Vernon council to act on this. Oh, it applies to Coldstream and to those parts of Areas B and C on piped water too.

Jim Bodkin, Vernon