Survey claim draws response

Resident provides some views on the amalgamation issue

I am responding to Shawn Lee’s recent letter to the editor, “Survey says something more.”

This mail-out survey that he refers to, was the local government’s response (back in 2008) to the province’s proposal (from then-minister Ida Chong,) for one municipal government for the entire Okanagan Valley.

For incorporation, being the voted choice (as the mail-out survey to area residents showed) was if the government structure had to change. Thus the reason for this “…ambiguous and dilemma-producing nature of the initial survey question.”

The second (but outvoted) possibility to join an existing municipality didn’t mean the City of Vernon by default (as implied in his letter.) Most of the people I talked to, were more inclined to join the District of Coldstream or even possibly the Township of Spallumcheen.

Many still feel (incorporation) would be the solution to stopping the continual piecemeal annexation of properties from electoral areas into the City of Vernon. Which, over the last several years has roughly equated to the current size of the city.

In other words, the city has enough area to expand for the next 40 years without any more annexations. And yet annexation continues.

Although I didn’t attend the meeting personally, I conversed with some who did hear the proposal from the Society for the Future Governance of Greater Vernon to the RDNO. When they were asked by some directors, about empirical data acquired from other areas of Canada that showed this annexation/amalgamation process did the exact opposite of the planned vision, actually raising fees and taxes, the presenters replied they didn’t know about that specific information and were going from intuition.

I would again implore those who wish to find out more about the effects of annexation on the EAs, to look up phase one and two of the annexation impact study which has been published at the following links…

Phase one: http://www.rdno.ca/docs/2012-01-13-

RDNO_Annexation_Impact_Study_Phase_I_-_Final_Report.pdf

Phase two: http://www.rdno.ca/docs/2014-03-05-Pres-

RDNO_Annexation_Study_Phase_2_Final_Report_%28Edited%29.pdf

Phase three funding had been approved, as of July 5, 2012, but I don’t have the details to when it will be published.

Furthermore, I won’t be speculating on how many of the 56 per cent of the 2008 (mail-out) survey signed the last petition of the SFGGV. I will concur with what Richard Rolke wrote Nov. 20, 2013 in the opinion section of The Morning Star.

“Yes, the signatures compare well to the 2011 civic election results, but it’s only about seven per cent of the total 45,000 eligible voters in Greater Vernon.” Also, 2,032 signatures of that petition (2,930 total), or 69 per cent, were from the city.

In conclusion, I am reminded of a quote by Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881), when he said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

 

Chris Edwards

 

BX