Voters can make a difference

Resident concerned about the actions of city hall officials

At every election, we hear about the very poor turnout of voters. I for one think the silent majority has given up on politics at all levels.

Some interesting points, Kelowna has one bylaw officer for every 8,417 population, Penticton has one bylaw officer for every 10,959 population and Vernon has one officer for every 2,725 population. Are we really that bad?

Vernon had a core review that recommended bylaw be contracted out, but nothing happened. Does the City of Vernon, at its size, need its own dispatch centre or could it be contracted out the same as others have done? Is there a need for the firefighters  to drive a large fire truck around town, that likely runs around $750,000, when a pickup will do? What about the Okanagan Landing fire department decision that was made in-camera? Will we ever know?

Does a city the size on Vernon need a media relations person? Does Vernon need an adviser to the economic planner? How about the visitor information office? Was that a done deal before the rezoning and the approval from the Ministry of Transportation?

In Vernon, the city employee who serves as chief election officer can choose between a bonus of $1,600 or taking five days of extra vacation. They also get served free lunches and dinner on voting day. Neither Kelowna or West Kelowna give any extra money or vacation time. There’s no free food on election day either.

How about all of the bike lanes and narrow streets? Has anyone asked the tax payers about this?

This letter is just not about the city of Vernon or the regional district. A few years ago, the residents of Coldstream  voted down the referendum for a new municipal office but it was built anyway.

The new water rates in my opinion are nothing short of extortion for everyone in the Greater Vernon area.

I believe these are just a few reasons for the poor voter turnout.

It just seems to me that the taxpayers who pay the wages and bills are not being listened too.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and whether you agree or not, please get out and vote. Only we, the voting tax payer, can make a difference.

W.J. (Bill) Ridgway

Vernon