It was with dismay that I read the Jan. 23 opinion column written by Richard Rolke regarding Vernon city council not approving the RCMP’s request of a 6.7 per cent increase in their budget. I take great exception to the statement that removing two officers will lead to chaos in the streets.
Mr. Rolke goes on to say that it will be interesting to see who is going to be right about public safety – Burgess or Sawatzky?
The last time I checked, there were six councillors as well as the mayor who will be making the budgetary decisions for our city.
Take a moment to look at any study that has been done on what creates a safe, viable downtown community and you will find that it’s people that are needed the most. By having a vital welcoming downtown core, you encourage people from all walks of life to visit. A busy street is not a very hospitable place for the criminal elements of our society.
I truly hope that the money for the 30th Avenue revitalization project is approved by council as we are on the right track, let’s keep going. I also believe that the hard work that has been done by our DVA in promoting downtown events for everyone to enjoy and the commitment by our city and social agencies to support the homeless and needy has greatly contributed to the decline of crime in our downtown area in the past four years.
This type of rhetoric from a reporter and newspaper, which claim to have the citizens of Vernon best interests at heart, makes it much harder to have a meaningful discussion on the future of our city. I expect better of both.