Letter: Support for West Kelowna as a city

I am a proud resident of this community and applaud the council of West Kelowna for taking the initiative to pursue city status.

  • May. 3, 2015 10:00 a.m.

 

To the editor:

I feel compelled to respond to the letter published in the April 29 Capital News regarding naming West Kelowna a city and all that that entails. [Naming West Kelowna a ‘city’ Won’t Fix it.]

I am a proud resident of this community and applaud the council of West Kelowna for taking the initiative to pursue city status.  We are a city and we are West Kelowna.

Please refer to the excellent information posted on at the District of West Kelowna’s website on this topic answering questions posed in the April 29th letter:

Firstly information:

Municipalities are divided into four classifications: village; town; district; and city. The distinction is based upon population and area but regardless of the classification, every municipality generally has the same powers and responsibilities. The Local Government Act classifies municipalities as either a Village (population not greater than 2,500); a Town (population greater than 2,500 but not greater than 5,000); a City (population is greater than 5,000).  Despite the classification of a City, West Kelowna was classified as a District Municipality as its boundary area is greater than 800 hectares and has an average population density of less than five persons per hectare.

Having a population of over 30,000, West Kelowna council had previously expressed interest to the Province of B.C. to consider a reclassification from a district to a city.  While this earlier request was not considered, on September 10, 2014 Minister Coralee Oakes indicated that the province would be willing to consider the feasibility of a reclassification for the District of West Kelowna to a city. Minister Oakes acknowledged that with a population of over 30,000, West Kelowna may be seen as a municipality of city proportions.

Municipalities such Penticton, Vernon and Campbell River which have populations of over 30,000 have been designated as a city. The District of Maple Ridge has recently been reclassified as City of Maple Ridge.

Secondly information about costs:

The benefit of using an Alternative Approval Process:

1. Significantly less cost to the taxpayer ($1,500 vs $60,000)

2. Electors have more time to express their opinion (30 days for AAP vs two days for referendum)

3. Forms will be made available at Municipal Hall to pick up

4. Public consultation will occur.

Thank you council of West Kelowna, you have everyone’s best interests at heart. Unity is happening all around with regards to West Bank First Nations, most recent example being the joint Arts Council.

Joanne Baker, West Kelowna

 

Kelowna Capital News

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