A study has revealed some open wounds among North Westside residents.
The final report of a services and community issues review has been filed, and it indicates that of 264 surveys filled out, 60 per cent of respondents reported feeling very dissatisfied or dissatisfied with decision making processes by the Regional District of Central Okanagan and about 48 per cent of respondents felt very dissatisfied or dissatisfied with services received.
“Residents aren’t happy with the delivery model,” said Wayne Carson, North Westside director.
“Most residents agree they’re not getting value for their tax dollars.”
Among the concerns is a perceived unresponsiveness to local concerns, service costs and transparency and accountability.
Consultant Paul Siggers, who led the review, says the relationship between residents and the district is strained.
“The erosion of trust impacts information out there. A lack of transparency grows and a lack of not being represented grows,” he said.
The regional board has asked staff to present a future report on the areas identified in the report.
Carson insists there is still a need to investigate whether the North Westside can viably form a municipality.
“What we have now is not fixable as is,” he said of the regional district governance structure.
While the number of dissatisfied is high, the survey shows some residents are pleased with RDCO.
“Even though it (concerned) leans over 50 per cent, it’s not the huge percentage I was expecting,” said Tracy Gray, Kelowna director.
Gail Given, chairperson, insists RDCO has been following legislation and the North Westside director may not be out-voted as much as some residents believe.
“I don’t know that the evidence supports the claims,” she said, adding that the district has tried to be open.
“We added open houses to reach out but the things we add aren’t considered helpful. So what would be helpful?”
The final report of the North Westside Services and Issues Review can be viewed at www.regionaldistrict.com/nwreview.