North Westside study gets board blessing

Directors voted 9-2 to ask the Ministry of Community Development for a governance study

The Regional District of Central Okanagan will pursue a governance study for the North Westside.

Those wanting to investigate North Westside’s future have overcome a major hurdle.

On Monday, the Regional District of Central Okanagan board voted 9-2 to ask the Ministry of Community Development for a governance study of the area from La Casa to Westshore Estates.

“This was the part that was necessary to keep moving,” said Wayne Carson, director.

Previous attempts by Carson and the North Westside Communities Association to raise the governance issue have been met with reluctance  among some RDCO officials.

The motion approved Monday states the board supports a governance study for the North Westside fire protection service area.

The focus will be on a review of existing services and the cause of concern in the community.

RDCO staff will now prepare an application requesting that the ministry fund a study.

“At the end of the day, all decisions are the minister’s to make,” said Carson.

Carson met with Community Development Minister Peter Fassbender twice in the fall to discuss the matter.

“The minister is a fair and reasonable man and we’re putting our future in his hands,” said Carson.

Currently, North Westside, with a population of 1,000 to 1,500 people, has one director at the 12-member RDCO board table.

Many North Westside residents have indicated that current structure doesn’t represent their needs because the area is quite a ways from RDCO’s Kelowna office and service costs are growing.

A 700-name petition calling for a study was presented to the district.

“We want a good look at our services and how they are run and if there are options for providing those services,” said Carson.