With the municipal election tomorrow, Nov. 19, for Kelowna city council, District Municipality of West Kelowna council and Central Okanagan School Board trustees, here’s a final look at some of the issues, complaints and concerns letter writers have expressed.
To the editor:
Kelowna has an election coming up on Nov. 19. There is talk of leadership, platforms, issues, challenges and change. What will that change look like for Kelowna in 100 years? Who will deliver that change?
The gorilla in the room this election is voter turnout. Voter turnout will influence the degree and type of change in Kelowna well beyond the next three years. The council elected will facilitate change based on public input. Your vote is your voice for the change you want to see in Kelowna.
What would happen if Kelowna could muster a 30 per cent turnout? 40 per cent? 50 per cent? There is strength in numbers and change will occur in direct proportion to voter turnout. Change is screaming for your attention, your voice and your vote.
Cedar Avenue needs your voice.
Downtown revitalization needs your voice.
Vacant KSS land needs your voice.
Public safety needs your voice.
Sustainable development needs your voice.
Job creation needs your voice.
We, the voters of Kelowna, have a golden opportunity this election to influence and facilitate change. There are many quality candidates to choose from in this election. They need to hear your voice. A large turnout at the polls will send a strong message to the newly elected council that you want change. A large turnout at the polls is the best way for your voice to be heard, now, and in the future.
A light voter turnout will be a kick in the pants for change. And Kelowna. What will it be on the 19th, Kelowna? Whimper or roar?
To the editor:
I found an expensive looking flier in my mail box today. It was from FourChange.org.
The flier lists 10 points as examples of poor government. None, except perhaps point three concerning the new Kelowna logo, would be of concern to me and the people I know. Point four, regarding the old KSS site, reveals how little FourChange.org knows about the current use of the site as a temporary off-leash dog park.
According to one credible survey, the KSS site has 178 dog and people visits per day. It is needed in that residential area, and, until another suitable dog park location can be found downtown, it should remain as a dog park for residents and tourists who visit our city with their dogs.
As to item six regarding 11 waterfront lots at Cedar Avenue, FourChange.org favours developers who want to eat up precious waterfront property when there is plenty of space for them across the road from the lake.
I too thought that council ought to have made a decision about the Cedar Avenue waterfront properties last summer. It was clear that the majority of Kelowna residents want the properties to be all park. However, I would rather have council thoroughly debate an issue, than have it rubber-stamp proposals that benefit developers over residents.
To the editor:
I compliment the FourChange.org’s supporters for voicing their disapproval of the inept four councillors.
With their wisdom they scrapped CD-21 with the support of the council; they voted in favour of the meaningless city logo, they sided with the province about the HOV lane; recently they have proposed breeding chickens in Kelowna backyards.
These people oppose development downtown to please citizens who expect to keep Kelowna as pristine as it was a long time ago. These citizens may not need a job, may have a nice monthly pension.
Walter Gray has been accused of having close ties with the old boys club. Do they refer to large or small size contractors, businesses and many more entrepeneurs, who take risks, invest money, hoping to make a profit. Definitely these investors want to make a profit; so does any one else out there who wants to take home a paycheque. So don’t hold it against successful people who also help people. Remember success breeds success.
I appeal to the 80 per cent of eligible voters of any age to become involved in this great community by voting. We can all voice our opinions by participating and electing qualified officers.
To the editor:
All the candidates (mayoral or otherwise) and third parties that have referred to a “lack of leadership” on the current council are using this phrase as a euphemism for: “Didn’t/wouldn’t support the CD-21 zone.” Those in the know understand the code.
It is in Walter Gray’s interest to downplay CD-21 zone—to even claim that it is dead—because he knows that this is an issue that still carries a lot of emotions for many voters. But I don’t believe him. If he is elected mayor, he will work to have it brought back.
I would bet money (those behind) FourChange.org, have a vested interest in seeing CD-21 revived—who do you think owns the old Silk FM building on the corner of Pandosy and Lawrence? The last time I looked it was vacant so somebody is paying taxes, not collecting rent, and especially not selling it for the inflated price that it would fetch if the CD-21 zone were revived.
Alistair Waters (Capital News assistant editor) can believe that this election is not about the CD-21 zone if he likes, but I’m afraid that that is just wishful thinking — and exactly what those preaching about a “leadership deficit” want people to think.
To the editor:
If there was ever doubt that the current mayor and council have lost control when it comes to spending our tax dollars, two recent expenditures have confirmed our suspicions. They have now decided to spend $200,000 on a mural at the H2O Centre, twice what they had originally approved. They have also accepted city staff’s plan to upgrade Knox Mountain Park at a cost of $7 million over 15 years.
While the common folk are feeling the pinch and businesses are struggling to survive, our so-called civic leaders are being led down the garden path by free-spending bureaucrats.
It’s time we all take action and vote for a slate of representatives who will truly lead us in a fiscally sound and responsible direction.
To the editor:
Prior to the election that returned Sharon Shepherd as mayor, the strong impression I got was that council was very strongly in support of just about any development project that came their way, including of course the now famous CD-21.
The current council, to its credit, voted this proposal down and it now looks as if, through a revised OCP, council has come up with a locally-generated vision that keeps highrises from the waterfront, yet provides for residential densification of the downtown core. I would hardly call this indecisive or business unfriendly—terms that council is being labeled with.
It must be noted that the current downturn in building activity results not from any action/inaction of council, but from the overall contraction of the economy and a significantly overbuilt supply of condominiums, neither of which can be laid at the feet of council. To a significant extent these condominiums are either unsold and unoccupied or owned by out-of-towners who don’t contribute to the densification of the downtown area, nor do they contribute to the local economy, beyond what they might spend during their vacation.
What makes for a vibrant downtown core is the streetscape, which attracts people to live there on a full-time basis, not the number of storeys in an apartment building
What this city needs are councillors and a mayor who have a broad view of the needs of the city, not people that represent special interests or a particular segment of the community.
To the editor:
I attended (an early) Sharon Shepherd vs. Walter Gray mayoral debate and what a farce it was.
It was very revealing that Gray could not find anything really wrong with Shepherd’s mayorship, despite the attacks upon her. This lady looked as if she had covered all the basis, including refuting the charge that she is hostile to development. Her 20 year plan is a very impressive one.
Whenever the moderator asked a question Gray was a study in garrulousness, interminably rambling on and on, regaling the audience with one stupefying anecdote after another. I found my eyes glazing over.
Shepherd kept it short and sweet, relying on facts and not pie in the sky rhetoric. I came away thinking that Gray won’t be satisfied until Kelowna beach and City Park are just covered in skyscrapers, exactly what his chums, the developers, want.
Laurence D. M. Marshall,
Question for the mayor of District of West Kelowna:
In numerous press articles you have expressed considerable frustration in trying to get some important questions answered by the province regarding the WFN land swap.
At the Oct. 25 West Kelowna council meeting, Coun. Rosalind Neis proposed a motion to get a legal opinion’ as to whether or not the DWK endorsement is required for this swap to be complete.
The six councillors were split 3-3 on this motion and you, the mayor, cast your vote to turn down this very important motion which could only help protect the interests of the tax payers, including the main reservoir and water supply for the electors in the north end of the district.
Do you not consider this as being irresponsible and failing to carry out your ‘due diligence’ as our mayor?