Letter: Bad decisions outweigh good for West Kelowna council

What do the majority of residents of the city want from the council?

To the editor:

Evaluating the present mayor and council of West Kelowna, all the missed opportunities and poor decisions, far outweigh the good decisions and running of the day to day business of the city.

What do the majority of residents of the city want from the council? A suggested short list would include:

1. Clean, safe drinking water – Years away for the Rose Valley water treatment plant.

2. Proper management of storm water – Surface water flooding in many districts as developments do not have adequate drainage as we cover more and more of the ground.

3. Manage wildfire risks and threats – No Forestry Management of timber cutting to prevent wild fires approaching the City, no equipped Early Response Team specific to wildfires.

4. Top quality Police Force – We are short four to eight full-time RCMP members, we have very little traffic laws and speeding enforcement.

5. Low Tax Rates – Rates increase far faster than inflation, development charges are treated as non-tax items and spent as fast as they are collected on pet projects, not on needed urgent community wide infrastructure.

6. Careful Budgeting and Spending – Budgets are increased by percentages whether the funds are needed or not. Staff increases of seven members last year far exceeded the increase in population. Why not zero-based budgets rather than last year’s amount plus 4 to 10 per cent increases?

7. Secure Electricity Supply – Mayor Findlater’s personal reason to run for council was to get this done; Premier Horgan just delayed it another three to five years to 2025 or beyond, clearly the province is not listening to our mayor.

8. Safe, well-maintained Roads – Most roads are at a rural standard, open storm water ditches, and many have recurring potholes and broken edges due to narrow paving and no turn space at corners.

9. Safe Sidewalks and Bike Paths, – These should be in places frequently used like Webber Road, Brown Road, Butt Road, Thacker Drive, Anders Road, Old Okanagan Highway and Shannon Lake Road just to name a few examples.

10. Good Parks for Community Recreation for everyone – We get a new $4 million soccer dome over a water main rather than a new soccer pitch and a cheaper $1.5 million Dome over an easy site to service and commute to.

11. Steady investment in Infrastructure Moving from Rural to Urban communities- We get an outrageous $9 million spent on 1.3 kilometres of poorly planned (power poles in sidewalks, no emergency pullouts, duel sidewalks and bike paths for minimum users?) rather than improvements in every community where walkers, and bikes frequent.

12. Local Hospital Service – Oliver, Penticton, Vernon, Princeton, and Salmon Arm all have smaller populations and have local hospital service; West Kelowna does not even have an Urgent Care Centre. Our mayor and council have failed to negotiate any emergency services with Interior Health in the last 10 years, unbelievable.

Looking carefully it is clear that the present multi-term mayor and councillors have failed in most aspects of even this short list of key residents’ priorities.

If the board of directors of a major corporation had dropped the ball on so many major deliverables the senior management and the board of directors would be replaced long before 10 years. We need a wholesale change of the people in charge to right this ship.

The place to do that is the ballot box, unless — we are OK with the continuation of wasted funds and high taxes.

Doug Waines

West Kelowna

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