An open letter to all our contacts:
Re: Candidate response to our questions.
The Audience Group is made up of 71 dedicated voter households (more than 150 people) ranging the span of West Kelowna who are citizens concerned with how our municipal government is spending our hard earned, and in some cases, limited tax and user fee dollars.
We have provided our city council with what we thought was helpful advice in many circumstances.
One such contribution was the need for a new city hall. We reviewed the issues, read all the articles, followed what both sides were saying, and delivered a 30-page contribution pertaining to moving all of our municipal departments with a new city hall and potential civic centre to one location, the Bartley and Stevens municipally owned 11.4 acres.
We made a contribution pertaining to the Phase Two Wine Trail where one of our members even delivered a concept drawing to show how it could be constructed at a much lesser cost than the $9.2 million it is now going to cost.
Another one of our members offered a suggestion on water rates for our city pointing out that there are many non-food producing agricultural properties receiving an 80 per cent discount on their water cost at the expense of the residential properties.
We have tried to help, and yes some of our members get a little carried away with their sarcasm when writing individual letters pertaining to wasted spending, however, we have tried to offer suggestions rather than criticism but such suggestions fall on deaf ears.
During the 2014 election, our group sent in many individual questions that went unanswered by the candidates.
We are very sad to report that, with the exception of two candidates, all of the other candidates did not respond to the questions that were taken from webcast presentations recording the official council meetings.
Now we are a little concerned about some of the new candidates as they wanted to know if we were a large group or a small group, age of members, how many members in each neighbourhood and what are our demographics, incomes etc. They did not want to bother with us until they knew if our group was worth the trouble. We also received the same wording in emails from candidates indicating there is a group of candidates working together. These are our candidates. These are the candidates that say they are concerned about the individual citizen in public but really don’t care unless you are part of a major group that can help them get elected or help them in the next phase of their own lives.
The two candidates that did answer were Coun. Rosalind Neis and candidate Joe Gluska so at least we have two responsible candidates for whom to vote.
Good luck West Kelowna, we are going to be taxed a great deal more than 3 per cent and the water rates are going to increase much more than you have been told due to delays and under-budgeted costs for the filtration plant. Choose wisely, this election is very important for our pockets and our city.
R. Jackson, administrator
The Audience Group