Letter: Electorate duped by those whom we elect

What are the elected up to in West Kelowna? No public input on whether/where to build civic centre, city hall.

To the editor:

I read with interest the letter to the editor, Surreptitious Dealings in WK, written by Mike Budd, printed in the Capital News on Dec. 19, 2014.

I agree with Budd’s comments regarding a serious lack of input in regards to the proposed new city hall and civic centre. Where and when did any public consultation happen? If it did occur, who was present?

Not long ago, I remember reading an article where [West Kelowna] Mayor Doug Findlater was quoted as saying you need a thick skin to be a politician. His may not be thick enough yet, as he seems reluctant to face the electorate—and explain truthfully. And that can only mean one thing; he is insecure with his or council’s decision.

If you are proud and positive of your decision and you can back it up with supporting data/facts, then face the electorate and elaborate. If you can’t or won’t do this, well maybe the electorate made a mistake.

In my view, the mayor’s failure to stand, face the electorate and admit he and council have been making decisions affecting the District of West Kelowna is inexcusable. Not allowing the electorate to its rightful voice through a referendum is also inexcusable.

I see one group and one group only, happy with council’s preferred site for a new city hall and civic centre.

Other sites had been mentioned but were poo—pooed by the mayor and council (exceptions are Neis and Ensign who were just elected), some with solid reasons, others not so much—the old Home Hardware site at Bartley and Byland for example. I got the impression: The site is chosen—don’t waste your time.

I asked for a referendum in conjunction with the election. I was told that wasn’t possible. Why not? I was told, the time frame would not allow.

So now I ask: “Was this purposely delayed, so it couldn’t be part of the November election process?”

Too many politicians today speak with a forked tongue, or pre-prepare statements that may be less than truthful. In my opinion, this seems to be true with both the Westbank First Nation and DWK governments on the west side of Okanagan Lake today.

Do any of us really know what they are up to? Who made the decision, and what is the plan? Who will really benefit? Will it be the people of the WFN and the people of DWK, or will it be individuals, silent partners, numbered companies where we don’t know the principals, etc.?

I hear all this rhetoric about transparency, but it’s hard to find, and getting more difficult to believe when you listen to reports, or are they fabrications? The proof in the end will always be in the pudding.

The WFN bypass and underpass isn’t really to “nowhere,” because it is going somewhere and to something. It just isn’t clear yet, “to what” or “for what purpose.” It might be a hospital. It might not. Stay tuned, we haven’t talked to our people yet, so we will let you know in due course. So see, the WFN government is not much different than the government in the District of West Kelowna.

The DWK council wants to build the city hall and civic centre where they want it. They believe they can deflect the flak over their chosen site and its cost. Once the property has been purchased and construction started, what can the electorate do? They will soften to it in time, they have to.

I agree with Mike Budd, a referendum with full disclosure is the only avenue for council if they want to hold their heads high.

Quite simply, to all you elected officials: You elected to run for a governmental position; we elected you to work for the majority in “our” electorate! If there’s any uncertainty what the majority wants, then do the right thing and ask us in a referendum.

David W. Kuhn,

West Kelowna

 

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