Letter: Get on with solving West Kelowna issues

[West Kelowna referendum] meant do not build a new shiny building, regardless of the difference between the Yes vote and the No vote.

To the editor:

It seems no does not mean no when it comes to the council of West Kelowna wanting to have a new city hall.

A referendum was held; people of West Kelowna voted; the result was no.

No meant do not build a new shiny building, regardless of the difference in the count between the Yes vote and the No vote.

An article in the Oct. 28 Kelowna Capital News, Council Won’t Give Up on Westbank City Hall Location, says the city is exploring options for a new city hall, one according to Duane Ophus, where “we (council) need to pull in our horns and lower our expectations.”

What does no really mean?

Now, I would suggest that most people in West Kelowna do not have any objections to the city spending money, if the result of that expenditure adds value, fixes something, provides a needed service, or solves a problem.

Here is what I am suggesting solve the problem.

Jim Zaffino, administrative officer of West Kelowna, states “more space for city workers is needed because the existing municipal office is now at capacity.” I think we can all agree that this is a problem worth solving immediately.

So the question I am asking the mayor and all of the council: “Is building a new city hall the only and/or best solution to this immediate problem?”

In simple terms the problem is more people than space.

Obvious solution get more space council says build it.

Here are a few ideas worth considering. I am sure the talented staff at West Kelowna, if directed, could come up with more:

a) Hiring freeze it, monitor it, ensure they are needed

b) Have people work different shifts days and afternoons to use existing space over two shifts

c) Shared space multiple people in one physical space if they don’t need to be in the office at all times

d) Working from home

e) Leasing existing space that is vacant in West Kelowna rather than building a new building

f) Contracting out some services.

All of the above individually or in combination would provide more space without having to spend $7.1 million or more for a new building.

This would afford council the opportunity to start a special fund for the building of a new shiny city hall by setting aside funds for that specific purpose.

The fund could be started by allocating the interest (that should be) earned on the $7.1 million that the city will now not have to spend.

Is it not time for us to think outside the shiny new box we call city hall and solve real problems?

Wayne Van Damme, West Kelowna

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