Letter: Heads must roll to get Rutland cleaned up

The people of Rutland have been silent for far too long and it is time that they come forward to fight for a safe place to live.

To the editor:

In 2003, I moved to Kelowna. At the time, I was told to avoid a place called Hein Road in Rutland but I found the perfect house and ignored the warnings. Shortly thereafter, a young woman was murdered on Heinl Road, a stone’s throw away, and 13 years later there has been a drive-by shooting, an arrest of an alleged murderer of an unsuspecting randomly-selected Kelowna transit rider, multiple drug busts, to mention just a few, and nothing has changed.

These are matters for the RCMP and the department tries to control the goings on, but I can’t help but wonder why we have a bylaw department in Kelowna. They do nothing to address the concerns of the neighbourhood to clean up Rutland. Do they not notice the number of hoarders and yards piled high with old cars and garbage? No wonder Kelowna has a rat problem.

The last time I went to City Hall to complain, I was directed to a telephone hanging on the wall in the lobby, and when a voice answered, I expressed concern for the abysmal mess of refrigerators, microwave ovens, old furniture, piles of garbage, grocery carts, unlicensed car bodies, etc, etc. that litter the residences on the street. Six months later, nothing has been done and things carry on—business as usual with the strong smell of marijuana wafting through the air.

I’ve been told that the owners of these rental units are “old money” and untouchable. We certainly aren’t able to locate these slum landlords, and for some reason, these individuals seem to do whatever they want.

The complex the city wishes to build is one block from Hein Road so it is not difficult to imagine the result of high density housing should this one become a cesspool like their neighbours up the street.

We are told not to make waves, don’t bring matters to anyone’s attention for fear that no one will purchase our homes if we decide to sell.

Well, the people of Rutland have been silent for far too long and it is time that they come forward to fight for a safe place to live. I’m tired of being afraid to walk my dog in the evenings, and I would love to see all the present managers of the Kelowna bylaw department replaced with people who know how to do their jobs.

Beverly Kehler, Rutland


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