Friday, November 30, 2012

Just Ban It

It's simple...just ban trucks from Buchanan and adjacent roads.

                   Signs went up on Buchanan and adjacent roads end of November 2012            
The District of Coldstream has found the easy way to make rural roads last longer.

Never mind that the Coldstream Ranch needs to haul silage from its numerous fields that abut Buchanan Road...nah, they won't mind being barred from the road THEY THEMSELVES built.

Heaven forbid our Council would actually look into what caused the monumental deterioration of Buchanan Road this year...a chip sealed rural road...(albeit this pic is from Nova Scotia *grin*)

  • Could it have been this (similar) truck (minus the Arabic script) hauling twice-daily from February (yes...February) through October the biosolids from BC Tree Fruits from Kelowna to the Coldstream Ranch fields on Buchanan Road?
  •  Or how about this (exact) truck also from Kelowna plying the lengths of Buchanan Road--also twice-daily--all summer long?
  • Or how about that legal axle loads are NEVER restricted (let alone posted) on Buchanan Road during spring's freeze-thaw periods?

Then add the fact that any fatality along the adjacent 5-mile stretch of Highway 6 has always led to a detour of all traffic onto Buchanan Road for the duration of the accident re-enactment/investigation ... and you'll quickly see what Coldstream's administration doesn't understand:  a truck ban can't work.

Yup...a ban is what Coldstream plans as a solution to this year's deterioration of Buchanan Road.

"Thank goodness Coldstream doesn't have a population problem," quips Kia.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pissing Taxpayers' Money Away


The November 13, 2012 Agenda Package for Coldstream Council's meeting included a shocking item under the monthly report of building permits issued.

Seems the Regional District of North Okanagan has received a permit to renovate a bathroom.

So what?, you say.

The value of the bathroom renovation is $200,000.00!
Yes, two hundred thousand dollars.

For a bathroom renovation!

Plus the permit fee.

"That'll be quite the crapper," asserts Kia, wide-eyed.

Will Hansma Deserves Kudos

The municipality of Spallumcheen's former mayor, Will Hansma, has announced that he'll let his name stand for the provincial Liberal nomination in Shuswap.

But that's not why he deserves kudos.

One of the largest municipalities in British Columbia, last year's Census gives the population of Spallumcheen as 5,055 (approximately half of Coldstream's.)

So you'd expect Spallumcheen to have approximately half of Coldstream's debt load.

Not so.

Spallumcheen has NO debt, compared to Coldstream's approx. $3 million (and growing) debt.

"I'm very proud of that," said Hansma in the local paper on November 14th.

So is Coldstream concerned about their debt?
More correctly, their taxpayers' debt?

According to Councillor Kiss, there's room for more debt.
Six times more.

So...just a warning to Will Hansma as he pursues the nomination where the provincial Ministry of Finance allows that much wouldn't fit in.

"And be happy about that, Mr. Hansma," offers Kia.

Monday, November 12, 2012

DoC Control Freaks

No lack of fodder from Coldstream's Mayor and Council.

Seems it's the Coldstream Ranch's turn...again.

This from the Agenda for the November 13, 2012 council meeting:

"THAT staff be directed to send a letter to Coldstream Ranch, advising that
parking of transport trucks on the property at the southeast corner of the
Kalamalka Road and Highway 6 intersection, legally described as Lot A,
Plan 29697, is not a permitted use in the Rural Two (RU.2) Zone and that the
appropriate process to legitimize such use is through the Ranch making
application for a temporary use permit."

" not a permitted use in the Rural Two Zone"?


Let's do a little quiz here...

How does Coldstream's Mayor and Council think the Coldstream Ranch has moved their cattle to market in the past?

The past being referred to is the time before the list of permitted uses in Rural Two.
Indeed, the past refers to the time before zoning designations.

These control freaks, formally known as the District of Coldstream's elected officials, have forgotten the Coldstream Ranch also predates the District!

"The Ranch should revert to moving their cattle west along the meandering cattle-trail called Highway 6," suggests Kia.

A temporary use permit!
How moronic!
Anything to keep paperwork moving back and forth on bureaucrats' desks, eh?

Coldstream Council's Fear: Snow!

Their 13-day fear anyway.

One key to diagnosing a phobic disorder is that the fear must be excessive and disproportionate to the situation, according to ThePhobiaList

In the case of Coldstream, it certainly is disproportionate to the situation.
Because Council doesn't admit what the situation actually is.

To those of us who know how this local government manipulates information--or has the newspaper do it for them--this Mayor and Council's fear of snow, as reported in The Morning Star, Oct. 28/12, entitled "Coldstream considers cutting staff overtime costs" is a smokescreen that belies the fact their finances are going in the wrong direction.

Seems that Coldstream's district office will be closed 13 days beginning December 22nd, and Mayor and Council are scrambling because of maintenance wages.  

Snow in the Okanagan?
Bet on it.
On average, our area--in a winter period spanning 40.8 days--can expect 40.5 inches (102.9 cm) of snow.

So, in THE understatement of her term "...if there's a snowstorm we'd have to pay overtime," said Councillor Besso, pretending that this Council is the first to consider such an earth-shattering topic in the community's history.

It's not that Councillor Besso can't think ahead (proof is her willingness to preserve farm parcels--suitable only for forage--for the future, and also this Council's penchant for planning drainage improvements in anticipation of the 100-year storm). 
It's because this Mayor and Council, time and time again, possess an inherent inability to think like business. 

So what would a business owner do?
Apart from wondering whether he should be closed for 13 days, and realizing that he's in big trouble if he is juggling to make wages...(the District of Coldstream is 3+ million in debt for a population of only 10,000), he'd start here:

  • A business would recognize the importance of their maintenance department (and not leave day-to-day operational decisions to those holders of "broad powers" holders, who know the least).
  • A business would look at previous years' labour costs.
  • A business would delegate and have the Maintenance Supervisor provide two holiday plans--a best and worst case scenario:  one for wages based on average snowfall years, and one for wages based on high snowfall, complete with the requisite maintenance supervision that includes a chargehand. 
Come to think of it, would a business close for 13 days?

Coldstream Council's snow-itis is indeed excessive and disproportionate.  Unless they're having trouble making wages...or wondering how to fund their employees' defined benefit pension plan...or...

"Fear makes the wolf sound more important than he is," offers Kia.