Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Circling the Wagons post-Petition and post-Core Services Review

Didn't find KPMG's core services review when it hit the streets...
But the 325-page report is indeed available to the public, here.

There is a whack of other links, including the administration report from the City of Vernon.  All links can be accessed from this page:  http://www.vernon.ca/core_review/

Conspicuous by its absence is an administration report from the District of Coldstream.
(Kia wagers 4 cups of kibbles such a [full] report will never be featured on Coldstream's website.)

Directors of Areas "B" and "C" have been relatively vocal against amalgamation via the local newspaper, and they've made some salient points that only the Province of British Columbia could really screw up (which they probably will, in an attempt to prevent a precedent being set in other areas of British Columbia regarding highway maintenance).

Oft-mentioned is how this governance configuration was created:  throwing an open box of push-pins into the air seems entirely plausible.  

Before Coldstream's chief administrative officer Michael Stamhuis retired, he likely did just such a report to Coldstream mayor and council, and it probably ended up not for public consumption.  Stamhuis' successor, Trevor Seibel, moved straight into his new duties but has remained mute on the topic.
Or hushed.

Wagon circling began at Coldstream Council's in-camera meeting on October 21, 2013

However, a rare visit to Coldstream's mayor and council was made by Vernon's mayor and council and chief administrative officer on October 21st, 2013.  
The "special meeting" convened at 3:30; two hours later it was over.

Again conspicuous by its absence was the local newspaper, despite the 3:30 p.m. start time.
Guessing that they were told 99% of the meeting would be held in-camera, i.e. "nothing to report here, folks, move along".

What could all these elected officials have been discussing?
Only a stray tourist would guess it wasn't amalgamation.

Discussions would have focused on the +2,900-name petition from the Greater Vernon Governance Society and whether elected officials will "take it to the province", as Eric Foster MLA indicated is "the process to be taken."

Even IF--and that's a mighty if--elected officials agree to do a study on the pros and cons of unification/amalgamation, the critical component is who will do the study...obviously employees of the City of Vernon, the Regional District and the District of Coldstream can't be expected to be objective on a topic that may affect their and their coworkers' job descriptions.
That'd be a recipe from hell.
But apparently there's no money for KPMG (the authors of the CS review) to do the in-depth plan.

No minutes are ever released from in-camera, but the special meeting's agenda did cover:
  • the security of the property of the municipality, and/or;
  • the acquisition, disposition, or expropriation of land or improvements, if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality, and/or
  • negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stages and that, in the view of the council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public.
Assisting Coldstream Mayor Garlick and council to circle his wagons were:  Vernon Mayor Sawatsky, Councillors Cunningham, Lord, Nicol, O'Keefe, and Spiers; Vernon's chief admin officer Will Pearce, Vernon's finance manager Kevin Bertles, Vernon's manager of public works James Rice, Vernon's recreation services manager Doug Ross, and regional directors:  "B", Bob Fleming, and "C" Mike McNabb.  Also present were RDNO's chief admin officer Trafford Hall and Ms. Mellott, electoral area admin manager, both of whom directed wagon traffic. 

"I'll put away the municipal hall's For Sale sign for now," offers Kia, "but I'm not going to dust it."

a note concerning a comment overheard today in Vernon:
A fellow said "the only reason people want into the city is to hook up to sewer."
His friend replied:  "why don't they simply have their septic system pumped every couple of years?"  

1 comment:

  1. Then they should join the district of COLDSTREAM as it's much cheaper to hook up to sewer in Coldstream than in Vernon. Yep, even if the stuff flows to the same plant in Vernon. How convenient for Coldstream.

    Time for a new slogan:
    "Vernon, taking sh*t from Coldstream for years and not exactly sure why!"


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