Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Municipal candidacy open -- By Richard Rolke

The clock is ticking for anyone wanting to be mayor, councillor or electoral area director.

Under provincial legislation, the nomination period for the Nov. 15 civic elections runs until Oct. 10 at 4 p.m.

“People can start handing in their nomination papers now,” said Patti Bridal, the City of Vernon’s chief election officer.

There will be elections for mayor and council in Vernon, Lumby, Coldstream, Spallumcheen, Armstrong, Enderby and Lake Country.

Positions will also be available for electoral area directors in Cherryville, rural Lumby, BX-Silver Star, BX-Swan Lake, rural Enderby, Falkland and North Westside, as well as for trustees with the Vernon and North Okanagan-Shuswap school districts. The terms are from this December until December 2011.

Nomination documents are available at the city halls, municipal offices and regional district offices of the various jurisdictions.

In the case of Vernon, eight packages have already been picked up, but Bridal isn’t sure how that will translate into people actually filing nomination papers for the election.

“I expect the next couple of weeks will be pretty busy,” she said of the traditional interest in the municipal election.

In the 2005 election, four people sought the mayor’s chair in Vernon, while there were 22 people seeking six council seats.

“Who knows what will happen this time? Twenty-two was quite a high number,” said Bridal.

Presently, the only person who has indicated they will run for Vernon mayor is incumbent Wayne Lippert, while there are three seeking the position in Spallumcheen — Dustin Griffin, incumbent Will Hansma and Guenter Rieger. Longtime councillor Chris Pieper is letting his name stand for mayor in Armstrong.

Anyone wanting to seek public office must be a Canadian citizen, 18 years of age or older and a resident of B.C. for at least six months.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Readers write -- Comment on Morningstar Article 28 September 2008 'Citizens shell out for letters' by Jennifer Smith

Reporter Jennifer Smith hit the nail on the head by pointing out Coldstream City Hall has wasted tax dollars on legal opinions on Kalamalka and Coldstream Meadows sewer extensions and late comer buyout. It was a waste of tax payers dollars because the issue was never about whether council acted legally but rather that it acted fairly or even prudently with respect to these issues. An expensive letter from the city's solicitor does not answer this question posed by Gyula Kiss. He wanted council to account for it's decision to act as they did. As it stands we are none the wiser but a few thousand dollars poorer. How can these bureaucrats be so stupid and wasteful? Did they really think this ploy was going to cover their sorry asses? Council needs to explain why they decided to give Coldstream Meadows management a $250,000 late comers [bonus] buyout payment when they had no obligation to do so. It looks as if the whole sewer extension, which nobody along the line wanted, was put in to facilitate the building of Coldstream Meadows. Well council,why were tax payers made to support this private venture? Coldstream didn't need to finance it!

They don't answer because there is no good answer that tax payers would find acceptable.

P. Peto

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Citizens shell out for letters -- Jennifer Smith.

On July 3, 2007 I indeed requested an Audit as per Section 172 of the Community Charter. Instead of an Audit the Director of Finance (DoF) received a confidential letter from C. S. Murdy, solicitor for the District (a copy is provided), advising her that based on information provided by the DoF legally speaking the District acted within the law. In fact, the Auditor never appeared before Council this year, a notable departure from previous years.

The legal advice was way too late. We should have asked for a legal advice before putting up the utility’s money for the construction of the sewer line. The question should have been: is it legal for the Municipality to request the developer to connect to the sewer line at his own expense? The answer would have been a resounding yes from any solicitor.
Had they done that I would not have had to ask for an audit this time.

The District awarded a huge density bonus to Coldstream Meadows (CM) in 2005 with the requirement that they must connect to community sewer. The nearest community sewer was located at McClounie Road. In order to comply with the requirement CM would have had to connect at that point. CM would have been able to arrange a latecomer contract and could have recovered part of its cost in the following 10-15 year period from householder who needed to connect.

Those customers not needing to connect (which appear to be most households along the new line) did not have to pay. As it is now all properties along the new sewer line pay an annual tax of $97.00 even thought hey opposed the sewer line. In addition, the utility (the existing sewer users) had to contribute $665,000 to provide cheaper sewer connection for CM.

The direction Council of the time chose in this instance may be legal but a Council working for the benefit of the whole community would have chosen the alternative less costly for the community.

Next time I will elaborate (again) on the stupidity of the 7% principle.



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Readers write -- My Apologies to Those I Have Offended

As you may have noticed by now I have run a series of 'Attack Ads' on this blog in which I have heaped much opprobrium on Coldstream councilors for decisions and actions they have taken and to which I have taken great exception. I felt compelled to broadcast these objections to the blog readership with the hope of bringing the contested issues to public awareness and to finger those responsible for making objectionable decisions. In my attempt to bring those responsible to account I was pitiless with the scorn I heaped upon those with whom I disagreed. My intention of course was to bring as much discredit to the persons involved as possible in the public mind. I questioned the motivations and character of some our decision makers in a most disagreeable manner but without intention of personal malaise.

Truth be told, I have never meet or even known these councilors so my objections were never intended to be of a personal nature. For all I know they are probably wonderful, dedicated and well intentioned people. I don't doubt they had the best of intentions within the constraints of their own personal limitations. Of course every politician knows they run the risk of being personally attacked for decisions and actions they have taken, it comes with the job and it requires a thick skin to carry on. Many say it's a thankless job and most are wise to avoid taking on such a responsible but vulnerable position.

However, every good citizen in a democracy has a responsibility to contribute in some way to self governance. It should not fall to a few dedicated citizens to continuously offer their services to the governing of the community. We should see able new faces come forward to serve in local government each and every term. We also owe a debt of thanks to those who service regardless of how popular or unpopular their services might have been. So I offer my thanks to those who served on council most recently and my sincere apologies for any personal offense they may may taken from any disagreeable comments I made on this blog.

Peter Peto

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Federal elections.

Federal elections are around the corner and some of you might want to refresh your minds about the results of the last one a little more than 2.5 years ago. For your edification here are the results of the last two federal elections (with thanks to Nick Hodge).


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rezoning changes denied -- By Jennifer Smith

A chunk of commercial property that’s been boasting development for 10 years has failed to land a promising tenant.

Therefore the sign that has stood beside Highway 6 for years, which reads ‘Future home of Aberdeen Shopping Centre,’ has come down.

“Retail tenants felt that it was a little too early for a shopping centre,” said Rick Jones, Urban Design Group Architects, representing Trintec Enterprises.

Instead, the land developer has been eyeing different tenants for the Coldstream space – homeowners.

Trintec Enterprises is seeking a zoning change from the current C6 zone (shopping centre commercial) to permit multi-family residential use.

“We’re taking a portion of the commercial land and changing it to residential,” said Jones.

The plan is to construct 27 townhouses and one 39-unit apartment building on a portion of the 16 acre chunk of Coldstream property.

But since the land is one of few commercial locations in Coldstream, and is the only C6 designation, council has turned down the request.

“If we’re going to run a community I think we have to have a variety of zones,” said Coun. Jim Garlick.

Coun. Doug Dirk also pointed to the Official Community Plan, where there is a lack of community support for apartments.

But bringing apartments into the community appeals to Coun. Mary Malerby as something to build forward on.

“There’s people who don’t want to move out of the Coldstream but want to downsize. That’s something in the Coldstream we don’t have to offer.”

Coun. Glen Taylor also liked the way the development is headed.

Seven nearby residents have also submitted input to the proposal.

A couple are dead against the idea of changing the zoning and constructing apartments, while most of the others are open to the idea as long as concerns such as noise, traffic, lights and appropriate public green space are addressed.

The development application was turned down in a tie vote (which is automatically defeated). Coun. Bill Firman joined Dirk and Garlick in opposing the staff recommendation to support the zoning change.

The developer can come back to council with a new and altered application for consideration.

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Coldstream home damaged by fire -- By Peter McIntyre

Fire crews were on the scene of a home fire in Coldstream Thursday morning.

It was at the Lakeway mobile home park across from Dutch's campground on Kal Lake Road.

Coldstream fire chief Lawrie Skolrood says there was significant damage to one of the residences, but crews managed to keep it from spreading to other sites.

He says there were no injuries as no one was home at the time other than a dog which got out safely.

The cause is under investigation but it's not considered suspicious.

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See also Morning Star article.

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Further information on the 2008 Okanagan Speaker Series.


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Fire on Middleton Mountain.



Coldstream's beleaguered firemen are presently at the scene of a fire on Middleton Mountain just above Kal beach. From my vantage point it appears to be a structural fire.




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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fowl uprising.

Re: Boat parking options launched -- By Jennifer Smith

Apparently the residents of the lagoon are aware of the proposal by the Coldstream Traffic Safety Committee and they are unanimously opposed to it. In fact, rumours have it that they are ready to have a major demonstration against at least some of the recommendations. My friendly cartoonist, Don Quixote, was commissioned by the residents of the lagoon to prepare their banner of opposition. A preview of the banners is presented here. Remember, you heard it here! (thanks to Don Quixote for the preview!)


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

District is simply saving face -- MS Editorial

It's been more than seven weeks since the District of Coldstream dismissed the volunteer fire chief from his duties.

Since then, the only answer as to why chief Leo Lecavalier was fired has been, "no comment."

Now, the politicians are finally saying something. And they must be applauded for that.

Unfortunately, any Coldstream residents searching for answers to the dismissal of a man who has dedicated 25-years, won't find any in the district's statement.

But what they will find is an attempt by council to mend its relationship with the firefighters, which is hanging on by an invisible thread.

Council is confident it can resolve the issues and it deserves praise for at least trying, and making that first step.

Unfortunately, it likely won't be that easy.

There are approximately 54 firefighters between the two fire halls. Of those 54, it's likely that the events leading up to and the actual firing of Lecavalier have left a bitter taste in many of those mouths.

Just one example is how many of those volunteer firefighters are feeling bullied – fearing for their own jobs.

That's a lot of trust and respect that needs to be built back up.

And anyone who has had to build back trust in someone knows that it is a difficult process that doesn't happen overnight.

So while the apparent intention of the District of Coldstream seems well, it's seven weeks too late. It's a nice attempt to rectify the problem, but to some, it will appear as nothing more than simply saving face.

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It took seven weeks for Council to speak up, but there are only seven weeks left for "...council to mend its relationship with the firefighters". Can they do it?

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Council tackles hot topic -- By Jennifer Smith

The District of Coldstream is finally speaking up over an issue that stems from its Aug. 1 dismissal of fire chief Leo Lecavalier.

Council has issued a public statement to address concerns raised by residents surrounding the fire department.

The statement does not directly refer to the dismissal of Lecavalier, but aims to address local concerns that taxpayers will be on the hook for a paid, full-time fire department.

Those concerns have stemmed from the dismissal of Coldstream’s fire chief, which has stirred rumours that the fire department could disband or lose a number of volunteers out of protest.

“Coldstream council and its administration have not discussed a paid full- time fire department, nor has it been contemplated that the municipality would be forced into such a change in the overall operations of our current fire department,” said Mayor Gary Corner, reading the statement at Monday’s council meeting.

Instead, a committee is being formed of council’s seven members, administration and three members each from the Coldstream and Lavington fire departments to discuss and work through current issues.

Coldstream’s deputy chief Lawrie Skolrood is optimistic.

“It’s a good start,” he said.

“This was something that needs to be done and we have to redefine our relationship.

“There are some issues that need to be ratified before we do that.”

Skolrood admits that with everything the department has had to deal with, including the recent move into the new fire hall, it’s been difficult for members to keep focused.

But, he adds: “The executive with the department wants to get back to business and deal with what we do best.”

Corner is also optimistic that problems can be resolved.

“We are confident these issues will be addressed to the satisfaction of council, firefighters and administration,” said Corner.

Therefore with this new committee being struck and hopes that relationships can be fixed, home owner insurance rates in relation to fire protection aren’t expected to increase.

“Coldstream currently falls within the best coverage available (fire department within eight kilometres with hydrants, mutual aid agreements and financing of the fire department through taxation) and does not foresee any changes in the way this service is delivered to the residents of Coldstream,” said Corner.

The District of Coldstream will work with the current fire departments’ executive, and perhaps in the new year a new Coldstream chief will be elected, said Skolrood.

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Will there be an apology issued to the fire chief who was "let go"? Will they apologize to the Fire Department for the "gag order"? Will Leo Lecavalier, the private citizen and volunteer fireman be able to return to the fire hall and continue working?

The Press Release is an attempt to pacify the taxpayers of Coldstream. The hurt is too deep to be fixed by platitudes. We expect better!

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Readers write -- So you think you are Conservative?

It should come as no surprise that in the aggregate Coldsreamers are socially and politically “conservative”. So what does this label actually imply? Straightforwardly it means to conserve or preserve something of value, typically it applies to the conservation of traditional values, customs and institutions. Moreover it implies the maintenance of the status quo [the established order], a strong resistance to change or to novel reforms. A conservative person typically defends private property, individual rights and freedoms and tends to resist excessive governmental intrusion or permissive social norms. So a conservative is essentially a defensive individual.

Now lets examine some of the psychological traits considered typical of conservative minded individuals. It's very revealing and should give pause for some serious self examination. Research has shown that politically conservative people tend to be fearful, dislike ambiguity, avoid uncertainty, shun novel experiences, are desirous social acceptance, prefer living in hierarchical class structures, fear loss of social status, defer to legal authority [law bidding], defer to religious orthodoxy and are inclined to racist, homophobic and sexist prejudices [hostility to disadvantaged groups]. Ouch! Conservatives seem to be very insecure people and generally feel threatened by more liberal or socialist minded people. Conservative politicians spread fear in order to rally insecure people to their proffered protection. This is hardly an inspiring psychological portrait, is it? Perhaps conservative minded people are in need of some reassuring psychotherapy.

Don't be discouraged, conservatism does have some survival value. Every society is polarized between disadvantaged people who wish to better their circumstances by seeking to change the existing social order and those who are comfortable with the way things are and thus resist change. In good times most people are conservative but in times of distress and scarcity, the population shifts toward adaptation by means of progressive change or reform. People feel no need to try new social experiments to mitigate social and economic injustices when most feel relatively well off, so there is no need to make drastic changes to their lifestyle just because some in the population are disadvantaged as it may endanger their own well being. So much for 'Christian' virtues when comforts are at risk.

That's why Coldstream is dominantly conservative, most people feel secure for the time being, they are comfortable and feel no need to make significant changes to local governance. They can afford higher taxes, they don't mind an influx of newcomers even if it's crowding, or new housing developments, or increased congestion and pollution, or more water restrictions, or the chief clerk setting the civic agenda, or large land owners subdividing their properties and bringing sewer in at the expense of others, etc. However, they do draw the line when council and GVAC want to build stadiums at the expense of the ALR or build expensive lake front parking lots for out of town boaters or dismiss the volunteer fire chief. On balance, life is good here in Coldstream, no need to bring in a new bunch of liberal minded reformers or nay sayers like the CRA to upset the delicate but comfortable balance. So what if a few people benefit from the established order more than others, no need to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Three cheers to city hall and our vote of confidence to Corner, Taylor, Malerby, Dirk and Williams for their wise council and to Wendy Kay for running the good ship 'Coldstream' through dark waters to a safe harbor at some unknown port of call ! Hurray to Colin Mayes and Steven Harper for preserving us from those who might push us off our comfortable perches. We can all feel safe in your capable and protecting hands!

Peter Peto

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Council meeting - September 22, 2008 -- Press release.

The following Press Release was issued by Coldstream Council at tonight's Council meeting:

It is not clear how much input came from the Fire Department for this Press Release. perhaps some of them may comment on it anonymously.





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A politician in the making ?

John was in the fertilized egg business.

He had several hundred young layers (hens), called 'pullets,' and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs. He kept records, and any rooster not performing went into the soup pot and was replaced.

This took a lot of time, so he bought some tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Each bell had a different tone, so he could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing.Now, he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report by just listening to the bells.

John's favorite rooster, old Butch,was a very fine specimen, but this morning he noticed Old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all!

When he went to investigate,he saw the other roosters were busy chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets,hearing the roosters coming, could run for cover. To John's amazement,old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring. He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.

John was so proud of old Butch, he entered him in the Renfrew County Fair and he became an overnight sensation among the judges. The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the No Bell Piece Prize But they also awarded him the Pulletsurprise as well.

Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making. Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most highly coveted awards On our planet by being the best sneaking up on the populace and screwing them when they weren't paying attention.

Vote carefully this year, the bells are not always audible
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Posted by Don Quixote on the Vernon Blog.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Local NDP calls on Colin Mayes to set aside $6,000

September 19, 2008 Vernon, BC. NDP Riding Association president Cindy Zobac is asking that the Colin Mayes campaign set aside controversial funds received from the "in-and-out" scandal. "We think it is unfair that the Conservative campaign has $6,000 taxpayer-provided dollars that Elections Canada has ruled were from an invalid local campaign expense."

Local campaigns are reimbursed 60% of their campaign expenses. The "in-and-out" scheme allowed the national Conservative campaign to exceed their spending limit by having national advertising campaign expenses claimed by local campaigns. 67 Conservative campaigns participated, according to Elections Canada. The Okanagan Shuswap Conservative Riding Association received their rebate cheques before Elections Canada started their investigation.

"While the legality of those campaign expenses is in dispute, the Mayes campaign should do the right thing and freeze the $6,000. That money is being used to buy advertising to campaign against us", declared Zobac.

Jeff Mellows, official agent in 2004 & 2006, has declared "the local NDP campaign did not transfer money to the national party, and then claim it as a local advertising expense. Funds received by the Alice Brown campaign were all spent here on the local campaign."

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Readers write -- On Political Biases.

We are in the midst of the federal election campaign with it's conspicuous bill board signs dotting the landscape beside our commonly traveled byways and highways. The signs simply show the candidates name and their party affiliation. When these signs are viewed in the aggregate we note their size, color, quality and their frequency. The message seems to be aimed simply at name and party recognition. We are naturally invited to do some comparison shopping using signage as our main criterion for choice. In the absence of other information about the candidate or their party there will be a tendency among some lazy voters to simply make their choice based on signage. The candidate/party with the most numerous/conspicuous signs will make the biggest impression on the voter while the candidate/party with the fewest/more modest signs are likely to make the least impression. The sales pitch is based largely on the effect of repetition and familiarity. The idea is the voter in the ballot booth will be invited to vote for the dominant impression left with them by the advertising. The biggest advertising campaign will win the most votes from those that are least informed.

So the uniformed voter is inclined to vote for the party with the most money to spend on advertising, which coincidently comes largely from corporate donations and wealthy patrons. Ironically, voters with limited financial means are tempted to vote for wealthy parties who owe political debts to corporations and wealthy people. Well in our electoral area the advertising indicates clearly that the Conservatives are that rich party. What have the federal conservatives done for this relatively poor riding to earn those votes?

Now just look at the competence and character of the candidates regardless of party affiliation and decide who might be the best person [honest, dedicated, informed, engaged, etc] for the job of representing this riding. Perhaps the Tory candidate comes off fourth best here, so why is he so favored to win the contest? Perhaps it's simply the inertia of incumbency, he's the person with the greatest name recognition and the current stand in for a party the riding is most habituated to. It seems odd to me the Tories couldn't find a better candidate in this riding than the former mayor of Salmon Arm who carries with him a load of disputable baggage. Perhaps he is just a real nice guy and that's good enough for us or simply you get him by default if you plan to vote conservative.

This also begs the question: why is the hinterland, rural B.C. and Okanagan-Shuswap, so predominantly conservative? Moreover, could the ingrained conservative mindset of the voting population be reflected in the preferred choice for municipal politicians? Perhaps the local population prefer to vote for [are more comfortable with] people who they are most familiar with rather than with newcomers who are unknown to them. However have the locally bred, elected politicians aligned their interests with the electorate? It seems doubtful at best. Will the next election pivot around incumbency , community name recognition and signage? Will newcomers, who are largely issue oriented, be welcomed by the predominantly conservative mindset of this community? The answer will depend in part on the voter preferences of the 'newcomers' to Coldstream, who are largely middle class, educated and affluent. A larger turnout of this demographic segment in the next election could tip the scales in favor of a reformist environmentally friendly council which could bring sweeping changes to Coldstream. This is not what conservatively minded people really want.Time will tell, if not now then perhaps eventually, as the population demographic tips in favor of more liberal minded new arrivals.

I am not in favor of political billboards in municipal elections, they are unaesthetic, intrusive, environmentally harmful and unfair [end to favor people with money].

Peter Peto

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

What is happening with our Fire Department?

Rumour has it that the move to the new Coldstream fire hall has taken place. As the firemen appear to work to rule most of the work of transferring equipment had to be done by the executive staff. Perhaps the Administrator and her staff do not have enough work of their own if the highly paid staff had to do the grunt work.

It appears that the worst is not yet over. The firemen refuse to do more than what is absolutely necessary, namely turning out to practice and responding to fires. What a way to end the council's term in office!

If you have any concern about the future of the fire protection in Coldstream, contact your council members about those concerns. Monday's meeting could be important!


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Friday, September 19, 2008

Council meeting - September 22, 2008

REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL
OF THE DISTRICT OF COLDSTREAM

TO BE HELD ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2008
IN THE MUNICIPAL HALL CHAMBERS
9901 KALAMALKA ROAD, COLDSTREAM, BC
AT 5:30 PM *

* Please NOTE: The Regular Meeting will adjourn to an IN-CAMERA
MEETING immediately. The REGULAR MEETING of Council will
reconvene at its regular time of 7:00 pm.



DELEGATIONS

Page 1 a. John Lent, Okanagan College
· Presentation , dated September 3, 2008
John Lent will be in attendance to speak to this matter.

Page 39 b. Zoning Application No. 08-015-ZON, Lot 2, KAP70594 and Lot 2, KAP72201, Highway 6 – West of Aberdeen Road (Trintec Enterprises Inc.)

There may be persons in attendance to speak to this matter.

Page 197 c. Development Variance Permit Application No. 08-017-DVP, Lot 4, DL 3888, ODYD, Plan KAP81617, 8830 Braeburn Drive (Schulz)

There may be persons in attendance to speak to this matter.

Page 223 d. Proposed Subdivision of Lot 44, Plan 320, D.L. 57 & 59 (Webster)

Lyall Webster, Owner Lot 44, Plan 320 will be in attendance to speak to this matter.

Representatives of the owners of Lot 1, Plan 26031 (Webster) will be in attendance to speak to this matter.

Page 239 e. Riparian Areas Regulation Assessment for 8501 Kalavista Drive, Lot 1, Block 11, Plan 4068 (Strangward)

There may be persons in attendance to speak to this matter.
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Note the following item:
f. Administration

Page 245 (1) 2008 General Local Election

· Report from the Chief Administrative Officer, dated September 18, 2008

Recommendation


THAT the report from the Chief Administrative Officer, dated September 18, 2008, regarding 2008 General Local Election, be received;

AND THAT Wendy Kay be appointed Chief Election Officer for the 2008 General Local Election, with power to appoint other election officials as required for the administration and conduct of the 2008 General Local Election, pursuant to the Local Government Act;

AND FURTHER THAT Keri-Ann Baggett be appointed Deputy Chief Election Officer for the 2008 General Local Election.
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The following Sections of the Charter are quoted for the in-camera items following the regular meeting:

90 (1)(b) personal information about an identifiable individual who is being considered for a municipal award or honour, or who has offered to provide a gift to the municipality on condition of anonymity;

(c) labour relations or other employee relations;

(l) discussions with municipal officers and employees respecting municipal objectives, measures and progress reports for the purposes of preparing an annual report under section 98 [annual municipal report];

(m) a matter that, under another enactment, is such that the public may be excluded from the meeting;

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Leader spreads Green message in Vernon -- By Richard Rolke


Green leader Elizabeth May is confident this federal election will be groundbreaking for her party.

May spoke to more than 250 people during a stop at Vernon’s Polson Park Friday.

“We need a change in Ottawa and we need it now,” she said, while flanked by Okanagan-Shuswap candidate Huguette Allen.

“We will change the climate in Parliament.”

May says people are frustrated with how the other parties are only focused on their own interests and not those of Canadians.

“We will work co-operatively and respect others. Let’s go there and say, ‘Whatever works, we will do.’”

But May did lash out at Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, saying he only called the election because he was afraid the Greens would win a scheduled byelection in Ontario.

“He didn’t want Canadians to see the Greens scoring so much higher than the Conservatives.”

She also believes that is the reason why Harper originally opposed May participating in the televised leaders’ debate.

But Harper agreed to May’s involvement after a public furor arose.

“Canadians who aren’t usually engaged in politics were offended,” she said, adding that Harper should be concerned about the Greens growing in popularity across the country.

“He understands that we reach out to his traditional base. A lot of people drawn to Reform wanted grassroots populism and they have been let down by Stephen Harper.”

May touched on a number of issues including health care, and the need to get to the root cause of illness.

“The single largest source of ill health is poverty and we need to address that issue,” she said.

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Some Personal Impressions on the CRA Meeting, 18 September 2008 -- Peter Peto

A relatively small gathering of dedicated Coldstream Ratepayers came to hear comments by Jim Garlick, Bill Firman and Andy Danyliu on the importance of the upcoming municipal elections. They also came to air their grievances about the past conduct of city hall and to outline issues of civic concern. The meeting was ably and expeditiously chaired by CRA president Steve Heeren and all business was concluded within the two hours allowed for the meeting.

First to speak was Jim Garlick who outlined the challenges and difficult decisions facing a newly elected council. He graciously offered to speak with any person, who was considering running for office, so that they may become fully aware of challenges and difficulties of holding civic office, before they volunteer their services to the community. There are no doubts about Jim Garlick he is certainly a 'class act' and a model for city councilor. We are grateful he intends to seek reelection in spite of his already considerable personal and professional obligations.

Next to speak, bearing his emotional burdens as councilor, was Bill Firman who affirmed his allegiance to the community plan. He shared with us some personal anecdotes concerning the dysfunctions and deficiencies of present council and city administration. I for one think he has much to offer this community as a lawyer and experienced councilor. He has reservations about running again but we hope he will decide to run again for council.

Finally, Andy Danyliu gave us a passionate and visceral assessment of who and what were wrong with local government and what needs to be done about it,if we are to put our house in order. Andy and I seem to be of one mind and we hope he will find his rightful place in future councils.

The floor was then opened to those attending to express their concerns and wishes, for present and future councils to consider. Nearly every person attending spoke to the issues facing Coldstream while I dutifully tried to encapsulate their concerns on a flip chart for further consideration. I noted that almost all the participants were longtime residents of Coldstream. I found it worrying that newer arrivals to this community were conspicuously absent from our deliberations. We hope they will make further efforts to join in our dialog and take their rightful place as engaged citizens.

Some of the major concerns expressed were the closed and perfunctory treatment of substantive issues by council and administration. Frustration felt by ratepayers who felt council and administration were unresponsive to public inputs and concerns. Many felt that there were to many persistent deviations from the community plan in the rush to develop and that ecologically sensitive areas were trampled over without due consideration or allowance. There were 22 further concerns expressed, all of them substantive.

As the meeting drew to a close we were treated to an unexpected but welcomed statement by our deposed fire chief, Leo, who gave an articulate and well reasoned speech about his experience dealing with city hall. I was so impressed with his polished delivery, longtime intimate knowledge of Coldstream , natural leadership and political skills that I suggested he should run for mayor! He immediately dismissed my suggestion and left the hall leaving me unsure as to whether running for mayor was beneath or above his station in life. From what I could see and hear he would be a real asset to council and would probably get elected if he chose to run for office. It would be poetic justice and his ultimate vindication if he were to run and get elected to office.

Don't you think so? We need to try and encourage him to run.

Of course, this is a democracy and we are hopeful we will see other fresh faces and new blood willing to run for office and serve our community on council. We don't want to be saddled with deadbeat incumbents just because the electorate are left with too small a field of candidates to chose from. See you again at CRA sponsored candidates forums in October.

Peter Peto

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

City should stop whining -- Editorial MS

City of Vernon officials travelled down to Kelowna Tuesday to meet with Community Services Minister Blair Lekstrom, but the session wasn't worth the inflated price of gas.

In fact, one has to wonder why three council members found it necessary to complain about the North Okanagan Regional District's repealing of governance authority for the Greater Vernon Services Committee?

First off, it's likely NORD did follow appropriate procedures when it came to the necessary bylaw. It was the full regional district board that granted GVSC authority to handle some issues, so why wouldn't it take the whole board to remove it?

Secondly, GVSC under the former structure wasn't working and the proof is that most jurisdictions were trying to get out of various functions. In the case of Vernon, it threw GVSC into chaos by deciding to withdraw from water distribution. If the city was so committed to GVSC, why did it want out?

And thirdly, significant time is being spent on a matter that most Vernon residents could care less about. As long as critical services like water and parks and recreation are still provided, who administers them is irrelevant. It should also be pointed out that the city is wasting substantial dollars on lawyers' fees over a fight it's going to lose.

Lekstrom likely only met with Vernon council Tuesday because he was in the region and he felt obligated to do so after receiving a request for a meeting. NORD's repeal bylaw has received formal approval from the ministry and it's highly doubtful that Lekstrom will do anything to overturn that now.

With so many key issues facing the city, including an upcoming municipal election, there must be better things for Vernon's politicians to focus on?

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City officials lobby minister -- By Richard Rolke


The City of Vernon has made the case that the North Okanagan Regional District botched governance changes.

Mayor Wayne Lippert and Councillors Jack Gilroy and Patrick Nicol met with Community Services Minister Blair Lekstrom Tuesday to discuss NORD’s repealing of governance authority for the Greater Vernon Services Committee.

“We believe they (ministry) didn’t have all of the information so we’ve asked them to take a look at it and hear our side of things,” said Lippert of the meeting, which took place in Kelowna.

In August, all 13 members of the NORD board voted on repealing GVSC’s governance authority. Vernon’s three representatives and Coldstream’s director were opposed.

The city claims it should have only been a stakeholders’ vote among Vernon, Coldstream and Areas B and C, and that with two-thirds of the partners opposed, any move to scrap GVSC should have been defeated.

But NORD officials have insisted that repealing a bylaw is a corporate vote, meaning all directors are involved.

The regional district had also separately approached the jurisdictions of Vernon, Coldstream, Area B and Area C, and only the city wouldn’t support the GVSC repeal bylaw moving ahead.

Gilroy stands behind the city’s concerns about NORD.

“It should have been a stakeholders’ vote instead of a vote of everyone,” he said.

Nicol is confident Lekstrom and the ministry will take the matter seriously.

“He’s doing what you should do and listening to all points of view,” said Nicol.

“He wanted to hear what we had to say.”

Lippert doesn’t believe Greater Vernon’s governance authority had to be removed from overseeing water supply and parks and recreation.

“That structure was one everyone was familiar with,” he said.

“We didn’t need to get rid of it until we know what the new structures are like. With the new structures, they are removing the authority of the stakeholders.”

GVSC has been replaced by an advisory committee that provides recommendations to the regional district board for consideration. Most issues will be handled by the stakeholders, according to NORD.

Stan Field, Area C director, says the city was within its right to meet with Lekstrom, but he believes it’s off track.

“They can state their case to the minister but everything done by the regional district was legal and proper,” he said, adding that it’s time for the city to move on.

“Their whining and crying should come to an end soon.”

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Readers write -- NDP Campaign Offices.

For Immediate Release

Two NDP Campaign Offices Open in Okanagan Shuswap

NDP Vernon campaign office is in the Sun Valley Mall, at 107, 3334 30th Avenue. The phone number (operational September 18) is 250-260-8441.
Hours: 11am - 5pm Monday - Saturday. The office manager is Wayne Bonsan

NDP Salmon Arm campaign office is at the Piccadilly Mall, at 130, 1151 10th Ave SW. The phone number is 250-832-2826. Co-office managers are Ian Schierbeck and Cindy Zobac.

Visitors are welcome to pick up information about the Alice Brown campaign, pick up lawn signs, and join other volunteers running the campaign. Receipts for tax-deductible donations will also be provided.

- 30 -
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Coldstream Ratepayers Association meeting reminder!

Thursday, Sept. 18, 7 PM

Women's Institute, 9909 Kal Lake Road.

Important meeting regarding the issues in the Nov 15th Municipal election.

We will also be discussing plans for organizing the upcoming All Candidates Forums and seeking volunteers to help set them up.

Now is the time to act!

All members of the public welcome!


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Green Party leader makes a stop in Vernon -- Press release.

September 17, 2008


Elizabeth May in Vernon, Friday September 19th, 2008 3:45 pm to 4:30 pm


All media is invited to come to an event with Okanagan-Shuswap Candidate Huguette Allen at Polson Park in Vernon. Due to rising support in the Okanagan, Ms May will be at this event to address the Green Party platform released in Halifax to day.


There will be photo, Q&A and interview opportunities. We hope you can make this important event. RSVP media@OkShuswapGreens.ca


What: Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada coming to the riding of Okanagan Shuswap


Where: Vernon, Polson Park


When: Friday September 19th, 2008, 3:45 PM to 4:30


Why: To discuss Green Party platform and rising support with media and supporters.


For more info: media@OkShuswapGreens.ca - 250.309.5973


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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cities sign historic agreement -- by Wayne Moore, Castanet

Sep 16, 2008 / 2:00 pm

Vernon Mayor, Wayne Lippert, says sometimes you just have to do something that 'makes sense.'

With that, Lippert joined three other Okanagan mayors in putting their names on an historic resource sharing agreement.

The Intermunicipal Agreement, signed in Kelowna Council Chambers Tuesday, will allow Kelowna, Vernon, Westside and Penticton to work together to share or craft bylaws of regional significance.

Chief Administrative Officers of the four municipalities have been working together for several months to shape the agreement, which will allow the communities to work together on such issues as affordable housing, transportation, sustainable development and global warming.

Kelowna Mayor, Sharon Shepherd, says she already has her eye on borrowing a bylaw which has been successful in Vernon.

"We've been looking at a 'Good Neighbour' bylaw that the City of Vernon has," says Shepherd. "It's a drug house bylaw the community has been using."

Under the bylaw, no persons are permitted to enter the residence or reside there until it has been brought up to building code standards by the owner.

Shepherd says the agreement will also save taxpayers money.

She says it takes about 80 hours of staff time to put a bylaw together, and with potentially four communities sharing in the cost, taxpayers will get a better bang for their buck.

"Sometimes you just have to do something that makes sense," added Vernon Mayor, Wayne Lippert.

"It will help us move things along that will really affect the day to day lives of the people that live within the Okanagan Valley. It will reduce government, reduce structure, reduce costs and allow us to operate in a more timely fashion."

Lippert says a recently adopted valley-wide mobile licensing bylaw took only a few months to put together, when typically, it would have taken about two years.

The big winner in this agreement could be the District of Westside.

The municipality, not quite a year old, is still in the process of putting a number of bylaws into place.

"I think the citizens of the District of Westside will benefit the most initially because of the recent incorporation. Although we do inherit some of the bylaws from the Regional District, some of those are not of an urban standard," says Westside Mayor, Rosalind Neis.

"I do hope in time the Westside can also be a big contributor, so we're not just the recipient of the benefit, but as time goes on we can bring forward things to help the other municipalities as well."

Penticton Mayor, Jake Kimberly, says taxpayers this is not another level of government.

"The initiative here was to reduce government because the proposal by the three regional districts was to create another governance to look after the issues that we want to address collectively, and that was something the four mayors opposed," says Kimberly.

He says each of the four municipalities have the staff in place to deal with what has been initiated through the agreement.

Kimberly says it's a matter of sharing that information with each other.

The agreement, the first of its kind in B.C., is already garnering national attention.

Neis says her office has received a request by a councillor from Newfoundland asking to view this document.

"It is wonderful to be involved in something so simple yet so powerful, and that it could change the way local governments work with neighbouring municipalities. Cooperation is a wonderful concept, often easier said than done, but when there is a willingness to work together we can always find a way.
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"
Vernon Mayor, Wayne Lippert, says sometimes you just have to do something that 'makes sense.'"

Well said Mayor Lippert. Too bad so many things that had been done made little or no sense.

In Vernon, think about the Alternate Approval Process and the Referendum.

Mayor Neis became the Mayor of Westside insisting that she wanted to join Kelowna after the people of Westside voted for a separate community.

Mayor Kimberley just recently been accused of misleading the taxpayers of Penticton about the cost of South Okanagan Event Centre costs. Apparently the City of Penticton is $10 million poorer than they thought they were.

I can see the big savings these crafty mayors will create when they "
craft bylaws of regional significance". I still remember the savings we got from the creation of the immensely successful Greater Vernon Services Commission. We tucked away tons of money in savings on that adventure. Of course that was not another level of government either!

We might also remember the great exercise of the Valley Wide Regional Governance Study that saved us millions.

However, there is still a bit of a problem here. November 15 is looming on the horizon. Mayor Neis already announced that she is not seeking reelection. Mayors Kimberley and Lippert will have to explain their previous deeds to the taxpayers and will have to see if they'll be able to follow up on their proposed crafting of regional bylaws.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Special in-camera meeting of Council -- 09-16-08 (tomorrow night).

SPECIAL REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL
OF THE DISTRICT OF COLDSTREAM

TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2008
IN THE MUNICIPAL HALL COUNCIL CHAMBERS
9901 KALAMALKA ROAD, COLDSTREAM, BC
AT 5:30 PM

A G E N D A

1. CALL TO ORDER

2. RESOLUTION TO ADJOURN TO IN-CAMERA

Recommendation

THAT Council adjourn to an In-Camera meeting to discuss issues related to:

Section 90(1)(c) of the Community Charter. {(1)
(c) labour relations or other employee relations;}

3. ADJOURNMENT
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Looks like our Council created enough work for themselves to last until election time!

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Readers write. -- Coldstream needs Garlick as Mayor

Without doubt Jim Garlick is the most respected, trusted and popular politician in Coldstream. The mayorship would be his just by asking for it, nobody in their right mind would want to run against him. So perhaps all the would be mayors out there are waiting with baited breath till the last minute to announce their candidacy in the hope Jim won't run. Rumors abound as to who might take a run for mayor of Coldstream. In spite of all the time and work that goes with the holding of that position the power of that office is immense in setting the agenda and future course for Coldstream. Sure councilors have some say and influence on every issue but the agenda is determined by the mayor and the city clerk, they effectively run the town for better or for worse. Power flows from the top down and you are just fooling yourself if you think it flows from the bottom up, as in an ideal democracy. We have seen that amply demonstrated in Coldstream by the tenure of Mayor Corner over the last two years. Any public resistance, opposition or input has been routinely brushed aside and branded as irrelevant or without legal sanction. The only councilors who have attempted to consistently get in touch with the disaffected of this community were Garlick and Firman.

I would say Mayor Corner is a classic example of a 'back room' politician who prefers to make deals behind closed doors with interested parties and then uses whatever tactic, within his considerable powers, to force it down our throats. If I had to guess who might have been most influential in the mayors mind it would be the Vernon Chamber of Commerce. All his policies seem to advance a business agenda at the expense of other concerns. He appears to have councilors Taylor and Williams handily under his spell and he tried mightily to co-opt councilor Malerby but she it seems was either too coy or too slow to learn. It must have been pure hell for Garlick and Firman, and possibly Dirk to have any influence on the desired outcome. It seems 'open minds' were in short supply on this council.

Well I have no doubt the Chamber of Commerce is ready to finance and back some other accommodating candidate for mayor this coming election. Possibly some prominent 'home town boy' who is ready to sell his soul to commerce. Long time residents may not entrust the mayorship to a new comer, no matter what other personal virtues they may have. That's why we need Jim in office to break this vicious cycle of business people running our community for their own benefit and not in the public interest. We need to elect open minded councilors who are open to public input and who have values which uphold 'quality of life' in an ecologically friendly manner, not just for the present inhabitants but also for future generations. There is much to be done to remedy the mistakes of previous administrations. It's time for reform; not 'business' as usual.

Peter Peto

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No easy answers to parking -- Editorial, Morning Star

Perhaps there are no easy answers to parking at the Kalavista boat launch if we ignore Coldstream Council's past long-standing policies. These policies were not only common sense for Coldstream but would also serve all the residents using Kalamalka Lake as their domestic water supply.

Past Council's tried to reduce boat traffic on the north end of Kal Lake mainly to protect the quality of water supply and at same time reduce the inconvenience to residents living along the lake and paying significant property taxes.

That was the main reason Coldstream supported the establishment of the Kekuli Bay campground and boat launch.

That's why efforts were made to eliminate parking in most residential areas where residents were hugely inconvenienced from launching of boats of various sizes and parking trailers everywhere.

That's why Councils of the past encouraged the speed reduction along the shoreline.

Councils are considered to be a continuum and each new Council should make themselves familiar with policies of previous Councils. Personal convenience, such as owning a boat, should not interfere with making the proper decisions in line with set policies.

Another aspect we must consider is the fact that we spend huge sums of money to acquire land and develop parking spaces which then we provide to boat owners for nothing. The parking lot next to the Kalavista tennis courts are exclusively reserved for boat trailers free of charge. We must decide why we cater to tourists. Businesses want tourists so they would leave some of their money behind. The often repeated cry by some councillors is that we should operate the Municipality like a business. Losing money on an enterprise is not very business like. Let's be sensible!

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Coldstream Ratepayers meeting

Coldstream Ratepayers Association

Thursday, Sept. 18, 7 PM

Women's Institute, 9909 Kal Lake Road.

Important meeting regarding the issues in the Nov 15th Municipal election.

We will also be discussing plans for organizing the upcoming All Candidates Forums and seeking volunteers to help set them up.

Now is the time to act!

All members of the public welcome!


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Coldstream Ratepayers News! All Coldstream residents are ratepayers!

The opinions expressed by "Coldstreamer" are strictly his own and do not represent the opinions of Coldstream Council!

Because I value your thoughtful opinions, I encourage you to add a comment to this discussion. Don't be offended if I edit your comments for clarity or to keep out questionable matters, however, and I may even delete off-topic comments.

Gyula Kiss
coldstreamer@shaw.ca;

***Coldstreamernews***

***Coldstreamernews***
We must protect our rights and freedom! (Photo courtesy of D. Gibson) Click on eagle to watch EAGLECAMS

About Me

My photo
I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.