Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
5:45 Music Starts on stage– Coldstream Christian Choir
6:00 Welcome & Introduction of Mary & Joseph —David Hockley
6:05 Mary & Joseph enter on donkey with Wise men, Shepherds & Angels walk to Nativity
6:08 Introduce– Coldstream Elementary Primary Choir**
6:09 Coldstream Elementary— Do you hear what I hear, Christmas Bells & Santa Claus Is coming to town
6:17 Introduce– Melissa Yano**
6:18 Melissa Yano—2 songs
6:24 Introduce— Kidston Elementary Choir**
6:25 Kidston Elementary —Silent Night & ?
6:30 Introduce - Mayor Gary Corner**
Countdown to lighting of the tree
6:34 Introduce –Coldstream Elementary Intermediate Choir**
6:35 Coldstream Elementary—Silver Bells & Jingle Bells
6:41 Coldstream Christian Choir**
“I think I hear Santa Coming!”
6:42 ENTER SANTA
Song—”Here Comes Santa Clause” - Coldstream Christian Choir** (Santa Stops at entrance and walks through crowd, lots of ho hoing and Merry Christmas) Background Music—Coldstream Christian Choir
20—30 minutes for Kids to see Santa
7:00—7:15 “Santa has left the Building!” - David Hockley
7:15-7:45 Draws, Thank you’s and mingle time……..
We wish you a Merry Christmas—Coldstream Christian Choir
OF THE DISTRICT OF COLDSTREAM
TO BE HELD ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2008
IN THE MUNICIPAL HALL CHAMBERS
9901 KALAMALKA ROAD, COLDSTREAM, BC
AT 7:00 PM
A G E N D A
1. SWEARING IN OF DULY ELECTED MEMBERS OF COUNCIL
a. Oath of Office for Holding Office as Mayor
· Mayor Elect Garlick
· Councillor Elect Besso
· Councillor Elect Cochrane
· Councillor Elect Dirk
· Councillor Elect Enns
· Councillor Elect Firman
· Councillor Elect Kiss
3. 2009 APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS, COMMITTEES, AND COMMISSIONS
The Mayor’s recommendations will be circulated at the meeting. As these are recommendations from the Mayor, a resolution of Council will be required.
RecommendationThe Acting Mayor is responsible for filling in for the Mayor while he or she is absent from the Municipality, or at events where the Mayor is unable to attend. Councillor Dirk has indicated he does not wish to take on the duties of Acting Mayor during this term.
The Acting Mayor is compensated $100 per month during the time they are appointed as Acting Mayor.
THAT the following schedule for Acting Mayor appointments for the next three years be as follows:5. APPOINTMENT OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLICITOR FOR 2009December 2008 – June 2009 Councillor Firman
July 2009 – January 2010 Councillor Enns
February 2010 – August 2010 Councillor Besso
September 2010 – March 2011 Councillor Kiss
April 2011 – November 2011 Councillor Cochrane
6. 2009 COUNCIL MEETING DATESTHAT until otherwise directed by Council, the Chief Administrative Officer be given authority to engage the legal services of Davidson and Company, Staples McDannold Stewart, and Murdy & McAllister, or other firms as deemed necessary to provide legal services to the District of Coldstream in 2009.
THAT except as may be altered by subsequent resolution of Council or pursuant to the Council Procedure Bylaw and with the exception of the month of December 2009, when meetings will be held on December 7 and 21, that the meeting dates for the Council of the District of Coldstream for 2009, be the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Municipal Hall (when a Regular Council Meeting falls on a Statutory Holiday, unless otherwise altered by Council resolution, the meeting will be held on the Tuesday of that week);7. APPOINTMENT OF SIGNING AUTHORITIES BY RESOLUTION OF COUNCIL UNTIL SUBSEQUENTLY AMENDEDAND THAT as an exception to the above, one Regular Council Meeting to be held in Lavington, on September 14, 2009. Statutory Meeting Agenda Page 3 December 1, 2008
THAT with respect to financial matters, Mayor Garlick, Councillor Besso, Councillor Cochrane, W. Kay, Chief Administrative Officer, and C. Lord, Director of financial Administration, be appointed as signing authorities for the District of Coldstream, until altered by subsequent resolution.
Page 1 9. REPORT OF THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER
· 2009 LGLA Elected Officials Training Seminar
In order to ensure space is available, staff are requesting an indication of who will be available to attend this training seminar.10. ADJOURNMENT
Thursday, November 27, 2008
On Tuesday night Greig Crockett organized a meeting at his home where a number of attendees, including Huguette Allen of the Green Party and Randy Schellenberg of the Citizens' Coalition to Save Silver Star Provincial Park. We were informed of the problems associated with sewage on the mountain. You may find the following link both educational and scary. Our aquifers and our creeks are being polluted at the source.
Request for assistance.
Check the enclosed example bill. The "billing period" (highlighted in yellow) should be 01/01/08 to 31/03/08. I need the "consumption" also highlighted, and the number of residents in the household. Please note if you are connected to sewer as well (yes or no). Please email me your answers to email@example.com
I would appreciate your cooperation.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Council and the Director of Finance deserve commendation for keeping the proposed tax increases to 2.5% despite the expected reduction of tax revenues due to the closing of the Lavington glass plant.
The above excerpts are from the Open House presentation on November 19, 2008. It was an excellent presentation and was well worth attending. Unfortunately, attendance was very low. This summary is provided for those of you who missed it. Full version of the proposed budget is available at the Municipal Office.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Opponents of a proposal by Big White to take water from the Kettle Valley River will have a chance to formally have their say – and they have a lot to say.
Big White has applied to take water from three creeks in the Kettle Valley watershed, which opponents say is already starting to run dry.
Travis Lowe, an angler and former guide, says he has fished the Kettle River “religiously” for the last 10 years.
“Year after year, I have watched the water levels drop in the Kettle and West Kettle to critical flow levels as a result of over-subscribed water licences,” says Lowe, who releases all the fish he catches.
“It used to be you could float the Kettle into August and sometimes September. But the West Kettle now runs dry in certain sections starting in August. There just isn‘t any water in the watershed to withdraw.
“It‘s extremely outrageous that the ministry would even consider such an environmentally irresponsible water licence application. I think it‘s crazy.”
But Big White‘s Michael J. Ballingall said the resort won‘t need the Kettle water for many years.
Big White now stores water in two lakes, Rhonda and Lake Paul, said Ballingall. “We don‘t plan on building reservoirs for many years,” he said. “We don‘t need any water now. We have plenty of water. In runoff seasons, we have to open the floodgates at Rhonda Lake so it doesn‘t overflow.”
He said that the plan calls for only catching water in the spring “when it‘s flooding down stream.”
“We‘re going to catch that water during runoff,” he said. “We‘re never going to catch water after June 1. The people who worry about the summer water and the rivers running dry, that will have nothing to do with Big White.”
He said long-term plans propose two golf courses and another 5,000-10,000 beds.
“But you‘re talking about something in 2025 or 2030,” he said.
“The government has told us to apply for the licence. If you‘re going to need water in the future, apply for it now. That‘s what the government has told us.”
Ballingall said he will welcome public consultation.Conservationist Fred Marshall claimed Big White‘s plans for water use go beyond just snow making.
“The current and new applications, with 20 per cent of the water proposed for snow making and 80 per cent for personal use, indicate that the real money to be realized from these developments is from the construction and sale of condos and very little from skiing, said Marshall.
“The Kettle River is already over-committed relative to water licences and the addition of additional ones, especially those in the sensitive headwaters of the river, will seriously jeopardize all existing water licence users downstream of these headwaters.”
Mark Angelo of the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. said the Kettle River ranks sixth on the organization‘s endangered list and he wants to go further than just opposing the Big White application to protect the river.
“This issue has been percolating for a long time,” he said. “There have been definite signs of excessive water extraction pressures already.
For the first time, we‘ve seen no runoff or peak. There are times we see the river at an all-time low flow.
“We believe there is a need to establish a watershed management plan for the Kettle River. That‘s something we don‘t have yet.”
He said his member groups will make formal presentations to the Ministry of Environment opposing the application.
Kate Thompson, spokesperson for the ministry, denied claims by some that the application is going ahead without public consultation.
“They (Big White) haven‘t consulted with First Nations yet,” she said. “They have to put together another development plan for approval. There wouldn‘t be a decision until the environmental and community impacts are considered. The application is not a fait accompli.”
Friday, November 21, 2008
OF THE DISTRICT OF COLDSTREAM
TO BE HELD ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2008
IN THE MUNICIPAL HALL CHAMBERS
9901 KALAMALKA ROAD, COLDSTREAM, BC
AT 7:00 PM
Page 13 a. Request to Reconsider Development Permit
Approval 5795 & 5837 Hwy 6
Dale Olson will be in attendance to speak to this matter.
Page 65 b. Development Variance Permit Application No. 08-021-DVP,
Lot 1, DL 57, ODYD, Plan 16490, 8053 Howe Drive (Fullerton)
There may be persons in attendance to speak to this matter.Page 97
c. Development Variance Permit Application No. 08-022-DVP,Lot 6, Sec. 15, TP 9, ODYD, Plan 10525, 12704 Kinloch Drive (Yskes/Witmeyer)-------------------------------------------------------------
There may be persons in attendance to speak to this matter.
See you at the Council Chambers on Monday.
For Immediate Release
November 21st, 2008
LUMBY – It's official - The Okanagan Shuswap is the 5th greenest riding across Canada and the riding that progressed the most between 2006 and 2008! According to the Green Party of Canada's website, 7,184 more votes were cast for the Green Party of Canada in 2008 than in 2006. This is the largest gain for the Green Party throughout Canada.
Only one other candidate achieved a comparable gain, the average gain between 2006 and 2008 being 2,600 votes. The second highest on the Honour Roll is Mike Nagy in Guelph Ontario who grew his vote support by 7,078. However as Allen points out: "Mike ran an 11 week campaign, being in one of the ridings that was already in by-elections when the elections were called. It's hard to tell how much this played into the results for they also had a great team and a fantastic campaign strategy."
Getting 17.3% of the votes also means that for the first time in this riding, the Green Party will be starting out with money in the bank next time around. Like all parties that get at least 10% of the votes, they will be receiving back 60% of their election expenses. Over forty green party candidates got at least 10% of the votes in 2008 compared to only 8 in 2006, including the nearby ridings of Kelowna-Lake country, Okanagan-Coquihala and Kootenay-Columbia.
For more information:
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Along with Mayor Jim Garlick, the familiar faces returning to council are Doug Dirk and Bill Firman. Another councillor, formerly from the neighbouring jurisdiction of Vernon, is Pat Cochrane. Gyula Kiss is also a recognized name, as he was mayor for three years and councillor for six in Coldstream during the ‘90s. The other candidates who will make up council are lawyer Richard Enns and retired geologist Maria Besso.
Besso and Kiss are the two Coldstream Ratepayers Association members on council.
“There definitely will be some challenges,” said Cochrane of the new council. But, he adds: “I think we will work well together.”
Yet, other candidates say the new council members will work better than the last.
“I like the new council, I have more in common with them,” said Firman, who is confident they will be able to manage development better versus his prior feeling that development was running the community.
Firman also shares the delight of several of the new councillors to see Garlick voted in as mayor.
“I didn’t think there was anyone in the Coldstream who could beat him,” said Firman, a criminal lawyer who is entering his second term on council.
Firman says there is a great group of professionals on the new council. The fact that two of them are lawyers (himself and Enns), leads him to believe people must really like lawyers, despite what they say.
“I think secretly they do because they know they’re all going to need one sooner or later.”
Besso is also pleased to see the level of professionalism on the new council.
“I think it’s got quite a lot of experience on it. It’s a very strong council,” said Besso, who will be sitting down to her first term on council. “I think I can learn a lot from all those people.”
Besso was also pleased with the results of the mayoralty race, with Garlick beating Glen Taylor by more than 1,000 votes.
“It could’ve gone either way but it was very comforting that the decision was so decisive.”
Kiss is equally pleased with the election outcome, along with its popularity on his blog website.
His Coldstreamernews site had 830 hits Sunday, 350 of which were new hits. Kiss says the CRA news blog will be a link between council and the rest of the community.
Having worked with three different councils, Dirk has no reservations about starting a new term with a new group of people.
“It’s a new opportunity with some new faces.”
Dirk, who has the same council experience as Cochrane (12 years) lends this advice to the newbies.
“There’s lots to learn. You need to be a good listener and you need to not have your mind made up before you go into something.”
Mary Malerby, who was not voted back onto council, wishes the new mayor and councillors well.
While she is a great believer in democracy she is surprised by the election outcome.
“This whole set up was really something. They (CRA) ran their slate of these people. Then they ran all these extra people.”
The mayoralty outcome was also a shock to her.
“I didn’t think there’d be that much of a division.”
Enns could not be reached for comment by press deadline.
Most of the candidates agree that a priority is examining the situation with the Coldstream Fire Department.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The introduction boasts of a huge approval rate for the borrowing of $35 million to finance the project. To refresh your memory please examine the original plan used to promote the project.
In addition read the article attached reporting on the successful referendum. Note the turnout of voters: 3,920 of the eligible 33,400 or 11.7%. "Yes" votes numbered 3,189 or 9.5%. Speculations of why the low turnout is discussed in the article as well but it was generally believed that it was due to the threat that if not approved the politicians would go ahead anyway and charge very high water rates for a couple of years. It was an idle threat, to date only $13 million was borrowed and the plan is still in a state of flux.
What is missing from the report is an accounting of funds - our funds. Also, there is no explanation for the time line shifts (see above scan). Compare the time lines used to sell the project to the actual time lines in this report. The only projects completed on time are in Vernon where the water quality is now 99.99% safe while the rest of us are still waiting. Hence the devolution of Greater Vernon Water, Vernon is pulling out of the water distribution part of the agreement leaving the whole project in limbo. That is also missing from the report.
It is obvious that our new Council will have its work cut out for them!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
To see some more pictures of the excitement at Coldstream Municipal Hall last night click on the link below:
Looking forward to working with/and for all of you in the next few years.
An ad hoc committee is expected to be formed following the 2008 election which will consist of two representatives from the Kalavista area, two residents from outside the Kalavista area, a representative from Greater Vernon Parks, two Coldstream staff representatives and one or two council representatives.
The new committee is being formed since several issues have been brought forward to the Traffic Safety Committee which are outside its mandate.
“There’s many issues outside of just the traffic issues,” said Wendy Kay, chief administrative officer, who has suggested the new committee.
Kay has also advised Kalavista residents to all get together and make a list of all of their concerns.
Once the new committee is formed, it will include in its discussions the most recent recommendations from the Traffic Safety Committee.
Along with reviewing the broad spectrum of issues affecting the boat launch, the Traffic Safety Committee recommendations are:
1. Charge for parking in the boat trailer parking area on weekends and holidays between June 15 and Sept. 15.
2. Restrict parking on the south side of Kalamalka Road between Postill Drive and Kidston Road to one-hour maximum on weekends and holidays during the same period.
3. Paint angled parking stalls and a bicycle lane on the north side of Kalamalka Road.
4. Replace angled parking on the south side of Kalamalka Road with parallel parking and paint the bicycle lane.
The people have spoken and there are new municipal councils, school trustees and regional district directors across the North Okanagan.
But Saturday's elections should only be seen as a first step in the democratic process and not the end. As the new or returning politicians launch their three-year terms, it is incumbent on the public to closely observe their activities because everything they do impacts you directly, whether it's taxes, enforcing bylaws or digging up roads.
Beyond those broad issues, there are important matters specific to each individual community.
In Vernon, questions still swirl around the plan to develop the city-owned Hesperia lands, while the new official community plan must be implemented. The election campaign also highlighted the ongoing perception among some residents that city hall is not as open and transparent as it could be.
For Coldstream, mayor and council will be left trying to balance growth with the rural lifestyle, and coping with the financial challenges created by the closure of the glass plant. The dismissal of the volunteer fire chief will also continue to dominate the agenda.
In Spallumcheen, issues of preserving agriculture and establishing an expanded industry base will be major items for the new council, while Enderby will keep pushing for improvements on Highway 97A.
Frequently the public only shows an interest in politics at election time, but there is a need to be informed all-year long and to let your elected officials know your thoughts at any time.
In the end that is why they are there. They are supposed to be your representatives.
A Besso Cochrane Dirk Enns Firman Garlick KISS to all of Coldstream.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Message being: Jim Garlick is the man for the top job.
Garlick clearly beat Glen Taylor in the mayoralty race with more than double the votes. Garlick had 1,899 votes versus Taylor’s 874.
The result came as a surprise to both parties.
“It’s a pleasant surprise,” said Garlick, moments after seeing the total numbers roll in Saturday night and shaking the hands of his supporters.
“I was a little surprised there was that much a difference,” said Taylor, who while obviously disappointed, will keep his councill-less future busy with his business and invention progress. “I was up against quite a machine that was out there in force.”
Garlick and his new council start Dec. 1 and run three years, to December 2011.
The new councillors who will join him at that time are (in order of votes received): Richard Enns (1,437), incumbent Doug Dirk (1,379), Maria Besso (1,347), incumbent Bill Firman (1,255), Gyula Kiss (1,215) and Pat Cochrane (1,204).
Getting the new councillors up to speed on not just the workings of council, but the workings of Coldstream, is a priority for Garlick.
“I am looking forward to moving forward as quickly as possible,” said the 47-year-old Clarence Fulton Secondary teacher.
Recalling his own introduction to council three years ago, Garlick wished he had been given a better education of everything from water to sewer and projects on the books.
Another item Garlick says his council will play an important role in is his desire to re-instate Leo Lecavalier as a firefighter.
“It’s part of a process to heal some wounds.”
Garlick has also shown interest in an Official Community Plan review.
But when it comes to any plans the most important thing is “we have to engage the community.”
My personal thanks to all my supporters!
Friday, November 14, 2008
The 2009 proposed budget includes a 2.5 per cent tax increase, which works out to an increase of just under $20 for the average residential property’s annual tax bill (the average assessment for 2009 is $535,103).
The tax increase and the overall budget will be the topic of an open house Wednesday at the municipal office from 4 to 7 p.m.
“There has been considerable effort put into this budget by both council and staff to provide the taxpayers of Coldstream with a budget that recognizes the current economic situation, and which tries to minimize the impact on its residents,” said Catherine Lord, director of financial administration, in her report.
The biggest challenge is an expected property tax revenue loss of $175,000 in the budget due to the closure of the Owens-Illinois operated glass plant in Lavington.
But the budget also reflects the 2008 impacts of closing the Community Policing Office and bringing fire inspection in house (which was previously provided by the North Okanagan Regional District). The CPO office closure was used to offset increased RCMP contact costs (up $30,000).
The budget also reflects an upcoming change in sewer billing.
Compared to the current $142 per quarter flat rate, a consumption rate with a base of $85 per quarter will be implemented with the July 2009 billing.
“Since July of 2008, resident’s quarterly bills have included a section that advises them what the impact of the billing change will mean to them,” said Lord.
Some highlights of the capital projects in the budget are: completion of the Aberdeen Road off site works, including sidewalks and curbing; rebuilding a retaining wall on Westkal Road, construction of a bicycle path on a portion of Coldstream Creek Road, from Mackie Drive to Kalamalka Road; and the funding of a reserve to upgrade the culverts on School Road.
One major sewer fund project is replacing the Coldstream Creek Lift Station (worth $518,114).
Tax dollars are divided in Coldstream as the following: 29.4 per cent transportation ($1.7 million), 16.5 per cent police, 14.4 per cent general government, 12.6 per cent capital and reserves, 8.9 per cent development and building, 7.1 per cent fire, 6.8 per cent debt charges and 4.3 per cent for other services.
Along with the upcoming budget open house, the budget is available for viewing at www.districtofcoldstream.ca.
It is encouraging to see Council's efforts to minimize tax increases for 2009.
It would be even more encouraging to see realistic water and sewer rates for the taxpayers of this community.
Presently all costs to the improvements of the water infrastructure are borne by water users. Thousands of properties not using water at present contribute nothing to these costs yet they will ultimately benefit from these improvements. If elected I will work hard to eliminate this anomaly and ensure that vacant lots and absentee property owners carry their fair share of these costs.
I also pledge to work towards a graduated water rate system whereby heavy users will pay higher rates beyond reasonable volumes used. For a sample of this system please visit Kelowna water rates (click).
Our sewer rates are also too high. The proposed rate changes still recovers significantly higher sewer costs than is necessary for the effective operation and maintenance of the system. As I demonstrated repeatedly to Council and Administration the proposed new base rate is at least $100 higher than should be. I would definitely work to reduce the sewer rates to realistic levels.
These items would be over and above my pledge to run a democratic, transparent and fair Municipal government which would consider the best interest of the citizens of the District.
I wonder to what Mr Taylor referred!
I just wanted to let you know that I thought that your latest report (Nov.13th, 2008 Candidate Pledges Management Changes), was unfair and biased... I'm not sure if that was your intent but that is how it came across. I would have thought that you would have picked up on the fundamental differences between the candidates, instead of sensationalizing a comment taken out of context. Glen Taylor has stated in the Morning Star that his reason for running is that he is on the opposite side of the spectrum from Jim Garlick. Yet throughout his campaign he has tried to confuse voters by taking on Jim's platform "smart growth, thoughtful development, adhering to the OCP, transparent government, democratic process, cooperation not amalgamation, fiscal responsibility etc.. If these positions were really Glen Taylor's then perhaps he would have chosen to run for Council with Garlick as a popular Mayor and saved himself a lot of money, trouble, and ultimately humiliation. I hear he bought about 100 hot dogs to win the Home Depot Hot Dog Poll - it may not be that easy to buy the Coldstream electorate.
Mayor Postill distinguished himself for having been in conflict and had to excuse himself every time Coldstream Meadows issues came up in Council. Not to worry, Mr Taylor faithfully supported the development against all the negative input from the taxpayers. He also ensured that the sewer extension was carried out at taxpayers' expense.
The total sewer cost to Coldstream Meadows was $540,000. That covered the 2.5 km long sewer extension. Taxpayers cost was $1,390,515. This expenditure was supported by Mr Taylor.
No wonder Mr Postill would consider such faithful ally worthy of retaining as Mayor! Could taxpayers consider him an asset to manage their finances? I would hardly think so!
Heads could roll at the District of Coldstream's office if Jim Garlick becomes the new mayor.
Garlick told KISS FM's open line show, he would consider a management restructuring.
"What you do is start your council in a direction, and if your staff joins in and goes along with you, then they're part of your staff and part of your team. If you have staff that you end up battling all the time, then you're probably better off to replace those members."
The other mayoralty candidate, Glen Taylor, doesn't have a problem with the staff.
"I think we've got a great staff. We've been building that team for a number of years now and we've been working well with developers and we've been able to get them to work towards a greener community."
Garlick also says, if elected, he would support the reinstatement of fired fire chief Leo Lecavalier.
"What I'd like to see is a process to reinstate Leo back into the fire hall. I think that was a mistake removing him from the fire hall as a fireman. That whole process could have been managed much better."
Taylor says its not appropriate to comment on the issue.
"It's a personnel matter and by provincial legislation, we're not allowed to talk about it. It was a council decision and that decision was to remove the fire chief. There were underlying issues that lead to it."
Garlick is ruling out speculation he's running for office with a slate of candidates.
He admits he has asked certain people to run, but it's not a slate, and he's no longer a member of the Coldstream Ratepayers Association.
Taylor says Garlick's endorsement of several candidates sounds like a slate to him.
(Nov 13, 2008)
Jim Garlick responds!
Hello Mr McIntyre (107.5 KISS FM)
Firstly, I would like to thank you for hosting the open-line show yesterday, Wednesday, Nov. 12.
I would however like to say that I read the article on the KISS FM website today with a little concern. I have no problem with the quotes in the article but take issue with your interpretation of my statements contained in the headline (Candidate pledges management changes) and opening line (Heads could roll at the District of Coldstream's office if Jim Garlick becomes the new mayor). Your interpretation I take it was from my statement:
"What you do is start your council in a direction, and if your staff joins in and goes along with you, then they're part of your staff and part of your team. If you have staff that you end up battling all the time, then you're probably better off to replace those members."
Your interpretations are great headline attention grabbers but go a little too far in the artistic license used to create them. I would hope that your radio station sees itself as giving unbiased facts to the public. I will go on record to pledge to look carefully at all district staffing levels and services as it is prudent in these economic times and with every new council. Unfortunately our current council did not go through such a process. I feel this knowledge would have been very beneficial in our decision-making processes for budgets during this term.
With regard to staff dismissal, as in any organization, the decision is made through a process of documenting in writing any incidences in which an employee does not meet the standards set by council and contained in contract or like documents. I would say that a staff member not carrying out council's direction would be an example of such an incidence. If this was an ongoing problem, staff could be dismissed with or without cause as decided by council. Notice that I believe that documented proof is required to present to all of council to carry out such an decision and is not taken lightly.
If you are saying that if elected, I am pledging that I will move to change how the District of Coldstream will be managed you are correct, but with your comment of "Heads could roll..." I doubt that was your intent.
Please contact me if you need clarification.
District of Coldstream
9901 Kalamalka Road, Coldstream, BC V1B 1L6
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Judge it for yourself if these objectives are those of a special interest group.
As much as I try not to contribute to the Eagle's Blog I find it difficult not to put my opinions and ideas out into the 'blogoshere' in my attempt to influence the Coldstream elite who follow this blog. As you know I am a chronic thinker and analyzer and I use this blog as a means to give my thoughts some outside expression. Since my last blog submission I have been thinking about the elections, not as a candidate councilor or competitor but rather about the election process itself. Let me share my thoughts with you one more time.
1. As I exited some of the all candidate forums I noticed a few people came away still not knowing who to vote for. A daunting task with 18 candidates to choose from, last election there were ten. On issues of policy there was considerable overlap and I would say no single issue candidates are in the running. Most voters feel they have an obligation to select 6 councilors, about 24% of voters in the last election chose less than six, so on average each voter chose about 4.5 candidates. On average only a third of the eligible voters come out to vote in municipal elections in the province, about a quarter in Vernon but nearly a half in Coldstream. Cynics might attribute this to apathy, alienation, etc but it might also be possible because the voters feel overwhelmed by the demands placed on them by the ballot. Voters who take their civic duties seriously and go out to vote make their decisions by
a. seeing and listening to the candidates at public events,
b. follow media advertising,
c. pay attention to candidate signage and mail outs and
d. use the name order or name recognition on the ballot in order to make their choice. [ On that point, 4 of the 6 councilors elected in Vernon in the last election where chosen from names beginning with B and C. In Coldstream 4 out of the first six listed were elected. Moreover the successful candidates were either long time residents and could claim a high public profile, newcomers or low profilers were shunned. As I recall in the last election I had no idea what the candidates stood for because they didn't even make an effort on that score, it was more about who I am and what I have done. I used my intuition to eliminate those I didn't 'like' and I was right in every case!] All of the above begs the question:what can be done to make voting a more rational and meaningful exercise?
2. So to make the choice easier for voters some broad distinctions should be made among the candidates along political and ideological lines, as in the party system. That is, candidates should fall into natural groupings, having shared interests, which allow the voters to contrast and compare their interests with political groupings. This would also enhance cooperation between candidates once elected because they are already aligned before they are put into office. In the present election we have the CRA candidates who are naturally aligned because they support the community charter by their intended actions rather then by spouting empty words when they take their oath of office. They oppose the undeclared business interests of the Corner and Postill pro-growth at any cost, movements. As far as I could tell the pro-growth party may only be represented by Taylor, Cochrane and Malerby[?] this time around so they will be routed from the corridors of power at municipal hall, after 6 years of unimpeded abuse. This brings me to the unfortunate decision by the CRA executive not to endorse a "slate" of CRA approved candidates. Plainly that's because the CRA executive don't want to be seen as a partisan political organization which might lessen their influence and credibility in the future. So they let the candidates who supported the CRA run on their own individual merits and therefore there was no CRA "slate" in spite of Taylor's insistence to the contrary. Perhaps that might have turned out to be a wise choice, time will tell. [ As VP of the CRA and a candidate I stayed away from the issue.] Now that the election is nearly on us I can say that I think Andy Danylu's idea of a CRA endorsed 'slate' was a good one inasmuch as voters sympathetic with the views of the CRA membership would have found their choice of candidates easier to make. Andy quit in protest and I think this is very unfortunate because I think he is, in my opinion,the most experienced and knowledgeable former politician in the Coldstream and he would be a huge political asset if he could be persuaded he was still wanted by the political community. Have you thought about the next mayor after Garlick yet?
I also noticed a general aversion to intra-candidate endorsements, no doubt to the emotional fallout and hard feelings it might provoke among the candidates. So What! It's natural for primates or hominids to make alliances, alignments, etc and unnatural to insist that candidates act solely on rational self interest, to act as a kind of inert political atom that will be forced to make bonds once the electorate have chosen which atoms to throw into the mix and not really knowing what the political compound will do in office. The apolitical untested way of forming councils seems to me like a very dumb way to create a working consensus!
3. Finally, let's take in implications of the socio-economic heterogeneity of the district of Coldstream. The population is not homogeneous and thus Coldstream represents a plurality of interests that cannot be adequately addressed by nonpartisan candidates drawn from the population at random and without regard to local within-district divisions. Is it realistic to expect the rural interests of Lavington to coincide with the suburban interests of Kalview or Middleton Mtn? A political science professor at Simon Fraser, specializing in local politics, says that more municipalities should avail themselves of the "ward system", as it would address the interests of individual wards and make candidate selection ward specific. I can think of five natural wards in the district of Coldstream: Lavington, Coldstream proper, intervening Rural Lands, Middleton Mtn and Kalamalka lake. Many of these wards have conflicting interests and who on council speaks for any of these ward interests and how do you go about reconciling the differences between these wards in the current council system?You don't, the current system is inherently unrepresentative and dysfunctional. The current controversies over the ALR, Kalavista boat launch and the turf wars between the Lavington and Coldstream Fire Departments illustrate my point. Think of how much simpler it would be for the voters to chose candidates from in their ward rather than the whole. However it would not remedy the inevitable inter-ward rivalry which would require compromise and consideration on the part of a ward council to find solutions satisfactory to the aggregate.
Like any innovation there is going to be a lot of resistance to these ideas or proposals but the present imperfect electoral system needs to be reformed and improved if only to get more voter participation, rational candidate selection and policies that address 'special interests' rather than running rough sod over everybody and satisfying no one! Think about it, Coldstreamer elites and future council officers: there are more than a few contentious issues at stake here, its about electoral democracy itself and how it is implemented in Coldstream.
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.
- 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.