Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Readers Write -- Parks Service Review History.

In January 2007 the City of Vernon initiated 19 Service Reviews one of which was the Parks and Recreation Service Function.

Later in April of 2007 Vernon withdrew their request for a Service Review of Parks.

Following that in June of 2007 Electoral Areas B&C re-initiated a service review of the Parks Function. The Parks Service Review sat dormant for 2 years.

In the spring/summer of 2009 Coldstream brought forth issues with the maintenance level in their local parks, the parks maintenance contract as well as issues with annual budgeting. The maintenance issue revolved around the ability to respond to issues more promptly and provide a better level of service than what was being provided. What was asked for was that Coldstream deliver the parks maintenance contract for Coldstream Parks just as Vernon delivers the parks maintenance for Vernon Parks. Vernon presently delivers the park maintenance for all parks. The budget issue was better input on a staff, political and local community level into the budget process. The existing procedure is that City of Vernon staff prepare the annual budget and then forward it onto Al McNiven, GVAC Parks Manger for oversight and presentation to GVAC and finally the NORD Board.

In the fall of 2009 NORD Administration decided to activate the dormant Parks Service Review and a facilitator was hired and started the process in December. The process has proceeded with many iterations, however the addressing of Coldstream’s original concerns remains the primary concern of Coldstream Council. As well, Coldstream requested that Arts and Culture be a separate function from Parks and Rec. What has surfaced from the City of Vernon is the desire to solely control all the facilities within their boundaries apart from the Wesbuild and Performing Arts Centres. The initial move by Vernon to take sole control of the recreation centre and civic arena resulted in Coldstream's counter offer of the reduced payment due to no representation and Electoral Area C's stand to provide only grants in the future.


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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.