Saturday, May 21, 2011

Response to Letter to the Editor: Ranch history by Doug MacGregor.

The following letter to the Editor appeared in the May 20, 2011 Morning Star

Ranch history
Vernon Morning Star

Published: May 20, 2011 1:00 AM

The folks in Coldstream are so lucky to have someone so informed and knowledgeable as Mr. Kiss sitting on their council. His statement to the council that we have our own ranch here in Coldstream shows the depth of his understanding and knowledge of our local heritage.

I would also assume it portrays his vision of the need to support this and other community projects.

To compare the O'Keefe Heritage Ranch operations to the Coldstream Ranch would in my opinion show his ignorance in understanding the problems encountered by the O'Keefe heritage ranch.

For your information Mr. Kiss the Coldstream Ranch, as most of us know, is a private enterprise that makes an income from ranching, logging, gravel sales etc.

I am sure Ted Osborne has no intention of asking Coldstream council for money to keep the Coldstream Ranch afloat.

The O'Keefe Ranch is a heritage museum with dedicated volunteers and staff, that are trying to preserve and maintain our heritage buildings and in doing so they try to keep us and our children connected to our past and a way of life experienced by our pioneering citizens

It would appear Mr. Kiss has very little knowledge of the history of the ranch and its important role in the building of this great province and the community he lives in.

With his fixation on water issues I am also surprised Mr. Kiss wasn't on board to help the O'Keefe Ranch with its water connection.

I am not sure the citizens of Coldstream will be as proud of their council's $600 contribution to the ranch as the council members seems to be.

Thanks again for the contribution Coldstream Council.

For your generous contribution, the ranch may want to give you a free day pass so that you would be able to go out and see what is being done on your behalf to preserve our heritage treasure.

Should that not happen, and knowing the budget constraints you must be encountering, I will gladly support the purchase of a day pass for you.

I am sure the citizens and businesses of Coldstream will be a lot more supportive of the O'Keefe Ranch than the existing council.

Doug MacGregor


Since Mr MacGregor is a Coldstream resident and his information seems to be incomplete I feel compelled to clarify my position. My response follows:


Thank you, Mr MacGregor, for your compliments and for recognizing my contribution to the taxpayers of Coldstream. I do consider my options carefully when it comes to spending my constituents’ hard earned dollars. I have taken an oath to faithfully manage the finances of Coldstream’s taxpayers.

In fact, Coldstream Ranch has just as long a history as does O’Keefe Ranch. Both of the Ranches are of historic value. As for operations I have never considered them comparable. Coldstream Ranch is privately owned and operated by a Coldstream resident at a profit, while O’Keefe Ranch is owned by the City of Vernon and operated by a volunteer Board. Their business plan does not seem to include profitability even though it is operated as a business. Coldstream Ranch pays taxes to Coldstream, using those taxes to bail out Vernon owned O’Keefe Ranch does not seem to be compatible with my oath of office.

As for Mr Ted Osborn, he is not going to request money from Council on behalf of the Ranch as he does not own nor does he manage Coldstream Ranch.

While Coldstream Ranch is not declared a heritage ranch, in the past Coldstream Days were conducted on the ranch. There were exhibits demonstrating the past history of the ranch and hundreds of people took advantage of the festivities. They learned the history and enjoyed demonstrations of present day activities. I assume Mr MacGregor is aware of those past events.

I believe the fact that GVAC approved the connection of O’Keefe Ranch to GVW was a significant gift to the Ranch as it is outside the boundaries of the Water Utility.

The $600 contribution by Council, which I did not support, was indeed generous considering that it was the sum total left in the 2011 grant budget. The grant application was submitted by O’Keefe Ranch late and after our budget was finalized. I am hoping most Coldstream residents appreciate the fact that I try to keep their taxes at a reasonable level. If they can afford contributions to O’‘Keefe Ranch they are free to do so privately and individually.

I must decline your “generous offer” of a day pass to O’Keefe Ranch since accepting that gift would be contrary to my oath of office as well.

Gyula Kiss
District of Coldstream


No comments:

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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;


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About Me

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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.