Letter: Private meeting with mayor solves nothing

Ron Volk says his concerns still stand after meeting with the mayor and staff

I have been asking Mayor Baker for a meeting with him and the District for some time. The reason I wanted this meeting was so they could answer questions that myself and other residents have in regards to the extra costs to purchase the old CN railroad. Last Tuesday he accommodated myself and two other very concerned residents with a meeting.

This meeting lasted 2 1/2 hours and did not really accomplish anything with regards to our concerns. All we got was the same old answers that he and Duane Thompson with the rail for trail have been giving us. There were many questions asked which I could not begin to list them and all the answers here, so I will just give you a couple of examples here as to the type of answers they gave. If anyone would like more information you can phone me as I recorded the meeting.

Example 1: When ask how they were going to pay the City of Kelowna back, Bakers answer was this: By the time we have to pay them the 2.5 million our community will have grown bigger with more businesses and bigger tax base. He would use this tax money to pay off the loan. His answer is based on pure speculation and nothing more. I did not bother to tell him that we just lost our big Timber Mart building supply store because they could not get enough business. It is very hard to do business in Lake Country because we are so close to the big Box Stores in Kelowna and Vernon. That is were everyone in Lake Country goes to do shopping.

Example 2:  When ask how much he thought it would cost to deal with the two property owners in Oyama that have first rights to buy the land from CN this was Bakers reply. In the Collin Day case he said that Day will be buying the land from CN and then the District would buy the land from Days. I asked do you mean all of the Day property and he said no only the CN strip that Collin Day buys. Once again  this answer is  based on pure speculation and nothing more. The Day property totally escalates in value once the railroad is removed. In what world is Mayor Baker living in when thinks he is only going to buy the CN strip going through the Day property.

Once again I would like to say to the people of Lake Country. I totally respect the opinions of anyone voting yes in the referendum. My beef has always been with the District of Lake Country, Duane Thomson, and his Rail for Trail group for not giving the public the true costs to buy the railroad.

The District has given me no choice other than to vote NO in the referendum.

Ron Volk

Lake Country