Letter: Cutbacks to district staff of ‘grave concern’ to former councillor

One staff member is responsible for commercial inspections, secondary suite inspections and new residential inspections.

To the editor:

I have remained very silent on the decisions made by Lake Country mayor and council for the past three years as I believe new councils should have the opportunity to learn the ropes before the public takes them to task too harshly.

However, I now feel obligated to comment on some issues that I find deeply concerning that are occurring in the Lake Country municipal operations.

Council has reduced the building inspection department to one staff member. This decision does not make sense especially on the heels of the mayor attending a press conference about the economic benefit of the Lakestone development and the expected number of units that are now being built. In addition, housing starts are up 16 per cent over last year in the Central Okanagan and are expected to continue to rise in 2015.

The one staff member responsible for commercial inspections, secondary suite inspections and new residential inspections is entitled to holidays and sick days. How can the day-to-day business requirements of the community be managed?

I also raise concerns with Mayor James Baker’s comments in The Vernon Morning Star about staff members needing a can-do attitude to remain with the district. The staff member he is referring to served the organization faithfully for nine years and played a large part in securing millions of dollars in grant funding to provide our community with such amenities as the improvements to the Winfield Arena, the new tennis courts and the improvements at Swalwell Park, just to name a few.

I have also heard rumours that our community will be reduced to one statutory officer to oversee our community funds and budgets. This is a very dangerous situation and the risk and lack of oversight of our public funds is of grave concern to me.

For those who may feel that my comments may be pre-election posturing, at this time, I have other projects and am not considering running for Lake Country council. However, I hope my comments give some members of council an opportunity to reflect and reconsider their decision-making and do the right thing and try to back the train up before our community heads down the track on a collision course with disaster.

If they can’t, myself and other community members may be obligated to step up to the plate and try to repair the damage in November.

Noreen Guenther,

former Lake Country councillor


Just Posted

UPDATE: Homeowners keep fire at bay in Oyama garage

Fire crews are reportedly on scene of a structure fire on Broadwater Road

Comedians to share laughs to help Kelowna school

Fundraiser begins effort to replace $20,000 stolen from South Rutland Elementary PAC

Rockets’ Erik Gardiner retires from hockey

Gardiner steps away from hockey for health and personal reasons.

Peachland’s doctors moving out of the district

All the doctors at Beach Avenue Medical Centre are leaving

Reaction from Costco shoppers on potential move to West Kelowna

Rumors have been heard that the Kelowna store may move to West Kelowna

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Most Read