Dear young councillor, the natives are restless

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koivu11
Posts: 38
Joined: Oct 15th, 2011, 3:43 pm

Dear young councillor, the natives are restless

Post by koivu11 »

To the editor:
I have heard it said, that the true character of a man (woman) can be measured by their words and actions.
On October 22, on the steps of our Kelowna City Hall, Colin Basran, read a proclamation, proclaiming Kelowna to be a city of inclusion. Following that he joined hands with others, in a show of solidarity (persons of diversabilities) and those who supported this proclamation (family, friends, support workers, along with Sharon Shepherd and Mike Harcourt).
Shortly afterwards Colin Basran accepted an invitation to a mayoral debate/forum knowing that other candidates for mayor were being excluded. And he attended said forum. Apparently, only those that the "hosts" deemed "worthy," were invited. Was it truly a question of space at the table or a shortage of food to go around? (Obviously not, as the hosts set the table for the media).
This has bothered me ever since and I have struggled to understand why on one day one can speak the words of "inclusion" and the next day accept the actions of "exclusion". How could an organization not see that their actions were exclusionary? Have we as a society really come as far as we'd like to think we have come?
Not wanting to sound holier than thou, I am just trying to make sense of things. Wouldn't have this been an opportunity to make a stand for a principle on which he had just so publicly proclaimed? Or was this just a good photo op? Did Colin really mean or understand the words within the proclamation?
Someone tried to argue that it was Colin's 'duty' to attend this forum—now being referred to as a "private luncheon"—I just question if this truly was a issue of 'duty' or 'opportunity,' forsaking the words that just fell from his lips.
Perhaps as a parent of an adult daughter with a disability and who has had to fight and advocated for the rights of inclusion, this incident struck a chord with me. Not only did I take it personally by both Colin and the hosts of the 'luncheon, for me, it flew in the face of fair play and common courtesy—it hurt. I might be wrong, but shouldn't have all those deemed eligible to stand for office, regardless of whether the hosts deemed them as 'worthy to be heard,' shouldn't they have at least been invited?
I know this is now seemingly a moot point—it's done, it's over, move on—but it still bothers me because it, for me, is a "tell all" sign of a person's true character, integrity and trust. For me, those are important qualities I am looking for in a leader.
Joyce Mainland, Kelowna

Yvonne Topf | 1 comment
The Confederation of University Women Kelowna decided not to have an all-candidates forum as it had done for past elections, but to engage candidates in an online survey.
The two questions asked of candidates in Kelowna and West Kelowna were:

If elected, how would you deal with affordable housing? If elected, what would you do to support and enhance quality, affordable child care?

Replies were received from many of the candidates, and all showed concern and a desire to take corrective action. However, it was unfortunate they did not all reply. One candidate, Colin Basran, had someone else reply on his behalf.

CFUW appreciates the time and effort taken by these busy people.

Strategies offered to improve affordable housing included developing a campus village on regional district lands, approving smaller lots and carriage houses, legalizing secondary suits, supporting Central Green, creating well-paying jobs, creating tax incentives for developers, lobbying provincial and federal governments, supporting the long-term lease of city land, encouraging partnerships with non-profit groups, changing the make-up of city council and promoting high-density housing. One respondent recommended the property transfer tax be used as a source to fund an affordable housing trust.

Candidates Doug Findlater and Sharon Shepherd used their considerable experience in civic matters to provide context for their carefully thought out responses.

As far as affordable day care is concerned, many respondents put the responsibility for implementation on senior governments, their solution being to lobby for more money or at least provide more tax relief.

A popular theme was to offer tax incentives to businesses to set up day-care facilities in new or existing buildings. Also, there was a suggestion city land could be leveraged to set up a day-care facility. A Kelowna hopeful feels the permitting process is cumbersome while another felt city officials could advocate to other levels of government on behalf of the community. Partnerships such as the Boys and Girls Club could be explored further. In West Kelowna, they propose including social/safety needs in the official community plan.

Yvonne Topf,
Kelowna

To the editor:
Over the past three years we have been subjected to negative responses by the present mayor and city council regarding a multitude of important people related concerns. More so if big business entered in to block any form of "people” related progress or concerns.
Parks, very much alive, were front and centre. Hidden agenda's were in place for each, as big business interests, including a recent five year lease to the paddle centre. Remember the People for the Park Rally? Well, much like others it was ignored by the mayor and present council.
As we moved into election mode, City Park renovations were set in place. a positive for the city, while Rutland Centennial Park under the guise of democratic "show of hands" (less than 200) voting was taken over by the City of Kelowna while Rutland voters were refused an opportunity to vote on it as a referendum in the Nov. 15 municipal election.
In its place, Rutland's 30,000 voters received a two way road through Centennial Park to allow B.C. Transit to tun a city bus every eight minutes directly through what was once a people's park, purchased and paid for by Rutland citizens in 1929.
This, my friends, is the progress you can expect from mayoral hopeful Colin Basran and present sitting council members.
Your vote on Saturday, November 15, should recognize citizen concerns and put in place a mayor and new council members who truly care.
Arlene Gaael, Kelowna




To the editor:
On Nov. 4, I watched in horror as Kelowna city council unanimously approved major changes to the Vintage Landing Project at a public hearing. This project sits on 870 acres of land along a kilometer of lakefront just north of the McKinley Landing neighborhood and is limited to 1,000 hotel, motel and apartment hotel units for temporary tourist uses.
What really horrified me was that council approved the changes knowing that prior to the hearing, critical information on the ultimate size, scope and density of the project had been withheld from public view.
Citizens had issues with the lack of public notices posted on the property and with notices mailed to McKinley Landing residents.
Others had issues with the developer's attempt to remove the 1,000-unit density cap on the project and to rewrite the zone to build as many units as he wished, without any public comment, review and oversight. The changes could have allowed up to 4,300 hotel units to be built.
Others had issues with the lack of a traffic impact studies to address public safety issues created on McKinley, Clifton and Glenmore roads.
Still others wanted to know how much this project would ultimately cost taxpayers and ratepayers, since the developer wanted to build forms of housing more suited to permanent residences than for short-term tourist accommodation.
During the meeting, city staff confirmed that project servicing would receive a 27 per cent public subsidy for roads (15 per cent), parks (10 per cent), sewer trunk line (1 per cent) and sewer treatment (1 per cent). As well, taxpayers and ratepayers would have to pay the costs of off-site services used by any permanent residents such as policing, fire protection, transit, libraries and recreation. Staff failed to provide public cost estimates for these services.
Only one person spoke out in favour of the project and he worked for a large developer in the area.
Only Coun. Hobson questioned how many new units would actually be built. After much obfuscation, waffling and claims of less than 1,000 units, the developer finally admitted he wanted at least 200 more units.
Surprisingly, every councilor, including Mayor Gray and Colin Basran, voted for 1,300 units—not 1,200 units. Some councilors criticized the lack of public participation, project details, public costs and layout drawings but they still voted to expand the project and to give the developer more public subsidies without demanding any public accountability.
Public hearings are not held to ignore real public concerns. Rather, they are held to listen to those concerns, to understand them and to act by placing public interests above private interests, which may involve delaying approval.
After 15 years in office, it is sad to see that Mayor Gray's legacy will be: “Ignore the public—they just get in the way of business."
Richard Drinnan,
Kelowna

Dennis McGuire | 4 comments
I have lived on the T intersection of Abbott Street and Christleton Avenue for 30 years.
What an interesting spot for an office. I am in awe with the number of recreationalists using this corridor despite the cold weather.

In the spring, children and adults are off riding their bikes to school and work, countless joggers and cyclists and canines are out for their daily workout, and the plethora of characters on roller blades and skateboards rip down the street, moms and dads pushing their toddlers in strollers, and romantics of all ages holding hands while getting some fresh air.
The dangers involved in mixing vehicular traffic with these recreational activities are immense.
We often witness cars approaching without the driver giving any indication of his/her intentions at the intersection… turn right or step on it. Tourists often don’t know what they intend to do as they approach the intersection.
At this point of potential catastrophe, families tend to scatter, like baby quail. More accidents, if not fatalities, are clearly imminent from my perspective.
I am grateful, yet amazed, that I have only had to accompany one recreationalist to the ER because of a near miss with a vehicle.
The intersection is often dangerously congested.
What goes around Christleton comes around Stathcona Park. Imagine the congestion in peak summer months around that intersection. For lack of parking, cars park blocks away to get to the beach – it is crazy.
What is even crazier, in my opinion, and the majority of my neighbours, is the incongruity of allowing the development of a large, intrusive commercial building in this heritage area across from the beach and this already congested recreational corridor.
Being assured “this is your neighbourhood,” the majority of well-organized citizens, writing to council (85 letters opposed to this development) and attending the public meeting spoke against this development by Dr. Heather Martin.
Yet, the entire council sat there, in a meeting that went into the next day, apparently not hearing a word of the passionate yet objective protests of my neighbours.
Not one councillor supported the neighbourhood.
I and my neighbours find it extremely troubling that not one councillor had the courage to be a lone wolf and support the heritage and safety concerns of the neighbourhood, rather than support the developer.
We think it is time to break up the pack. Please join us at the polls and bring an end to this kind of collusion in favour of development, with deaf ears to the public, who are made a mockery of by council when they speak out and are not acknowledged for their concerns and efforts.
Dennis McGuire,
Kelowna
Carmencat
Übergod
Posts: 1288
Joined: Mar 13th, 2008, 11:14 am

Re: Dear young councillor , the natives are restless..perhap

Post by Carmencat »

Interesting koivu11. The last letter you posted I also posted in the last half hour under the 'Basran as Mayor?' thread. I also read a similar letter (I think in the Courier) from yet another citizen who was upset that he was ignored by council regarding a concern he had about a development in his area. And a completely different development that the letters posted here refer to.

The first letter concerns Basran saying one thing and doing another. It brings to mind a relative who is supporting Basran because he said he has met him several times and thinks he is a great guy. I told my relative that words do not impress me, actions do.

I will not be voting for any of the current council. Obviously Singh, DeHart, Stack and Given are just as much puppets as Basran is. It is time for the residents of Kelowna to take back their city, and vote in a council and mayor who has the guts to put the citizens first.
Last edited by Carmencat on Nov 14th, 2014, 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
eliecer
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 4th, 2008, 1:46 am

Re: Dear young councillor , the natives are restless..perhap

Post by eliecer »

Wise words! If the regular citizens of Kelowna including Rutland and all areas around want respect, progress and be heard... then you know what to do.
George+
Walks on Forum Water
Posts: 10008
Joined: Oct 10th, 2011, 12:08 pm

Re: Dear young councillor , the natives are restless..perhap

Post by George+ »

Yes.

Do not vote for any of the current councillors.

Try Mossman, Hodge, Kendall, and Itani.

And of course, Shepherd.
koivu11
Posts: 38
Joined: Oct 15th, 2011, 3:43 pm

Re: Dear young councillor, the natives are restless

Post by koivu11 »

I voted today, and now I will wait and see, as Doris Day said, “Que Sera, Sera, What ever will be, Will be “.
Tomorrow the sun will rise, and Toronto Maple Leafs will still think that they will make the playoffs! The affect of this election will not be known for many years to come. For the most part history has a way of deciding performance, not our peers.
As I sat at a red light at the corner of Highway 97 and Richter, on my way back from the poll, I thought as I often do of the highway that divides our city. At some point in the history of Kelowna, a mayor and his aldermen decided that it would be economically advantages to have a highway run through town, in order to lure passing motorists into our restaurants, motels and beaches.
The emergence of a large middle class, car culture and expanding highways systems across North America, saw many midsized cities across North America follow the same logic.
Half a century later, and many cities (Kelowna included) contemplate how to build a cohesive and vibrant community, while dealing with physical barriers such as highways, rail lines and power installations. These services and infrastructure were built in the most appropriate way, in the best location as deemed by the experts of the day. (Who knew asbestos was bad for you.)
With the premise that people do the best they can with the knowledge that they have at the time, I am going to make a prediction. I am going to suggest that in twenty years or less, as demand on the health care system increases exponentially, and our community continues to age the new Interior Health Building at the corner of Doyle and Ellis will be a major point of contention.
As demand for service at KGH and clinics increases services will continue to be pushed beyond available resources. How long will it be before a new 7-story building, sitting on prime real estate one block from the lakefront is seen as a waste of limited health care dollars? The majority of citizens may not realize that infrastructure dollars and capital expenditure monies come from different sources.
Could this particular project been situated anywhere else in the community, that would have been economically more advantages, central to more residents, and would not require the construction of yet another parking structure in the downtown core? (Purpose built parkades does nothing to create vibrancy and cohesion.)

As I see it until the polls close this evening Kelowna is poised on the edge of a very steep, sheer cliff. If the young councilor is elected he will most certainly move the city forward one giant step!

All right folks that’s it for me, be well get out and vote, and be kind to each other.
See you all back here in four years
jamapple
Übergod
Posts: 1552
Joined: Oct 1st, 2008, 10:00 pm

Re: Dear young councillor , the natives are restless..perhap

Post by jamapple »

George+ wrote:Yes.

Do not vote for any of the current councillors.

Try Mossman, Hodge, Kendall, and Itani.

And of course, Shepherd.



I hate agreeing with you George....but, I agree!!
twobits
Guru
Posts: 7632
Joined: Nov 25th, 2010, 8:44 am

Re: Dear young councillor , the natives are restless..perhap

Post by twobits »

George+ wrote:Yes.

Do not vote for any of the current councillors.

Try Mossman, Hodge, Kendall, and Itani.

And of course, Shepherd.


To anyone reading these threads for some last minute decision making on who to put an X beside, consider that the recommendations above come from a hard core NDP and BCTF supporter. Nuff said.
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

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