Councillor calls for representation by population

Coun. Mary-Jo O'Keefe voiced concerns about the structure of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee during a regular meeting of council Monday.

VERNON - Greater Vernon's decision-making process is being questioned.

City of Vernon coun. Mary-Jo O'Keefe raised concerns about the structure of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee (GVAC) at a meeting Monday.

"Everything is referred to GVAC where we don't have representation by population. I think it's ineffective," O'Keefe said.

Recommendations from various committees, including those for agriculture, planning, parks and recreation funnel into GVAC, where final decisions are made. The committee is made up of representatives from Vernon, Coldstream and the electoral areas.

O'Keefe thinks those paying the largest share of taxes should be the ones with the majority of representation. 

Mayor Rob Sawatzky agreed the system isn't ideal, but said it's doing the job.

"(Most) of the items brought before GVAC have been supported by the large majority. As I said, (GVAC) is far from perfect but it's working," Sawatzky said.

"We have to make some accommodations if we want to move forward, and I think we have moved forward on a lot of issues."

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

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