KELOWNA - Tom Dyas is keeping up the aggressive tone in the Kelowna mayoralty race and slammed Mayor Colin Basran again in a press release claiming Basran backtracked on a city-wide water management plan and was “reprimanded” by the B.C. Auditor General.
“If I was the Mayor of Kelowna during these water board negotiations I would have sat down and worked in a collaborative and consultative manner with the water districts and not forced my own agenda upon them,” states Dyas in the press release.
Dyas wrote that Basran was the city’s representative on the Kelowna Joint Water Committee while sitting as a city councillor.
After two years of consultation, a comprehensive water plan was adopted in 2012 by the city in conjunction with Black Mountain, Glenmore, Rutland and South-East Kelowna irrigation districts.
The water districts “got to work, spending tens of millions of (their) own ratepayers' monies to improve water quality,” the press release states.
It goes on to accuse Basran of throwing out the plan shortly after becoming mayor in 2014.
“For the water districts, it was a bizarre turnaround and not just a slap in the face but a complete betrayal,” Rutland Water Board Chair Garry Zarr was quoted in the press release.
"It appears Colin saw an opportunity for personal political gain to try and convince the community that by somehow creating an even bigger bureaucracy at City Hall, he was going to help the citizens of Kelowna," Dyas says.
The city went on to sign an agreement to bring the South-East Kelowna Irrigation District under city control and, with the aid of provincial funding, is in the process of a major upgrade that is expected to cost about $85 million
Dyas’ press release says the original cost was $63.7 million but “rumour has it that the total could easily surpass $100 million.”
He says “earlier this year, the City received a public reprimand from the B.C. Auditor General with regards to some of the City’s processes.”
It says there was limited opportunity for input from stakeholders and the public.
“If I am fortunate to win the support of the citizens of Kelowna and become Mayor of Kelowna on October 20th, my commitment to the water boards, their customers and the entire community is that I will listen and lead with integrity, common sense and transparency,” Dyas stated. “Leadership starts with the tone at the top.”
This is at least the second attack on Basran’s character by Dyas. Last week he accused Basran of being unsupportive of Costco’s efforts to relocate their store, which is rumoured to be moving to West Kelowna.
Basran, reached shortly before press deadline, would only say he could not comment on something he had not seen, but did say he sat on the joint water committee both as a councilor and after being elected mayor.
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