Opposition to unnecessary government growth behind Okanagan-Similkameen director's lone voice of dissent

FILE PHOTO - Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen Penticton Director Helena Konanz says more discussion should have taken place prior to voting on a recommendation to split Area 'D" into two parts at yesterday's regional district board meeting, Oct. 6, 2016.

PENTICTON - Growing government unnecessarily and maintaining a functional board were behind a regional district board member’s opposing vote yesterday.

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen director Helena Konanz was the lone dissenting voice on a recommendation to split Electoral Area “D” into two, creating a new electoral area and adding another director to the board.

The recommendation came out of results presented by committee members who were part of a $50,000 study to examine governance options for the regional district’s largest rural area.

“I thought a lot of work went into the report, including a lot of volunteer work, but I thought there should have been more debate, more talk among the directors to forge those recommendations into something workable with the regional district,” she says.

Konanz feels there are probably other board members who feel the way she does. The board has trouble making important decisions sometimes due to the diverse regions and the 18 directors on the board.

“I worry about our government getting bigger, and this board is already quite large,” she says.

She suggest instead of creating another electoral area, the Area "D" be divided up among the other electoral areas.

"I understand rural directors work hard, but I think a holistic view of what’s good for the whole region should be taken on this,” she says. "I’m not sure dividing the area into two was a $50,000 answer, I think the $50,000 answer involved the board taking the report and working it ourselves.”

Konanz acknowledges the rest of the board’s affirmative response to the recommendation was resoundingly opposite hers.

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