Vernon council tweaks upcoming local business meeting | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon council tweaks upcoming local business meeting

Vernon City Hall
January 08, 2019 - 3:00 PM

VERNON - Vernon city council wants local businesses to have an equal seat at the table, which led them to change the wording of a motion at yesterday's meeting.

At the Jan. 7 regular council meeting, councillors discussed a proposed meeting with the Centreville Neighbourhood Council and Vernon business owners next month. The meeting is expected to touch on important topics such as the impact of homelessness on businesses.

The motion suggested council pay for the meeting between the two groups on Feb. 6, which could involve a facilitator. The estimated cost was $1,460.

Coun. Scott Anderson objected to the motion, particularly noting its wording that "area businesses are being encouraged to attend." Anderson said the wording doesn't put the Neighbourhood Council and local businesses on even footing.

"There has to be a perception of equanimity," Anderson said.

The motion dates back to the Sept. 24, 2018 council meeting where councillors voted to direct administration to analyze the cost of a meeting between businesses and the Neighbourhood Council. Anderson admitted to voting for the motion and said that it was a mistake.

"I have a mea culpa," he said.

Anderson and other councillors suggested organizing a stand-alone meeting where the Neighbourhood Council and Vernon businesses will be on even footing. Councillors also argued for changing the motion's wording to make it clear that businesses must be invited to the event.

Chief administrative officer Will Pearce suggested raising the budget for the new meeting from $1,460 to $2,500.

Councillors passed the amended motion unanimously.

Mayor Victor Cumming noted this meeting will be a small step in a larger conversation.

"This is an ongoing process," Cumming said.

"There is no silver bullet," Anderson said.

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