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Kelowna News

LETTER: Kelowna City Hall does not have a mandate to increase population

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June 04, 2019 - 10:00 AM



Intelligent societies would never allow greedy developers to build on the most productive farmlands in the country, especially when it’s surrounded by millions of acres of lands that are perfectly suited for development, but Mayor Colin Basran is allowing greed and ignorance to fuel his distorted goal of packing another 50,000 people into Kelowna.

In democratic societies the people are the highest court, and we are reminded daily, by politicians and the media, that we are a democracy, and looking at the organizational structures of our service clubs and organizations, non-profit societies, co-ops and credit unions, we are assured that indeed, that is so.

Trustees are elected to conduct the affairs of those organizations according to the directions provided by their respective memberships, just like we elect our city councillors, who in reality are our trustees.

Constitutions, bylaws, visions and policy statements are adopted, and occasionally amended to make sure they continue to reflect the goals and ambitions of the members.

The only glaring exception and contradiction to that democratic process is the way business is conducted at our city hall.

We regularly go through the motions of reviewing our Official Community Plan (OCP), but city councillors are only listening to the business community that’s organized like a three-piece band, (the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Kelowna, and the Kelowna Downtown Association), aggressively lobbying our Trustees to bring more people into their businesses.

And the developers are not paying their fair share of the development cost charges (DCC), pocketing the money the city needs to build infrastructure, including a parking facility adjacent to our hospital, big enough to put an end to employees and visitors having to park-and-walk for more than a mile to get to the hospital, not to mention upgrading access that still is limited to two lanes from any direction.

As a result, our OCP has become a phantom document created by Urban Systems who are using smoke and mirrors entertaining a long list of sustainabilities to distract the people while height and densities constantly are being increased.

Urban Systems is like a professional massage parlour, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by our city discussing abstract concepts like creating a vibrating downtown, when our downtown already is vibrating like never before, thanks to hundreds of Harleys driving around our city blocks, constantly revving their unmuffled engines.

Our political systems are rotten to the core – Kelowna city hall included, and our city councillors do not have a mandate to increase our population just to increase the profits for local businesses and developers.

The only mandate Mayor Colin Basran and our city councillors do have is to provide law-order-and-good-government, and that includes protecting our properties, our democratic rights, and a quality of life that we already are paying dearly for.

Andy Thomsen

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