Vernon politicians and administrators have proven they aren’t tied to policies simply because they have been followed before.
On Monday, council unanimously decided to withdraw from the regional district’s Silver Star planning function. On the surface this may not seem like much, but it’s a significant shift in direction.
For years, former officials were adamant that they must have a say over development at Silver Star, largely because of its strong role in the local economy. In some cases, civic leaders wanted to ensure the regional district didn’t put up any roadblocks.
And perhaps participation in the function made sense during Silver Star’s fledgling years. But times have changed. The resort community is well established and the recent economic downturn has led to a decline in development, meaning there is less for the function to oversee.
“It doesn’t make sense to be involved there. It’s a different jurisdiction,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.
And while Silver Star impacts the economy of Vernon, the same can be said for other local jurisdictions but they aren’t funding the service. One should also consider how Vernonites would feel if officials from Enderby or Cherryville were dictating land use decisions in the city.
By pulling back from the function, Vernon council has indicated that it’s committed to bringing its house in order.
This move, alone, will save $27,362 a year and that is money that can be put towards economic development or other initiatives right in Vernon.
Many residents wanted the city’s core review to expose efficiencies and cutting off Silver Star planning is a sign they are getting their wish.