Mr. Rolke, I was pleased with your comments June 8. They made a lot of sense.
I have watched the scene unfold over the 40 years I have lived in Westshores. Today, I looked at my tax assessment for 1998 ($1,029) and for 2016 ($1,502). Not too bad an increase though much of it is subsidized by the provincial government. But utilities are drastically different. From $18 in 1998 to $149 in 2011, to $199 in 2012 to $347 today (plus water usage at up to $1 per cubic metre in this hot weather). Yearly, that would be about $1,500 per annum (about threes time that for Phoenix, Arizona, a desert city).
I have no beef with this increase if it can be justified, but repeated requests for financial statements for Westshores have been denied. Hence lies the civic unrest — a lack of transparency by the Regional District of Central Okanagan.
We seem to be hostage to unrealistic demands by the Interior Health Authority, with no chance for discussion of priorities or their affordability. Back in the day when we had three directors representing us and West Kelowna, there was little conflict.
The three directors were very diligent in meeting our local concerns and had a strong voice on the district board.
I enthusiastically welcome an intensive, non-biased governance study because in order to determine the viability of this region as a municipality, a detailed forensic financial audit would have to be made and publicized. After that, as you said, the residents, the regional district, and Director Carson need to form a constructive relationship to move us forward.
A real leader gives us a vision and arouses enthusiasm in the residents, the hardworking RDCO staff and the other regional directors to realize a win-win situation.
After all, even if we become a separate municipality, our mayor will still sit at the district table. Will we be any better off if the conflict continues?