Oliver Daily News asked the two candidates for the position of Regional District to answer a series of questions.
A time limit was placed on responses
Here is the first reply from Rick Knodel
1. Advantages and disadvantages to a district municipality.
I have to clarify that my suggestion of a district wide municipal police force is in no way suggesting a desire to form a district municipality of Area “C” or any other agricultural area.
I see absolutely no advantages for residents of Area “C” in a district municipality.
First off all bylaws and building codes and permitting would become the domain of the town which is not at this time set up to administer to a rural agricultural area. I believe that there would be a clash between urban and rural permitting and codes especially in regards to farm practices and agricultural processing in rural properties. The cost of these “services“ would be shared with the residents of the town and in true bureaucratic form would increase for both urban and rural tax payers. In by laws and permitting the needs and wants of an urban environment seldom are compatible with the rural or agricultural needs.
The RDOS (regional district) system while far from perfect is the best model for agricultural and rural area residents.
Second and this is a big one. The maintenance of all roads inside what is now Area ”C” would be down loaded from the province and be fully funded by the town and Area “C” residents. That is bad enough on its own but if we have to upgrade roads outside of the highway in the future, for example, to accommodate extra traffic for the proposed national park. Those costs will be carried by both the town and the rural residents. If you are having trouble making ends meet now hang on for that ride.
Summerland farm and rural is an example of a district municipality but keep in mind that is a much smaller area. It would be wise to speak to some of the farmers there before even considering this.
2. Does the RDOS have too many rules, policies, regulations that hinder development? or farming practices, or use of ALC lands.
Yes most definitely ; from what I have seen there is a trend in the RDOS to promote resort based policies as the business model from Summerland to the U.S. border. The policies, regulations and promotions that come from this are unduly restrictive, expensive, complicated, and cumbersome for both the farmers and large holding non-farm residents. The economic engine that drives Area “C” is agriculture and any deviation from that will have dire consequences for both farm and non-farm residents in the near future.
There is a need to reverse this trend in policies and regulation. Director Schafer has allowed me to initiate discussions with director Boot (Summerland District) who is like minded with that goal in mind.
To that end it will be necessary to take advantage of as many of the programs that Agriculture Minister Lana Popham is offering to solidly entrench and protect Area “C” as an agricultural area.
I am happy to promote agricultural tourism as I believe we have some of the finest farmers who deserve to be recognized for their labours, but I will in no way support a Disneyland-north mindset.
3. Sign pollution during election campaigns. Should money spent on signs determine a victor? Should it not be about the candidate, his ideas and his experience?
This is a question I have been asked a lot as of late along with what are the rules governing election signage. I do not feel it would be appropriate for me to answer this until after the election.