The relationship between the town and the RDOS is like a marriage – both partners have a distinct personality but must work together to be successful. As with all relationships there will be differences – the challenge is to work together on the solutions; to this end I believe the relationship has been healthy and I would strive to maintain and improve where possible. (Together we stand strong.)
The Frank Venables Theatre is an iconic piece of Oliver and area; the loss of the grand old girl was tragic but like a Phoenix from the ashes has come the new, a structure of which we can all be proud. Societies are judged by their culture and to this end I feel the new Frank Venables Theatre speaks well of the residents of Oliver and Area “C”.
Oliver parks and recreational facilities are among if not “the” finest that I have seen for a community of under ten thousand, that also means that costs must be monitored and revenue streams must be constantly developed so as to lessen the tax burden and strengthen the economy. Credit must be given to the staff and administration of the Oliver Parks and Recreation Society for the care they provide. We need only to compare with larger centers to see the quality given.
The OIB is a major economic engine for both the town and area – for that we are very fortunate. There is a rumor that the band is working on a world class race course and that would improve the dynamics for all the businesses in the area.
The national park is one place I agree with the town council in that the use of the area becomes elitist with too many others who currently use the area responsibly being locked out, hunters, horse riders, etc. The control of a national park is ultimately by a heavy handed bureaucracy located to far away and with no economic or moral tie to the area; as example the closure of the False Creek Coast Guard station in Vancouver. A move that will cost lives and affect the lively hood of a great many people yet no ear was given to the many objections. I would be more comfortable to a provincial park but I really do not see the need for a park. At one of the meetings I attended the Parks Canada people admitted that the current stewardship of the land was very well done and to that end the land is open for all to use and enjoy.
One of my greatest concerns is that a number of our bylaws and regulations were copied from other areas with very little thought given to the unique needs of where they were to be applied. One example being the current signage law if applied as written will severely damage the economics of the area with many small farms and wineries bearing the brunt of poorly thought out laws. These industries are already in distress and are in need of help not hindrances.
The new road work at Gallagher Lake is a sever hazard at best. This area is rapidly becoming a community straddling the highway. Street lighting falls to the regional district and should be a priority. Traffic controls such as cross walks, pedestrian controlled crossing, and or speed control need to be decided on with the Dept. of Highways and implemented promptly.
I believe that most of us are very concerned about our environment and are willing to sacrifice both time and money to making safe the world on which we live. What is very annoying is government and large corporations that hide behind the skirts of the green god in order to draw more revenue out of us; the two tier rate structure foremost in my mind. This was to “discourage the frivolous use of electrical energy”. This is a little discouraging to those on a fixed income. It was not that long ago that the then power company West Kootenay was encouraging the rural residents to change from the then common oil or propane heat to the new “cleaner more economical for decades to come” electric heating.
There is no end to the issues in any area but if approached with common sense and an end goal being the economic health and well being of our farms and small businesses all of our lives will be much improved. I hope to have the privilege of serving the people of Area “C” and Oliver in the future.