Mayor rants over old school advertising
Mar 5, 2013 / 5:00 am
The City of Kelowna's sale of its electrical utility to FortisBC comes with an extra price the city's mayor would prefer not to pay.
One of the final obligations the city must satisfy is the public notification of disposition of real property being transferred to FortisBC as part of the sale.
The 29-page list includes numerous statutory right of ways and two city properties that will transfer to FortisBC.
Community Services General Manager, John Vos, says this is one of the final items of business required before the sale is finalized, likely by the end of March.
"We are required under the Community Charter to file public notice that we are doing this. What we are here for today is to seek council's approval to proceed with public notice that we are doing this," says Vos.
"That will require us, in addition to our website and the usual sources, to put ads in the paper identifying all these properties."
Vos says the ad will fill eight pages in a newspaper.
"It's probably the largest ad we've done ... but it is a mandatory requirement under the Community Charter. It will be posted twice."
Council did approve the request, however, the process did not sit well with Mayor, Walter Gray.
Stating the ad will translate into the most boring eight pages ever printed in a local newspaper, Gray wondered if it is time to lobby the province to get the province to change the Community Charter to better reflect the times.
"Speaking for Kelowna, and maybe all other municipalities, we really focus on communication and have excellent websites," says Gray.
"The very fact there is an internet and other media, published and you read it that doesn't put black print on your fingers. I think that we should be looking as a council to go to UBCM to lobby the government to acknowledge or define, finally what the word publishing means."
Gray says he believes publishing doesn't necessarily mean newspapers - "it can be in any form of mass media."
"This is the absolute epitome of stupidity where we are forced because of tradition long before other media, Internet and websites, were invented. It's time to get on with the future and save the taxpayers money by (not) putting this statutorily required information in a newspaper."
While he says he's not slamming newspapers, Gray says when the city is forced to spend money on eight pages of advertising that doesn't matter to the average person, "it's time we stood up and did something."
A similar request by the city a few years ago was shot down at the SILGA (Southern Interior Local Government Association) convention.
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