Small town changes

The public meeting scheduled for Jan. 30th, to allow Peachlanders an opportunity to tell City Council what they think about the proposed language changes to the city’s Official Community Plan (OCP) could also be an acid test on how people are going to vote in the October municipal election.

The people of Summerland have been fighting a long running battle with their city hall to protect the city from a number of proposed developments they absolutely did not want. The Mayor and city council became involved with a developer who was going to build a 7 storey tall building, that would save the city from certain economic starvation. Then the city aggressively lobbied the Province to locate a 378 cell provincial correctional center right in the city of Summerland, completely oblivious to the will of the people who did not want a jail in their backyard.

Another developer came along and the city wanted to remove a large parcel of good quality farmland from the ALR to accommodate the developer, in exchange for a piece of land that had previously had been removed from the ALR because it was not suitable for farm land.

The people attended the public forums in good faith, to express their opposition to all of those proposals. There were at times more than 300 people at those meetings, telling city what they did and did not want, and city council consistently turned a deaf ear.

The Summerland Mayor had the good grace to resign well ahead of the last election to allow the people an opportunity to canvass the community for candidates. The voters recognized the need for continuity and elected a two-term city councillor as Mayor.

None of the incumbent city councillors were re-elected.

Andy Thomsen

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