As we near election day, Summerland (residents) have a very important choice to make—continue on the path the (successive) councils has taken us for many years, or to vote in some new people with fresh perspectives.
The present district council has taken us on sort of a “futurist” course, that is to say its preoccupation with policy and spending on expensive projects, with the overwhelming priority of its governance directed at climate change and ecological concerns, with all else subordinate to those.
Unfortunately, our civic challenges encompass 360 degrees of need and (many) problems, not a single issue. All aspects have to be addressed, especially taxes and debt.
There is a (group) of the mayor and (several) counsellors who form the majority and things go pretty much their way—closed meetings on a $10.4 million unwarranted project, avoiding public input forums on a huge $6.5 million loan for ordinary road maintenance because regular revenue was spend elsewhere.
Mayor Toni Boot is leaving office, once again, and is running for councillor instead. The (outgoing) mayor is the chief sermonist of woke-ism and must-have expensive eco icons. That will be her main legacy.
Coun. Doug Homes is her ally and is running for mayor. But he is more of the same. Coun. Erin Trainer is the money rainmaker and is notable for her largess in projects and spending, as revealed when she publicly stated she saw little concern for the choice between $15 million and $37.8 million financing for our aquatic centre options. Trainer is also the architect of the alternate means of public approval in the Giants Head Road financing, which will be paid for in taxes and water rate levies. Coun. Marty Van Alphen makes up the majority core of this group.
The other councillors also vote generally in unison with the above, but some have tried to distance themselves from some of the record in their election statements.
So Summerland voters, you may agree with what I say or not—and the intent here is not to be personal but to be realistic in what has been done— so examine what the record is.
As voters, with three levels of government all expecting us to finance their philosophies, we have to be judicious and draw a line somewhere. We can't do it all.
So make sure you vote on it.
Roy Roope, Summerland