Bending political ears

Penticton's mayor and council is hoping to bend political ears at next week's Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

Local officials are planning to discuss several topics, including infrastructure funding from the provincial government, simplifying the provincial grants process, transferring unpaid fines to property taxes and creating a centralized job board.

"UBCM is an excellent opportunity to meet with ministers, their staff, other MLAs, and most importantly, network with other local government officials from other areas around the province to discuss best practices, concerns and solutions," said Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit.

The 2016 convention is set to take place Sept. 26 to 30 at the Victoria Conference Centre. 

Jakubeit will also sit in on Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen minister meetings regarding the Kettle Valley Rail Trail expansion, tenure concerns and policing numbers.

Penticton also has three resolutions endorsed and submitted by the Southern Interior Local Government Association, SILGA.

They are regarding firefighter wage arbitration, vacant land taxation and DNA analysis cost sharing.

"Typically vacant, derelict and abandoned gas station lands sit in high profile areas in many communities," said the mayor. "The ability to tax those lands at a higher rate will help encourage development or beautification of the neglected parcels."

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