Open letter to Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas and Kelowna city council
I am writing to you today with information I learned over the past six weeks. This knowledge was learned from being out in the community every day, speaking with your constituents.
I am a typical Kelowna resident and I started a conversation by talking about the (proposed) $241 million loan (to replace the Parkinson Recreation Centre and provide more recreation facilities), the Alternative Approval Process and the PRC.
Kelowna residents regularly express deep disappointment with city council. I would like to pass on these sentiments from hardworking (residents) who have a lot to say and feel they are not truly being heard at City Hall.
A significant number of people are afraid to sign the AAP form, even though they strongly oppose (the borrowing), because of its public nature. They are afraid because they may be a city employee, are seeking a development permit from the city, they have such a distrust of city hall and don't want to expose themselves to being known as a dissenter.
The right to vote anonymously is the only way to truly get a clearer picture of what the populace thinks.
There is a lot of anger and frustration with how city councillors, "sat down right there last year and promised us they would be there for us."
"They came to us asking for votes just one year ago and are today ignoring or deflecting our concerns."
"Of course they'll vote for that, it's not their money."
If there was a survey about confidence and trust in local government, I would not be surprised to find the level at an all-time, disturbing, low. I spend a significant amount of time with residents and they are fed up with, and hurt by, a lack of direct councillor communication.
They don't want to be told what to do by city staff because we voted for you (mayor and councillors) to be an extension of our voice. That's why campaign promises matter.
City staff and councillors seem to always turn the Alternative Approval Process issue into a PRC issue.
The mayor has been silent on this. People want to express themselves in a meaningful way and all the evidence points to that being a referendum.
Please take some time this weekend, get back to the roots. Please go speak with the (person) on the street just like you did when campaigning. Please listen to and hear what they say.
Yes, we want recreation development, but not at any cost.
Renee Del Colle