Unhappy with city leaders

Add my name, as well as every family member of mine, to the growing list of people calling for new leaders in the ever-declining mid-sized City of Kelowna.

I personally never believed so much of this city's densification would come to fruition, simply due to the most obvious infrastructure challenges and the lack of staffing of emergency personnel.

It was astonishing to see people bring this shortsightedness (up) time and time again at public hearings and in letters to the mayor and councillors, just to see their concerns quickly dismissed, mostly with a touch of arrogance and the odd snicker by community leaders (eg. at the public hearing for the UBC tower).

During the public hearing on the UBC downtown building, we also had the head of city planning defend the extreme lack of firefighting personnel needed to fight a fire in a skyscraper, saying they are not needed for skyscrapers because those buildings don't burn like fire used to burn years ago.

We had a complete stranger to emergency work publicly say fire has now decided it will burn differently, even though the exact opposite is true with the massive influx of plastic in our furnishings. (Despite that) the mayor and city councillors continue to put the director of planning on the pedestal.

Another example of apparent tom foolery by the city is the day after the Kelowna’s planning director pleaded for more employees due to the intense (department) workload, Kelowna's most prominent developer put out a news release stating the market has declined so much it will likely scale back new projects due to a lack of investment interest.

Are we still adding those positions even with the conflicting analyses on the current market conditions?

The residents of Rutland lobbied the mayor, councillors and (provincial) ministers in order to get information about why Rutland is taking on (many) of the assisted housing projects. No one has any answers (even after a petition of 14,000 signatures fell silent on city planning staff), other than saying the province decides where to put these properties without consultation with the city. (If you) dare say anything you get instantly labeled as NIMBY, which instantly takes your voice and credibility away.

I could go on and on about why this leadership lacks anything other than high density construction ( ie. the social assistance office in the heart of Rutland) but I know I will lose readers to what I feel is an extremely important message in hopes of creating a movement—one that brings change, fairness, values and family back to our city, in contrast to the current concrete, wealth, taxes and individuality that rules over City Hall.

Let's do something that has never been done before, force change on those who have already forced change on our city.

Steve Brandel

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