Telephone poles placed in centre of sidewalk angers West Kelowna watchdog reads the headline. If only my fellow RDCO Board Members had seen pole placement in the eyes of the users of Killiney Beach and the North Westside Community. This would have save all of us; the Regional Board and the RDCO Staff and Management a lot of unneeded frustration, cost and wasted time. The resident opinion taken from the West Kelowna article is “Audience Group calls placement of poles in new Boucherie Road upgrade project ‘idiocy’” and council agreed immediately and made moves to fix their mistake but … not so for the Killiney Beach site. We got denial, thousands of dollars in costs by the RDCO to defend against the Trespass Notice issued by The Ministry of Forest, years of aggravation for the resident and tourist users and a power pole in the middle of one of the most popular beach sites in the Park.
Finally reality came to save the day and the 2017 flooding almost washed the pole away in less than two years after placement and of course thousands of wasted tax dollars. This 2017 Flood saw the pole well below water level, disconnected from the fire department boathouse due to safety issues and a possible loss of the pole due to the undermining by two feet plus of water and wave action.
Thankfully the Trespass Notice had an Order to RDCO that required the power pole to be relocated off the Beach Site when it required replacement or should it be damaged; both of which were then applicable to this pole. The FOI done by the community clearly showed the depths and costs that the RDCO Management was willing to go to to get their way with our money, disgusting lack of integrity! Where are the ethics and morality so necessary for local government if it is to establish and maintain any trust with the residents it is mandated to deliver services to.
I have documented the full story on the power pole including the Freedom of Information Request by Forestry. Take note of the different responses on content between identical FOI Requests. The originating body (RDCO) could only find 33 pages where the receiving body (Forestry) found 134 pages. It is interesting to match the two and see what the RDCO felt was unnecessary information for you to see!
This power pole problem is a clear example of the lack of cooperation or even interest of the issues within both electoral areas that occurs at RDCO Board level. Eleven of the Thirteen Board Members are appointed by the four surrounding municipalities and only the two Electoral Area Directors are actually elected to the RDCO Board yet we have next to no voice especially in our own local affairs. This is a poor example of Democracy. I am hopeful that a change in the municipal representation to the Board in this election will offer an opportunity to move forward with local issues with a new and more supportive Board.