An editorial by Electoral Area P director Mel Rothenburger.
SUN RIVERS — A proposal to get stakeholders together to discuss the priorities of Sun Rivers residents was shot down in flames at a meeting of the TNRD board of directors today (Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016).
In response to a letter from Sun Rivers resident L. Dawn eTaylor, I made a motion “That the TNRD facilitate a meeting among the TNRD, City of Kamloops, Sun Rivers Development Corp., Sun Rivers taxpayers’ committee and Tk’emlups Band to address inter-jurisdictional service priorities in Sun Rivers and possible ways in which to accommodate them.”
Nothing much surprises me in politics anymore, but I thought directors would have trouble objecting to discussing solutions. Instead, my motion was trounced 25-1 against.
Taylor’s letter, which I posted on this blog yesterday, asked the stakeholders to get together to discuss the issue of Sun Rivers residents not being able to vote on important City of Kamloops projects such as the defeated performing arts theatre plan. Reacting to that situation, she wrote “…those of us who live in Sun Rivers identify more with the City of Kamloops and its concerns/issues than we do with those of the TNRD.”
Some City directors argued that Sun Rivers doesn’t pay enough taxes for things like libraries and hospitals, but in my view the issue is about Sun Rivers becoming financially involved in projects if there are mutual benefits — the residents don’t expect freebies.
Using the PAC example, if Sun Rivers residents had been included in the vote, and taxed accordingly had the referendum succeeded, Kamloops taxpayers might have appreciated spreading the load and it might have passed.
Bus service is another issue for Sun Rivers residents, that one having been on the books for years as the City and Band fail to find agreement on making it happen.
These specific kinds of services could be addressed if the political will was there in recognition of the fact Sun Rivers has all the earmarks of a Kamloops suburb, and that simple taxation agreements between the City and the TIB could move some of these things forward.
Sun Rivers will always be part of the TIB, and I’m happy to have both it and the TIB within the boundaries of Area P. Boundaries aren’t going to change, and nobody’s jurisdiction is going to be questioned.
The only thing that needs changing is people’s minds.