Citizen input welcomed for governance study

Citizens will soon have their say in the future of governance models for Electoral Area D.

Citizens will soon have their say in the future of governance models for Electoral Area D.

The governance study committee announced in August that it would be working with consultation firm Leftside Partners, and in September the committee toured the electoral area alongside Leftside Partners in an effort to understand the diversity, scope and varying needs of the large electoral area.

The tour sites included Upper Carmi, Heritage Hills, Lakeshore Highlands, Skaha Estates, Okanagan Falls, Kaleden, Vasseux Lake, Twin Lakes/St. Andrews and Apex Mountain.

The RDOS awarded Leftside Partners the $47,500 contract funded by the province in August, one of six submissions for the job.

The next step is engaging with citizens regarding the governance study in the coming months. The committee will be distributing fact sheets detailing each service provided by the Regional District to the areas. Governance forums will be held in various areas and the surveys will be provided in central locations and online. Information and updates on the study will also be posted on the bulletin boards in local neighbourhoods.

The study will only be the first step in a long process and will look at different ways of creating more responsible local government. Possibilities include incorporating Okanagan Falls, or adding a new director, though these questions won’t be sent to a public vote for a couple years at the earliest. Towns like Oliver, Osoyoos and Princeton have incorporated governments, and are around the same population size.

The study is set to be completed and delivered by Dec. 31, 2016.

“The committee would like to emphasize to citizens that all committee meetings are open to the public,” the RDOS stated in a release.

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Penticton Western News

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