Mayor’s Report, February 24, 2020
I hope everyone enjoyed their Family Day weekend and had a chance to enjoy some time with family out and about in Summerland.
On February 11, Councillors Holmes and Van Alphen and I attended the Summerland Chamber luncheon. Guest speaker MP Dan Albas answered several questions.
On February 12 I attended the Community Open House along with all of Council. For those who were not able to attend, ¾ of the room was filled with information boards highlighting specific projects in the proposed 2020 budget. Staff was on hand to answer any questions attendees may have had on major capital projects or other community investment priorities. This was the first of many community engagement events planned for this year on such proposals as the Summerland Community Health and Wellness Centre (including the new aquatic centre); the Downtown Plan and the Solar and Storage project, to name a few. On behalf of Council I again thank CAO Anthony Haddad, Director of Finance, and the many staff who worked so diligently to make the open house so interactive and interesting.
On February 13, I attended the Water Stewardship Council meeting in Kelowna. This group is the technical advisory group for the Okanagan Basin Water Board. Of particular interest was a presentation on the Okanagan Climate Projections report released earlier this month. In short, we can expect warmer temperatures year-round, with summers getting considerably hotter. We can also expect increased precipitation throughout the year, except in summer, and rain events will be more severe. The growing season will increase from about 5.5 months to almost 7 months by the 2050s, and almost 8 months by the 2080s.
It is important to note that, as always, the weather will vary year to year. These are climate projects, meaning they look at trends over a 30-year period. On a related matter, while a high snowpack cannot be dismissed, it is the rate at which the snowpack melts and/or the intensity of spring rain that makes the risk of flooding rise.
For local government there are three key takeaways from this presentation:
- Education and collaboration will play an important role in preparing for these changes.
- Designing to current and future climate parameters is markedly more cost effective than reacting to climate shocks and stresses over time.
- Local and global mitigation is a powerful tool to curb GHG emissions at 2050 level and reduce the amount we need to adapt.
On February 14th, Councillor Holmes and I (as RDOS directors) attended the “Hearts of the Land Celebration” at the En’owkin Centre. The event was held to honour and thank the individuals and groups (including RDOS) for their contributions to the habitat securement project on Penticton Indian Band located lands. Special recognition was given to Louie Alec and Ken and Darlene Lezard on behalf of the Lezard family, who donated or leased land for the project, as well as the Armstrong family and two trustees of the project: Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Jeannette Armstrong. Bryn White, Program Manager for the SOS Conservation Program, was also honoured for her invaluable expertise in habitat restoration.
On February 20th I and Councillor Holmes attended the RDOS board and committee meetings; Councillor Holmes has written a report on the meeting. We also had a Regional Hospital District meeting and, as Vice Chair I’d like to report out on two items: there will not be an increase in the hospital taxes this year; the Board directed staff to explore options for funding proposed primary care and community clinics, such as the proposed one in Summerland.
Later that day Councillors Holmes and Patan and I attended the Chamber’s Nominee’s Reception for the Business Excellence and Community Awards nominees. Then, I took some time to myself and attended the SSS production of Matilda at Centre Stage. Fantastic, as always!
Speaking of our high school, both the Sr. Boys and Sr. Girls basketball teams made it to the Provincial championships currently being held in Langley. We wish them all the best!
Last Friday Councillor Holmes and I attended the Primary Care Network meeting. Much of the discussion was about possible funding models for centres and clinics in the RDOS region.
On Saturday I attended the One World Festival in Penticton, organized by South Okanagan Immigrant Community Services. It was another colourful, entertaining and educational day … and the food! I also attended the Summerland Art Council’s AGM on Saturday and want to again thank Diane Hildebrand, Betty-Ann Xenis, Peter Hay and Jean Evanishen for their many years of devotion to raising the profile of arts and culture in Summerland.
Mayor’s Report - February 10, 2020
Earlier today Lori Mullin, Manager of Recreation, and I had the honour of recognizing three of the lifeguards at the District’s Aquatic Centre. Aysha Curley, Micaela MacDougall and Anna Lock put their CPR and lifesaving training into practise January 31 and saved a life. Council and District staff join Lori in saying “we are so proud of these three—and all the recreation staff who supported them—for their incredible teamwork, professionalism and competence”.
On January 29 and 30 I attended the BC Natural Resources Forum in Prince George. Although our economy is not heavily reliant on resource extraction such as mining or oil and gas, agricultural land is also a natural resource. Our community has a rich agricultural history and this sector is still economically important to Summerland.
I spoke to some of the five northwest B.C. mayors who, with the Resource Works Society, formed the Resource Municipalities Coalition in 2016. Since these discussions, which included how local governments can protect community watersheds, I have expressed my interest in exploring the possibility of being part of a southern interior Coalition, perhaps one that covers the SILGA region. The Coalition’s executive director offered to discuss this possibility at their next executive meeting.
Over 1200 delegates heard from many Indigenous speakers and panelists about what Reconciliation means to them and their general openness to collaborate with non-Indigenous governments and private organizations for mutual benefit. Other speakers, including the Premier, spoke about how the forestry sector can regain its economic strength, specifically through implementing a truly sustainable management plan and diversifying forest products, such as mass timber.
The Premier also spoke about the B.C. Food Security Task Force and the imminent release of the Future of B.C.’s Food System. This 80-page report makes four key recommendations on how B.C. can lead the next agricultural revolution and is now available on the Province’s website.
Last Tuesday I attended the first Okanagan Basin Water Board board meeting of 2020. Highlights include:
FLNRORD is working with UBCO to conduct research on milfoil management in Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussel habitat, including along the Summerland foreshore. The research is expected to provide answers on whether milfoil management has any significant negative impact on the native mussel.
LiDAR data on community watersheds is expected to be available to local government staff by the end of March 2020. These data provide 3-D aerial images of our watersheds that can be added to our GIS.
As of February 5, 132 teams have signed up for the AquaHacking Challenge. The Challenge is to find technological solutions for one of five different water issues. Five teams will move on to the finals.
OBWB continues to work with the provincial government to enact Pull the Plug legislation. This is seen as another tool against the transfer of invasive mussels into BC water bodies.
The Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy has been printed; planning departments will receive a copy.
OBWB 2020 grant applications are closed. The District is supporting the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance’s application for a study in our shared watershed. The project will be conducted by UBC Vancouver.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report - January 27, 2020
It has been a very busy couple of weeks with budget, Minister announcements, RDOS, and Executive and Advisory Committee meetings.
Tonight, though, I would like to pay tribute to the man for whom the District’s flags have been at half-mast over the last few days.
I first met Derek Chudyk within the first couple of years of him moving with Candy and their young family to Summerland. The District had contracted with Okanagan College for staff training on the fundamentals of computer use. Derek, who insisted on being referred to as “Zorgon”, was most definitely a memorable student. He was never disrespectful or rude although in retrospect he could have been considered ‘mildly disruptive’. I doubt there was anyone—including myself—who didn’t look forward to Derek’s classroom shenanigans.
Several years later, as I was transforming an open field into Grasslands Nursery, I met Derek again, this time in his capacity as an electrician for the District. Although most of his dealings were with the contractor who constructed the retail building, Derek was very professional and fair. He had such an open and easygoing manner.
In 2018, when Derek took leave from the District to fight his illness, he always said that he would come back and pick up where he had left off. It was a pleasure to see him at the District Christmas party and formally welcome him back. He was witty and entertaining and he, Candy and I had some good laughs. Derek’s battle was behind him. At least, that is what we thought.
Candy and I spoke for some time on the weekend. She shared many stories about Derek that I had not heard before—stories that are for her or others to tell. We also talked about Derek’s thirty years with the District of Summerland’s electrical department. He was loyal, trustworthy, respected and well-liked by those he worked with and by the community. Derek loved his job, loved Summerland and loved his family.
Candy asked me to extend an invitation to Council and all District staff to attend Derek’s funeral this Saturday, February 1 at the Summerland Baptist Church. The service begins at 1 pm.
On behalf of Council, District staff and the residents of Summerland, thank you, Derek, for your exemplary service.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, January 13, 2020
On behalf of District of Summerland Council and Staff, Happy New Year, Summerland! We are looking forward to an exciting and productive year.
It has been just over a month since Council met for a regular council meeting and, while I enjoyed the time with family and friends over the Christmas break, staff has ensured that we are back to reality with two full regular council meeting agendas today.
At our December meeting Council adopted a few changes to our procedures bylaw. We still have two monthly meetings on the second and fourth Monday (or Tuesday, following a holiday), and two meetings on each of the Mondays - one in the afternoon and one in the evening. The changes are that both meetings are now regular council meetings. Public hearings and Council discussions on development items will be on the evening meeting agenda and most other items on the agenda for the meeting earlier in the day. Another change is that the afternoon meeting (formerly a Committee of the Whole meeting) begins at 1 pm (from 1:30); the evening meeting begins at 6 pm (from 7 pm). This information is in the January 2020 District newsletter and a schedule of all 2020 meetings is posted on the District website. As a further measure of transparency, these afternoon meetings will now be recorded, the same way the evening meetings are.
In addition to every Mayor’s Report, a column called Mayor’s Minute is also posted on the District website. I write this column for the Thursday edition of the Penticton Herald following Monday Council meetings. Mayor’s Minute is usually about an agenda item or something that Council is currently engaged in. For example, the last column was about why Council proposed then adopted an increase in utility rates; the next one is about this week’s upcoming budget discussions.
Last month, on December 12, most of Council and I attended the Chamber’s last Business After Business of the year. The event was hosted by Remax Realty at their beautiful new office on Main Street. Thursday, December 19, was the final RDOS Board meeting of the year; after the meeting Councillor Holmes and I attended MLA Ashton’s Christmas open house as well as one hosted by MP Richard Cannings.
Thursday was the first RDOS meeting of the year, postponed from January 2. The RDOS begins their budget deliberations before Christmas and the Board has spent many additional hours to get to the first reading on January 9. John Kurvink, the RD’s Manager of Finance, will be presenting the proposed tax rates at the District’s January 27 meeting. Councillor Holmes’ full RDOS report is available on the back table and will be posted on the website.
As I mentioned earlier, we have three general fund budget discussions scheduled this week: Tuesday from 4 to 7 pm, and Wednesday and Thursday from 10 am to 4 pm. The decisions made at general fund discussions result in the proposed mill rate that will come forward at the budget open house next month. Budget discussions are open to the general public and we encourage you to attend. A full schedule of budget session can be found on the District website.
In closing, I am so grateful that I live where I do. However, living in Canada does not mean we are protected from the horror, fear, and grief being experienced by thousands of Canadians, particularly those of Iranian descent. Nor does it protect us from the wildland fires causing massive devastation in Australia. Let us all be thankful.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, December 9, 2019
On Tuesday, November 26, I attended the Utility Rates open house where staff presented proposed water, sewer, and electrical utility rate increases following Council discussions earlier in November. For those who missed the open house, tonight’s agenda includes the proposed 2020 rates and other topics related to utility rates.
Budget work continued Thursday November 28, this time at the RDOS meeting, and there is another full-day budget meeting scheduled for this Friday, December 13.
Friday, November 29 was, of course, the 32nd annual Festival of Lights. I joined Santa and Mrs. Claus in the parade before heading to the stage for the 7 pm countdown to Light Up. Estimates are that 11 to 12,000 people attended the event this year, even though the weather was quite chilly. On behalf of Council, thank you to the Chamber of Commerce for organizing this event each year and to the generous sponsors who make it possible. Also thanks to all the District staff for their hard work and role in making it all come together. An event this large impacts every department in some way including Electrical, Works, Parks, Municipal Hall, Bylaw, Fire and RCMP.
Saturday, November 30, the Fire Department hosted the 32nd annual Toys for Tots and Teens fundraising events at Second Home. Thanks to Allison and the staff at Second Home for the delicious breakfast served by the District fire crews. The event was very successful, raising $4,675 for tots and teens in our community.
Tuesday, December 3 I attended the Okanagan Basin Water Board meeting in Kelowna.
- The 14th year of the Water Conservation and Quality Improvement grant program is now open for applications. This year, the OBWB is prioritizing collaborative projects that provide water benefits across multiple jurisdictions. The Board voted to add $50,000 to the grant funding this year, bringing the total amount available to $350,000 for 2020.
- OBWB Directors enjoyed a presentation by the Central Okanagan Land Trust, primarily about the Setback Dike Project of the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative. This project focused on relocating a 475m section of the dike to restore hydrological functions and connectivity and provide improved spawning, rearing and holding habitat for native fish species. The Mission Creek Restoration Initiative includes many partners; it covers a total of 12 km of the channel.
- The OBWB now has two Directors representing Okanagan Nation Alliance; it is good to have their voice at the table again.
The following day, December 4, CAO Haddad and I were invited to attend a workshop in West Kelowna hosted by the Okanagan Nation Alliance, Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program and the South Okanagan-Similkameen Conservation Program. This was the initial information session and workshop for the Okanagan Lake Responsibility Planning Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to identify ways to improve and coordinate policy and planning processes to protect and restore the environmental, cultural and economic values of Okanagan Lake. The Workshop was attended by planners, provincial staff, and Syilx people and we heard from speakers on ranging from a call for increased protection in riparian areas, to reintroducing salmon in Okanagan Lake, to including natural assets in local government asset management plans.
Later on December 4, the District held a Community Climate Action Plan Open House to review the draft Community Climate Action Plan that was created following input from residents and local stakeholders.
Approximately 50 members of the community attended and provided feedback on the plan. Staff will return to Council on January 13 to review the plan in detail and seek direction before requesting council to consider adoption.
Councillor Holmes and I attended a full day of RDOS committee meetings and a Board meeting on December 5. Councillor Holmes has written notes on the meetings; they are available on the back table and with the online agenda.
On Friday, December 6, CAO Haddad, Fire Chief Noble and I travelled to Kamloops to attend an Emergency Management BC Workshop organized and hosted by the Southern Interior Local Government Association executive. EMBC staff was looking for input and feedback on the proposed changes to the Emergency Management Legislation ... and they got lots of that! This Workshop was attended by elected officials, fire and emergency management staff, EMBC, and FLINRORD staff.
Yesterday I played the role of a Who in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. The event was the first of what is hoped will be an annual event, and all proceeds went to the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, November 25, 2019
Budget discussions continued over the last two weeks, with discussions on November 12th, 19th, and 20th. Tomorrow evening the District hosts its first of two Open Houses on budget matters—this first one is about proposed utility rates for 2020. Staff will be presenting the draft rates and how and why these rates are being proposed. A question and answer period will follow the formal presentation. Residents are encouraged to ask questions of any of the staff in attendance and/or provide written feedback. The open house is in this room (Council Chambers) from 4:00 to 7:00 pm.
On November 13th I carpooled to Kamloops to attend the Southern Interior Local Government Association (SILGA) meeting. The Association has organized a day-long workshop with Emergency Management BC on Friday, December 6 to hear about the proposed legislation and discuss the most important issues around emergency management. The session is open to all SILGA members and First Peoples’ involved in emergency operations in the region. Chief Noble, our CAO and I are attending.
Still with SILGA, planning for the 2020 SILGA Convention in Vernon has begun. Feedback provided following last year’s Convention is being used to ensure the sessions, workshops, and networking events are productive and respond to as many membership suggestions or requests as possible.
Also on November 13th, I attended the Pickleball, Tennis, and Dog Parks Open House. The session was presented by a Summerland consultant who gave a detailed presentation that was followed by a busy question and answer session. The District also provided opportunity for people to submit written comments. I look forward to tomorrow night’s utility rates Open House being as well-attended as this one was!
November 14th and 15th were two full days with RDOS: the first with Strategic Planning and the second with grant-in-aid presentations followed by preliminary discussions. Councillor Holmes attended both days; Mr. Haddad and alternate Councillor Trainer attended the Strategic Planning session. November 21st was a regular RDOS day, meaning we set the budget discussion aside to conduct other business. Of interest to Summerland is our participation, with RDOS and others, on a joint Child Care Assessment grant application. Council feels that a regionwide assessment not only gives us Summerland data but also situates our need for childcare within the broader region.
Lastly, Council and I welcome everyone to the 32nd Annual Festival of Lights this Friday. There are several changes this year that, if all goes according to plan, will make the celebration even more amazing. Don’t forget: On Saturday morning the Summerland Fire Department is serving breakfast at Second Home to fundraise for the Toys for Tots and Teens campaign. See you there!
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, November 12, 2019
I was absent from the October 28 council meetings as I was attending the 8th annual Livable Cities Forum in Victoria, BC. The two-day Forum covered a range of topics about building climate change resilient communities including the business case for adaptation; the impacts climate change has on our physical and mental health; and how to use climate data in adaptation planning. Elected local government delegates created a Call to Action that I hope to bring forward to Council before year-end.
On Tuesday, November 5 I attended the Okanagan Basin Water Board meeting in Kelowna. Here are a few items that may be of interest to our community:
- Although milfoil rototilling is still not allowed along the foreshore in Summerland, some allowances have been made in Osoyoos Lake and some areas in Vernon. OBWB staff continues to work with the Department of Fisheries + Oceans and the Province on this matter.
- The Don’t Move a Mussel program ended for 2019 on October 31. As of September 15, data show that the number of inspections is up over previous years and the number of high-risk watercraft found is down.
- The OBWB will be announcing the next round of grant applications at the end of November.
My thanks to Councillor Trainer for attending the November 7 Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) meeting. I extend my congratulations to Councillor Holmes, who was elected as vice chair of the RDOS for the 2019/2020 year.
Also on November 7, Works and Utilities staff were honoured by being selected by the Water Supply Association of BC for the Brian Harvey Award of Excellence. The award is given to a public or corporate body that has demonstrated a high standard of service to the public, and is only given when a deserving recipient has proven excellence in innovative or unique solutions to a water issues. Summerland earned the award for actions taken to ensure the District has safe drinking water and ample supply for residents and agricultural users. These initiatives include raising Thirsk Dam, building a water treatment plant, creating a Water Master Plan, separating treated domestic water from agricultural water in Prairie Valley and Garnet Valley, and introducing a metering program to advance efforts for water conservation. Council extends our thanks and congratulations to the District’s water utility team.
Yesterday, Council and I joined hundreds of people in Memorial Park to respect and honour servicemen and women, both those who did not return home and those who are still living. I was asked by media my thoughts on why the numbers attending the Remembrance Day is increasing. I believe it is because we constantly hear about civil unrest, war leading to mass migration and radical policies around the world. People in Summerland—and elsewhere—feel that setting aside an hour to focus on remembering those who fought for the freedoms we take for granted in Canada is becoming increasingly important.
At our Committee of the Whole meeting this afternoon David Hull, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, updated Council on the changes to this year’s Festival of Lights taking place November 29. Many of the changes have been made to address safety concerns, including two Park and Rides where attendees can hop on a shuttle to be transported into and out of the event. There are three stages this year: a relocated Main Stage near the Summerland Library, a Kids Stage in Memorial Park, and a World Stage on Victoria Road next to the post office. Fireworks will begin just after the 7 pm official Light-Up and the activities will begin at 4 pm. Due to the number of attendees expected by the Chamber this year—12 to 14,000—and the earlier start for the fireworks display, the Chamber and the District are requesting your cooperation in preventing potential conflicts: Please leave your dogs at home.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, October 28, 2019
Since my October 15 report I enjoyed a week’s stay with my son in Bowmanville, a small city of about 40,000 people. The urban/suburban areas are surrounded by agriculture, primarily apple orchards, and I attended the annual Applefest street festival.
I also would like to congratulate the Summerland Refugee Sponsorship Group for being recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees for their work in supporting the successful integration of refugee families in the community. Councillor Holmes founded the 130-member group in 2015 and currently sits as Chair for the non-profit charity.
I am currently attending the Livable Cities Forum in Victoria until October 30 where our Sustainability/Alternative Energy Coordinator, Tami Rothery, is speaking about Low Carbon Resilience: Synergies between Adaptation and Mitigation in Practice. This year, three themes, all focusing on the impacts of climate change, will be examined: Exploring the Climate Change and Health Nexus; The Role of Infrastructure in Building Better Neighbourhoods; and Advancing Low Carbon Resilience for More Livable Communities. The final day of the Forum offers several different tours. I will be attending a multi-modal tour on Community Building, Equity and Wellbeing. This tour showcases examples of safe and accessible transportation infrastructure that encourages cycling, walking and public transit. The tour itself combines these three modes of transportation.
Council and senior management begin the budget process early in November. This is earlier than usual, but it is a process that requires many additional meetings and a lot of thought. I commend our CAO and senior management for the many additional hours of planning they’ve done in preparation.
Thank you, Councillor Barkwill, for attending the October 17th RDOS meeting on my behalf, and for Councillor Carlson, Acting Mayor for October, for chairing this meeting.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, October 15, 2019
As you know, due to the annual Union of BC Municipalities Convention the last week of September, Council had just one regular council meeting last month. I have written two Mayor’s Minute columns for the Herald about our activities this year at the Convention: they can be found on the District website.
Outside of UBCM, there has been a lot of activity since our last council meeting on September 9. On September 10 I attended a Chamber meeting to hear about the upcoming changes to the Festival of Lights event. Later that week I attended the Summerland Healthy Community Initiative meeting; this group presented the Vaping Awareness event hosted by SD67 last Tuesday, October 6th. I ended that week by walking the 3km Terry Fox Run route with Steve and our dog, Ranger.
September 17th I drove to Peachland to attend a presentation by Emanuel Machado, the CAO of Gibsons, BC about the value of natural assets, (specifically the watershed) and how his community has included this value in their Natural Assets Management Strategy. The presentation was followed by a brief reception where watershed protection was the main topic. I hope to have a follow-up one-on-one discussion with Mr. Machado at the Livable Cities Forum in Victoria at the end of this month.
On September 18th, Councillors Van Alphen and Patan, our CAO and I attended a day-long Hiring and Housing Forum hosted and presented by the City of Penticton. Our focus was the Housing part of the forum; we heard some great presentations and made some good contacts. Council has been invited to the opening of The Rise, a Penticton affordable housing project opening at the end of the month.
Councillor Holmes and I attended RDOS meetings on September 19th and October 3rd. Please see his comprehensive report on these meetings attached to the agenda.
On October 2, I attended the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) meeting in Coldstream. Much of the discussion was about Directors’ meetings with the FLNRO Ministry and staff concerning the resurgence of milfoil in Okanagan lakes. Following the October 3 RDOS meeting, I attended the opening of Burdock House, a beautiful facility built to house 62 homeless persons. Minister Robinson was on hand to open the ASK Wellness Society project which is staffed around the clock by their staff.
On Friday CAO Haddad and I met with Chief Eneas and Councillor Elliot Tonasket to continue our discussion about matters of interest to both our Councils. Staff are continuing to organize a Council to Council meeting but, in the meantime, we will be setting up a Working Committee. Friday was also a day to debrief and celebrate the success of the 2019 Fall Fair; thanks again to the 60+ volunteers led by Society Chair Denise MacDonald. The following day, Councillor Holmes and I attended another celebration: the opening of the dormitory at UNISUS School. This first phase will house 92 boarding students, including international students from seven different countries this school year. That evening, I went to the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. It was a very enjoyable evening. Congratulations to all who were nominated or recognized as best in their category, especially Summerland’s own Ogopogo Tours who won the Tourism Excellence Award.
On Tuesday, October 8th I helped Grades 4 and 5 students at Trout Creek Elementary School plant 82 indigenous plants at Powell Beach. It was a tad cool, but we managed to get everything in the ground before the few snowflakes that fell later that evening while I was attending the Vaping Awareness event at Centre Stage.
October 9th was the second bi-annual meeting of Interior Health with Regional Hospital Districts (RHD) in their region. I am Vice Chair of the RHD of the RDOS and invited CAO Haddad to join me at the meeting. Later that day I attended the Cultural Development Committee meeting.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, September 9, 2019
Summer 2019 is coming to an end: temperatures are cooling; harvesting is in full swing; students are back to school; and this is my final Report for the summer. Council will be in Vancouver on September 23 attending the Union of BC Municipalities conference, so tonight is the only regular council meeting for the month. Towards the end of tonight’s agenda, our CAO will be speaking about the Minister meeting requests the District has submitted for this year’s Conference.
On, Tuesday, August 27 I attended the Net Metering Open House held at the arena banquet room, as staff introduced how the program operates in Summerland. In addition to the District information booth, six Valley solar panel installers staffed exhibits at the open house. I went from there to attend the opening of Mixed and Merged at the Summerland Art Gallery. This show, in conjunction with the Ryga Arts Festival, runs until September 27. The Summer Reading Club Awards ceremony was also on the evening of August 27 and I apologize again to Sue Kline and the Library staff, as well as the award winners for not being able to attend. Congratulations to all the young participants and to the staff for another successful program.
I attended the final Music in the Park for the summer on Wednesday evening. It was most appropriate that the Ryga Arts Festival sponsored the Blue City Trio as both Sergei Ryga and his son make up 2/3 of the Trio. This very popular cultural event will return in July 2020.
On the last day of August I travelled to Armstrong to take in the IPE and attend the Dignitaries Luncheon hosted by the Mayors of Armstrong and Spallumcheen. The Interior Provincial Exhibition celebrated its 120th year this year.
The next morning, September 1, I attended the last event of the 2019 Ryga Arts Festival. By all accounts, it was another very successful Festival, particularly Interweaving, the Saturday evening concert.
September 5, Councillor Holmes and I attended the RDOS meeting. Councillor Holmes has submitted an excellent report that summarizes the items that may be of interest to Summerland residents, including the new BC Transit Route 70 between Penticton and Kelowna.
Friday morning I attended the Okanagan Basin Water Board AGM in Kelowna. The meeting included a very interesting panel discussion about the inside workings of an Emergency Operations Centre. After lunch, the OBWB Board met for their regular meeting. We have requested a meeting with Minister Donaldson and FLNRORD staff about milfoil management in the Okanagan Basin. On Friday evening I attended the Summerland Fall Fair events in Memorial Park. Anyone who questions how many young families they are in Summerland should have been at the Park!
Saturday I spent the day going back and forth between the 14th Apple Valley Cruisers Endless Summer Show and Shine at Memorial Park and the 105th Summerland Fall Fair events at the Curling Rink. The change in the Park from Friday evening to Saturday morning was surreal! I was tasked with making the Mayor’s Choice out of 284 vehicles. Thank you, Bill Wakeling for accompanying me for more than 1.5 hours and patiently answering my many questions. Also, thanks to Jacques Lefevre, President, Bob Kelly, Bill Laidman, and the entire Apple Valley Cruisers Club for organizing the Show. Last year alone the Club donated $7,700 to local charities.
The Summerland Fall Fair was another successful festival this year, and has already grown over last year after a three year hiatus. Over the day several people who have lived in Summerland for less than a year approached me to say how much they appreciate the events, especially ones, like the Fall Fair, that have many activities for children. As much as we, Council, would like to take the credit, the festivals and events just would not happen without the incredible volunteers we have in our community. If you haven’t had the chance, stroll through the downtown streets and look at the harvest displays to celebrate our agricultural economy. Therese Washtock, Peter Holler, and decorating committee: thank you for your creative contribution to our downtown.
Finally, in case you haven’t heard, the Summerland Rotary Sunday Market dates have been extended to September 15. The annual Terry Fox Run is also being held this Sunday; registration is at 10 am at the Aquatic Centre.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, August 26, 2019
I’ll open tonight by welcoming our new CAO, Anthony Haddad. Mr. Haddad most recently led the Development Services Division at the City of Penticton, which included overseeing many other functions including economic development, land management, bylaw services, and business licensing. Mr. Haddad also has experience in the private sector, having filled the role of the Director of Campus Planning and Development for UBCO for two years. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Mr. Haddad also worked for several years at the City of Calgary in planning and project management. On behalf of Council, District staff, and the community: Welcome; we are looking forward to working with you.
These last two weeks I have been in Japan with the Sister City Delegation visiting Toyokoro. At 3,000 residents, our Sister City has a much smaller population than Summerland. The most noticeable similarity between the two communities is the agricultural economy, although Toyokoro’s is much larger.
Toyokoro is located on the island of Hokkaido, the northernmost and second largest island in Japan. It is separated from Honshu, the main island, by Tsugaru Strait; the two islands are connected by an undersea railway. The largest city on Hokkaido is Sapporo, the capital, with a population of almost two million. The Delegation, which included Summerland’s 2019/20 Royalty, spent several days in Sapporo before going to Toyokoro.
For decades, the Japanese and the Russians have had an ownership dispute over Sakhalin Island north of Hokkaido and the Kurile Islands located east and northeast of Sakhalin. The Ainu are the Indigenous people of Japan and live almost exclusively on the island of Hokkaido. Like Canada, Japan has adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples although, like Canada, it has not yet ratified ILO Convention No. 169 that speaks to securing rights and respecting differences of Indigenous and tribal peoples’ cultures and identities.
The best part of the trip for me was the three and one-half days we spent in Toyokoro. The three Royalty stayed with host families, and joined the rest of the Delegation for parts of the tours and events. The most interesting discussions I had were with the Mayor about how their local government works, and with one of the men who oversees the solar array installed a few minutes from the Toyokoro City Hall.
The Toyokoro local government consists of the Mayor (Mayor Miyaguchi), the Deputy Mayor, and nine Councillors. Currently, and for some time, all the elected officials are men. The Mayor and Councillors do not work together as a team; the Mayor makes all the decisions. If Councillors do not like the direction the Mayor is taking, or a project that is being proposed, they can try to persuade the Mayor to change his decision, but he is under no obligation to do so.
Local government is also in charge of the school system and the health system. They are not the jurisdiction of the Province as they are in B.C.
The Town of Toyokoro employs more than 100 people and has an annual budget of $50 million.
Just over five years ago, Toyokoro opened its privately-owned solar park. The park is located on 45 hectares of land that was previously owned by an airport operator and the town of Toyokoro. It consists of 84,000 fixed solar panels that produce 22 MW per year, which is enough energy for 8,200 households. (In comparison, Summerland’s solar array will have approximately 3,200 panels and produce 1 MW annually.) The energy is sold to the Hokkaido Electric Power Co. The project reduces CO2 emissions by an estimated 13,000 tons per year.
The solar array manager who spoke to us gave us some advice: Make sure there is enough room between the rows of panels to accommodate heavy snowfall. (He feels that there rows are too close together.)
I would like to thank Council for the opportunity to visit our Sister City. It was a fantastic trip, but I am very glad to be home!
The Summerland Chair, Toyokoro’s Mayor and I had the opportunity to talk about our Sister City relationship and we all agreed that it is time for it to evolve. Council will be having a discussion about this in due course.
Thank you, too, to Councillor Barkwill for chairing the Council meetings in my absence, and to Councillor Trainer for attending the RDOS meeting as Summerland’s alternate Director.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, August 12, 2019
Please join me in congratulating Tiana Ferlizza and Jessica O’Gorman, two 2019 SSS graduates who each received a Sharon Amos Legacy Fund for the Arts bursary. These awards go to students who are pursuing post-secondary education in the arts. Tiana and Jessica also represented Summerland as Princesses in 2018/19. Congratulations ladies!
Saturday, July 27th I opened the Summerland Horseshoe Tournament at Memorial Park. The tournament, hosted by the Summerland Horseshoe Club for the 63rd time, saw participants from throughout the Valley and one from Washington State. My thanks to Bill and Pat for giving me lessons earlier in the week to save me the embarrassment of not getting the shoes in the pit. It worked! Later that day, Ranger (my dog) and I attended the opening of the Pet Barn, cutting an enormous cake to celebrate the occasion.
The Summerland Community Arts Council is just over half-way through their Music in the Park concert series for this year. Bring a chair and a friend or two to enjoy free music every Wednesday evening throughout the summer.
Thursday, August 8th I attended the Summerland Healthy Community Initiative monthly meeting. Two community events, tentatively scheduled for October and November, will continue the spring 2019 Health Series. The first is on Vaping Awareness, the second on Radon Awareness. Dates and other details will be announced when confirmed.
Friday afternoon I attended Harry McWatters’ Celebration of Life in Penticton. Mr. McWatters was a driving force in the British Columbia and Canadian wine industry for more than 50 years, and he was known as the Grandfather of the British Columbia Wine Industry. In 1980, he founded Summerland’s Sumac Ridge Winery, the first estate winery in British Columbia and, at the time of his passing, was the founder and CEO of ENCORE Vineyards (Evolve Cellars in Summerland and TIME Winery & Kitchen in Penticton).
On behalf of Council and District staff, my thanks again to Ron Mattiussi who very capably filled the role of interim CAO since early May. It has been a pleasure to work with you and we wish you all the best in your next appointment, wherever that may be.
I am currently in Sapporo, Japan and will be here for several days before travelling with the Summerland Royalty and others to our Sister City, Toyokoro.
Toni J. Boot
Mayor’s Report, July 22, 2019
On July 12, Councillor Holmes and I attended the second Primary Care Network workshop. Also in attendance were a number South Okanagan-Similkameen elected officials, CAOs, family physicians, Interior Health and the SOS Division of Family Practice. The discussion, centred around working collaboratively on recruiting and retaining family physicians and nurse practitioners, continues in August.
On Sunday morning, July 14, I was up bright and early to volunteer for the 2019 GranFondo event. More than 2500 riders participated in the rides this year. The GranFondo is a fundraiser for the Axel Merckx Youth Development Foundation, a non-profit initiative established to help develop the future of Canada’s young cyclists.
Councillor Holmes and I also attended RDOS on Thursday. Two agenda items that may be of interest to Summerland residents:
- A presentation by RCMP Supt. Ted de Jaager shows a 320% increase in calls related to Mischief or Loss of Enjoyment on Property. I asked Supt. de Jaager about this jump and he stated that it is a combination of at least two factors: in January their system was changed to record EVERY call, even if investigation proves the call was unfounded; and it appears that people are watching out for each other and calling the police if they see suspicious behaviour. This is a good thing, and although it may lead to higher figures, the RCMP would like to continue receiving these calls.
- The RDOS is working with RDOS-area Indian Bands to host a Community to Community Forum in October. The agenda is still to be finalized, but the general theme is creating a Common Understanding. Princeton, RDOS Electoral Areas G and H, and the Lower Similkameen Indian Band recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding that commits the signatories to recognize the Indigenous culture and work collaboratively on economic and social development opportunities in the region.
Related to the second point, I am looking forward the District’s continuing work on developing a stronger relationship with the Penticton Indian Band. Most of Summerland also sits on unceded territory, and, like in the Princeton area, there are many opportunities for us to work together on initiatives.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, July 8, 2019
Many hours since our last council meeting were spent on working on the Request for Qualifications with staff and a Summerland consultant. This RFQ, submitted last Friday, is the first step in—we hope—securing provincial funding for the South Okanagan Food Innovation and Processing Hub. Should the District be selected, the Hub will be headquartered in Summerland and provide testing and product development services, food processing, and mentorship and guidance for entrepreneurs and agri-businesses.
Council and senior management spent time during the final week of June interviewing our shortlist of Chief Administrative Officer candidates. The District received many excellent applications and we are looking forward to working with our selected candidate. We expect to share the announcement with the public within the week.
On Wednesday, June 26th I attended the Eneas Creek open house. More on the remediation works identified as District priorities later in tonight’s agenda.
On Thursday, June 27th I attended the reception introducing and honouring the five Summerland area artists whose work were selected for the 2019 banner program. Works crews have posted banners along the entrances to Summerland and in the downtown core. If you missed participating this year, the call for submissions will be out again every spring from 2020 to 2023.
On Friday morning I attended the 2019 Summerland Secondary School graduation ceremony. This year, 110 young women and men received their Dogwood Diplomas. On behalf of Council, “congratulations!” We wish you each the very best in the years ahead.
July 1, I attended the Canada Day celebrations at Memorial Park. Dick Norris raised the flag at the beginning of the formal ceremony. Mr. Norris was the youngest crew member on his ship, and one of 150,000 soldiers who landed on Juno Beach on June 6, 1944. Thank you to the Summerland Legion and the Legion’s Ladies Auxiliary for organizing the celebration.
On Thursday, July 4th Councillor Holmes and I attended the RDOS meeting. The Board supported a C2C forum this fall with RDOS-area First Nations. Staff is working with the Bands to establish an agenda for the forum. The Board also selected a number of topics for Minister and/or Staff meetings for the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver at the end of September. Earlier today, council also had this discussion and we hope to schedule a number of meetings with Ministers and staff.
On the evening of July 4th I presented the provincial proclamation in support of Collector Car Appreciation Day and Month, then attended the opening of the Summerland Art Club’s new show, Razzmatazz, at the Arts and Cultural Centre.
I had a rare weekend off from mayoral duties and thoroughly enjoyed spending time in my garden and dining out with friends and family.
Lastly, I am pleased to welcome Sgt. Dave Preston to the Summerland RCMP detachment. We have been waiting patiently for his arrival and are glad to finally have him on board.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, June 10, 2019
Earlier this spring Council decided to contract with the Summerland Community Arts Council to administer the downtown banner program, an important piece of downtown beautification. On May 29, as the Council liaison to the District’s Cultural Development Committee, I had the pleasure of jurying the submissions for the 2019 banners. We were able to narrow the field to five selections and, beginning next month, you’ll be able to admire the artwork of local artists until Legion Remembrance Day banners take their place on downtown lamp standards.
Last Wednesday evening I attended the United Way Volunteer Appreciation event at Poplar Grove Winery. For the past three years I have volunteered at their Drive-Thru Breakfast, their major fundraiser for the year. Unfortunately, this year the event lands on the Thursday of UBCM, so I will be unable to participate.
On Friday, June 7 I welcomed the 24th annual Bluegrass Festival to Summerland at the District’s rodeo grounds. I had not realized what a big event this was: about 60 RVs surrounded the fenced competition area and there were fans and competitors from BC, Alberta and Washington State present. The cooler weather did not dampen their enthusiasm!
Yesterday morning, I had the pleasure of attending the Ceremonial Review of the Summerland 902 Nighthawks Air Cadet Squadron. The Cadets demonstrated their marching, public speaking, and range skills. There are eighteen 12 to 18-year-old Summerland boys and girls in the Squadron.
This morning I was invited to attend the presenting of eight Community Foundation of the South Okanagan (CFSO) Neighbourhood Grants. Congratulations to the eight recipients, each of whom are hosting a neighbourhood event ranging from an Amazing Race; to the rehabilitation of an area overgrown with invasive weeds; to a day learning about native bats and their important ecological role; to a Get to Know the History of Your Neighbourhood event. Each of the events includes food—the perfect way to bring neighbours together. Thank you to Kim English of CFSO and these eight community champions for their roles in supporting healthy neighbourhoods in Summerland.
Using grant funding, the District is updating our Community Action Plan and we want your input. Between 6 and 8 pm on Monday, June 17, drop into Council Chambers to share your vision for the future of environmental protection and climate action in Summerland.
Finally, a reminder of the grand opening of the Summerland SkatePark on Saturday, June 22 from 11 am to 2 pm. Meet Olympic Gold Medalist Justin Kripps at the celebration, while you enjoy music, watch professional demonstrations, and pick up free swag and giveaways.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, May 27, 2019
On Wednesday May 15 I spoke at the Summerland Chamber Luncheon. It was well attended and I thank the Chamber for the opportunity to bring their members up-to-date on this council’s plans and priorities for 2019. I look forward to bringing another update next spring. Several business leaders have contacted me since Wednesday. We know there are both issues and opportunities in Summerland, and the District looks forward to working together to find solutions and move on opportunities.
Thursday I attended the Make Water Work 2019 launch in Kelowna and made a personal pledge to continue to make efforts to reduce water consumption. As in the past, residents in all communities in the Okanagan Basin Water Board area are challenged to make their pledge. Let’s get those numbers up, Summerland! Make your pledge at makewaterwork.ca.
I spent Saturday on a tour through the Trout Creek Ecological Reserve, a Meadowlark Festival tour led by Summerland’s own Don Gayton. The Reserve is one of the first created in BC and is home to 135 plant species as well as an extensive list of bird species. Don spoke about the importance of grasslands and our dry forests, and how fire ecology maintains balance in natural environments.
Thursday was a full day at RDOS. Included in the agenda was a presentation to bring the new board up-to-date on the last many years of discussion on options for a regional composting facility in the RDOS region. Waste management is a complex topic that can be quite divisive. We can anticipate much more discussion in the upcoming months. We also had a discussion on the new ALC regulation that transfers decisions on cannabis processing facilities on ALR land to local governments. The District of Summerland planners will be reviewing our relevant bylaws and bringing amendments forward to council for discussion.
I ended the week with a meeting with the Premier and Minister Selina Robinson, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and others. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss the impacts of wildfire on our communities and give our thoughts on what is working and how the Province could better support us.
Later in the day I attended the announcement by Minister Robinson with the South Okanagan Women In Need Society (SOWINS). The Province has funded 12 permanent homes for women and their children who have left domestic violence. Later tonight I will be highlighting a piece of correspondence from the Minister about several funding streams for a variety of housing options. She and I had a short, but very informative talk on Friday about a number of potential housing opportunities that I will be sharing with council and staff in the upcoming weeks.
Please join Summerland residents and visitors at the Action Festival beginning Friday, including the Giant’s Head Walk/Run on Saturday hosted by our recreation staff. Councillor Erin Trainer will be filling in for me at ActionFest duties as acting mayor.
Speaking of activities, don’t forget this week is Bike to Work and School Week. Visit the “GoByBikeBC” website to register for a chance to win prizes.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, April 23, 2019
I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Easter weekend with friends and family.
Congratulations to Summerland resident Jacqueline Mansiere, who won the SD67 science fair with her project providing evidence that sound causes stress. Ms. Mansiere will travel to Fredericton next month to compete in the national science fair. All the best, Jacqueline!
On Friday, April 12 I attended two announcements made by Minister of Health Adrian Dix. The first was about the resources being put into a primary care network (PCN) in Penticton and the Martin Street Clinic; the second was the official opening of the David E. Kampe patient care tower at Penticton Regional Hospital. Mr. Kampe was on hand for the celebration; he is a remarkable philanthropist.
On Tuesday evening I attended a presentation at Centre Stage organized by SD67 and Summerland Healthy Community Initiative. Cannabis use can cause significant negative health impacts when used by youth up to age 25 because their brains are not fully developed before that time. Although thoughts on the medicinal health benefits of cannabis differed between the five speakers, they all agree about the dangers of vaping and cannabis use before 25.
Wednesday, April 24 I and three councillors attended the Eneas Creek update, organized by District staff. Three Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development staff, an Associated Engineering representative, and five District staff participated in the presentation and the question and answer session. Check the Eneas Creek Assessment on the District website or contact the District for more on your specific property. Please note that due to significant flood damage to the Peach Orchard Trail in 2018 and the threat of trees shifting or falling as the snowpack melts, the District has closed the trail because of public safety concerns.
At Thursday’s RDOS meeting Councillor Holmes and I enjoyed an excellent presentation by three members of the Agriculture Land Commission on the latest amendments to the ALC Act. Generally, the Commission is tightening the Act to increase protection for land in the Agricultural Land Reserve.
This morning the District received one of just fifty bottles of Maple Roch syrup made from maple trees located in Summerland. Thank you, Roch.
Most of next week will be spent at our local government association convention being held in Penticton. The convention is an excellent opportunity to network, learn, and vote on resolutions submitted by membership. Sessions this year include: responding to wildfire and flood risks; the provincial active transportation strategy; land readiness for investment; engaging youth in local government, and effective communication with First Nations neighbours, to name a few. I especially enjoy the education sessions and keynote speakers: there is always more to learn.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, April 8, 2019
The last two weeks have been very busy ones for me. On Tuesday, March 26 I attended the Chamber of Commerce AGM at the waterfront resort. After swearing in the new board of directors, I took in the Philosopher’s Cafe at the Arts and Culture Centre. The guest speaker, Dr. Lael Parrott with UBC, spoke about the importance of ecological connectivity and wildlife corridors and the work she is doing on the Okanagan Futures Project. Thanks go to Barbara Thorburn for organizing this interesting presentation.
The next morning, I joined City of Penticton councillors on a tour of the new David E. Kampe Tower at Penticton Regional Hospital, then enjoyed the Legacy Tea at the Legion commemorating 92 years of service by the Ladies Auxiliary of Branch 22.
I joined MP Richard Cannings and Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki bright and early on Thursday morning at Penticton Regional Airport. We were there to encourage passengers on Air Canada’s 6 am flight to Vancouver to fill out an online survey. Effective May 1, Air Canada is cancelling its early morning and late return flights. Although the survey is now closed, Mayor Vassilaki is continuing discussions with other airline options.
Later that morning the CAO and I drove to Peachland to attend Federal Minister Carolyn Bennett’s announcement about the one-time doubling of the community works gas tax. I had the opportunity to speak about how the District has used this funding in the past including, most recently, the Summerland Skatepark. Summerland will see an additional $553,000 transfer this year.
On Friday, March 29 I spent much of the day at Vernon City Hall reviewing resolutions submitted by municipalities and regional districts within our local government association. These 25 resolutions will be discussed and voted on at the convention late this month. Ones that are passed by the membership will go forward to UBCM in September.
Saturday evening it was my pleasure to present the Mayor’s Award of Excellence at the Chamber’s Community and Business Excellence Awards Gala to Summerland’s Emergency Social Services. This group, led for the past eight years by John Topham, has been especially busy these last two years supporting people who have been forced from their homes not only in Summerland, but in neighbouring communities. Our sincere congratulations to all the nominees and winners in the various categories. Many spoke about what an outstanding community Summerland is: It is their contributions—and those of everyone who lives here—that continue to make Summerland an even better place to live.
One of the principles in our strategic plan is to strengthen our relationship with First Nations. Last Monday I had my second meeting with the Penticton Indian Band; our next meeting will be a council to council meet and greet.
Last Tuesday and Thursday were spent in Coldstream and Kelowna attending the OBWB meeting and the Southeast District RCMP meeting respectively. Thank you, Councillor Trainer, for filling in for me at last Thursday’s RDOS meeting.
Our annual budget open house was held on Wednesday from 4 to 7. All departments participated with interactive exhibits and were available to answer questions. On behalf of council, thanks again to the CAO and her staff for all the time and hard work you put into presenting the budget in an interesting and engaging way.
This past Friday I spent the morning at the Community Climate Action Plan workshop with Councillors Holmes and Carlson and Tami Rothery, the District’s Sustainability and Alternate Energy Coordinator. Community stakeholders at the meeting included members of council’s Community Climate Action Advisory Committee, Interior Health, Fortis, and many others. We had productive discussions on the best way to build on our successes in the area of sustainability and alternative energy in order to achieve our reduced emissions targets.
Saturday I spent a few hours in Osoyoos attending First Things First Okanagan’s event at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery. The event, called Three Ways to Save the Planet, focused on electric vehicles, solar, and energy conservation. The organizers were very happy with the attendance; there was standing room only at the four formal presentations. I heard at this event and the workshop the day before that Summerland is seen by neighbouring communities as a leader in taking action on climate change.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, March 25, 2019
I am very pleased—and very proud—to begin my report tonight with huge congratulations to Summerland’s Pee Wee Rep team. After a week of round robin play in Lillooet last week, they won the BC Provincial Championship. Not only did they win gold, but they also brought home the Fair Play Award. This award is presented to the team that showed the highest level of sportsmanship and is chosen by officials and the executive who organized the provincial tournament as well as referees and linesmen.
This is the first time in Summerland Minor Hockey history that any team has won the BC Provincial Gold Medal and brought home the Provincial Championship banner. Congratulations, players, coaches, the SMHA, and parents: you represented us well and the whole town can be proud.
On Tuesday, March 12 I spoke to the Population Health group of Interior Health about housing in Summerland and how local government makes decisions on housing. I spent the evening at the SADI fundraiser held at Zia’s. It was every bit as fun as it always is, (although I was nervous to be on the auction block), and the fundraiser brought almost $21,000 to SADI.
Wednesday council and staff had another budget meeting and on Friday I flew to Edmonton for a few days to visit our grandbaby. Thursday, the 21st was an RDOS Board meeting day and Friday I spent the day in Peachland celebrating World Water Day by attending the 2019 Syilx Okanagan Water Forum. The day was focused on the Peachland Community Watershed, part of which also provides water to Summerland. My top takeaway from the day was that collaboration is key in protecting our watershed. We need to work with our partners including Okanagan Nation Alliance and the Province.
This past weekend I attended two Celebrations of Life: for May Lalonde and Bruce Johnson. Both were outstanding volunteers in their communities. May was one of the founding members of NeighbourLink and volunteered for years with the Summerland branch of the Canadian Cancer Agency. She worked as a nurse at the Summerland Hospital for many years. Bruce was raised in Penticton and also taught and worked as a principal. After retirement, Bruce was elected to SD67 and spent years tirelessly advocating for students throughout the district, including in Summerland. He, too, volunteered for the Canadian Cancer Agency for several years.
It’s hard to believe we are in the last week of March already! Spring is finally here: the snowdrops and crocuses are up and it won’t be long before our short but intense winter is forgotten.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, March 11, 2019
In 2017 the then council received grant funding to commission a report on the state of affordable housing in Summerland. The study, Affordable Summerland 2017, was presented to council after several months of conversations with the community and other stakeholders, and with District staff. This Report, as well as input from other organizations and agencies, is behind one of this council’s priorities: To support a diversity of housing options, including rental housing and attainable housing.
At our public meeting this afternoon, council adopted an OCP amendment to allow for an Affordable Housing—Administrative designation, as well as a zoning bylaw amendment redefining ‘cluster housing’. These amendments will facilitate the Alliance Church affordable housing development on North Victoria Road.
Related to land use, Summerland council has sent a resolution to the Southern Interior Local Government Association (SILGA) concerning lands in the Agricultural Land Reserve. The resolution speaks to the provincial government providing what is essentially a payment in lieu (of taxes) to local governments to cover the difference between property taxes assessed on farm status land and the taxes for residential properties. This resolution will be debated by SILGA members at our AGM next month.
On February 26 I was a guest at the Summerland Rotary meeting to hear about the Club’s current international project. Briefly, the club is assisting in the renovation of a school in Muraj, India. On behalf of council, I would like to repeat my thanks to Summerland Rotary for their service to this community and communities abroad.
Later that same day, Councillor Patan and I attended the 13th anniversary open house at the Seniors Village.
February 28 was a full day of budget discussions, which continues this Wednesday. On March 5, I attended the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) meeting, the Cultural Development Committee meeting, and an evening presentation at Centre Stage about the youth mental health program in Summerland schools.
On March 6 I was a jurist on a panel for one of the Chamber’s Business Excellence Awards. It was a great opportunity to hear more about the nominated local businesses and I was very impressed with the passion each business owner showed. I am looking forward to the Gala on March 30th when the finalists are announced. Congratulations to all nominees: our panel had a tough time choosing our category finalist, and I’ve heard that other panels had the same difficulty.
March 7 I and Councillor Holmes attended the RDOS meeting. The board adopted the 2019 budget, which will see a $9 increase to $113 for each household in Summerland. This amount is our share of regional services such as BC Transit, 911, and heritage conservation. I drove to UBCO later that day to attend the Beyond Climate film, a special screening sponsored by the OBWB and others. It was a beautiful, though alarming, documentary about climate change impacts on BC waters, both coastal and inland, including the Okanagan Basin.
Last Saturday I attended the open house at Swiss Solartech before heading to the Summerland Museum’s AGM. The Museum board had invited Brian Wilson of the Okanagan Historical Society to speak about the early 1900s arrival of European settlers and the first two decades of Summerland. I grew up in Summerland, so I know some more recent history, but this presentation on early 20th century history was very interesting.
This morning I joined Mayor Vassilaki and other south Okanagan mayors and City of Penticton staff to meet with Serge Corbeil, the Air Canada government relations representative for our region. This meeting was to discuss Air Canada’s decision to remove the early departure/late arrival (to and from Vancouver) from their schedule, as they introduce the Q400 aircraft to address the number of flights cancelled due to low cloud at the Penticton airport. Mr. Corbeil is interested in receiving data to the support anecdotal evidence; area Chambers of Commerce, through the City of Penticton, will be distributing a survey to business members and residents to provide input.
Respectfully submitted, Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, February 25, 2019
Council has reached the 100-day mark of this term. On behalf of council, this mayor’s report includes some of things we have accomplished in this timeframe. We started our term in November with council orientation sessions that are foundational to building a strong team and to preparing us for our strategic planning sessions that were held in early January. Council and senior management identified six themes: active lifestyles; infrastructure investment; good governance; community resilience; alternative energy; and downtown vibrancy. Prioritized initiatives fall into at least one of these themes—usually two or three.
Last week, after several months of work by senior management and staff, council started the 2019 budget process. This process continues over the next few weeks as we consider risks, service levels, and priorities. Budget sessions are open to the public and an open house is scheduled early in April.
Since our last council meeting on February 12, I have attended four events related to arts and culture: the Summerland Community Arts Council board meeting and its AGM last Saturday; an Elder book launch at the Penticton Art Gallery last Friday, and the OneWorld Festival at the Penticton Lakeside on Saturday. Council and I attended the Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards Nominees reception at the Waterfront Resort last Tuesday after an afternoon asset management policy discussion and before returning to the table for a budget session in the evening. Wednesday we spent another six hours on the budget. Both Thursday and Friday Councillor Holmes and I spent on RDOS duties. Thursday morning, we had an excellent governance workshop, followed by the regular RDOS meeting; Friday we had a full day of sessions that covered Emergency Management; Communications; Solid Waste Management, and Planning and Development. These sessions were all within the context of the regional district, but as a municipal director I also found them very informative.
A busy couple of weeks and more on the horizon.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, February 11, 2019
After more than a week of closure due to a landslide, early this morning the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure opened the Callan Road detour to allow traffic a route around the slide area. I would like to thank District staff for making arrangements to either stay in Summerland last week or drive the 201 forest service road to get to work. Also, thank you to our public safety staff for ensuring that emergency access was available to the two residences on Callan Road during the closure. Overall, Summerland residents have shown patience and understanding as Ministry crews worked to ensure the safety of all travellers. At this time, we do not have an estimated date on when Highway 97 will re-open; your continued patience is appreciated.
Despite the highway closure, the UNISIS Open House of Saturday, February 2 was well attended. Councillor Doug Patan and I were able to tour the renovated school and meet the new senior school principal. The first phase of the dormitory building is expected to be completed in time for Canadian and international students joining the school this fall.
I attended the Fall Fair AGM on February 5th. The Fair reopened in 2018 after a three-year hiatus and was very well received. I’d like to thank the many community volunteers who revived this celebration of Summerland agriculture with such success. Special thanks to Margaret Holler, who is passing off a revitalized event to others to carry it forward.
Tuesday and Thursday were full days with the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) board meeting on Tuesday and another full day meeting at RDOS on Thursday. Four of us in the south attended the OBWB meeting by webinar, due to the highway closure.
On Friday night I enjoyed the Summerland Arts Council and Montessori School fundraiser called “Sweet Nothings”. The entertainment, desserts and beverages were much enjoyed, as were the two pieces of art by Summerland artists I brought home from the silent auction portion of the evening. They will grace the walls of my office.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report January 14, 2019
I hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe holiday season and Happy 2019 to you all.
On January 3, Councillor Holmes and I attended the first RDOS meeting of the new year. The 2019 budget passed first reading and the RDOS Manager of Finance will be presenting at the Committee of the Whole meeting next Monday, January 21st. This meeting begins at 1:30 and is open to the public.
The RDOS board also approved the conservation projects recommended by the technical advisory committee of the South Okanagan Conservation Plan. Five of the approved projects are within Summerland’s boundaries.
Council and senior management met Thursday evening (January 10th) and all day Friday to work on strategic planning. I found it to be very valuable for prioritizing both the projects that are currently underway and those that Council have highlighted for 2019. There is more work to do in strategic planning, including the budget component which is already underway.
In the afternoon of January 10 I attended the Water Stewardship Council meeting in Kelowna. This group is the technical advisory committee for the Okanagan Basin Water Board. There was a good cross-section of people representing groups interested in water including cattlemen, farmers, provincial staff, OBWB directors and staff, UBCO, water purveyors, and water consultants. We enjoyed a very informative presentation on the Columbia Water Treaty including and truncated update on the ongoing treaty negotiations with the United States. I was particularly pleased to hear that First Nations, for the first time, have a seat at the negotiation table alongside BC Hydro, the province, and the federal government. Round 5 of the negotiations is being held in Washington D.C. at the end of next month.
This Thursday after the RDOS meeting in Penticton I will head to Kelowna to attend the Okanagan Sustainability Leadership Council meeting. We will be working on selecting four or five projects to pursue in 2019. I should have an update for you in my next report.
The Summerland Chamber is calling for nominations for their Business Excellence Awards and Community Awards. Visit the Chamber’s website to submit your nominations. Also, the first Chamber business after business for 2019 is being hosted by the Summerland Review at their office. On January 24 from 4:30 to 7 pm.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report December 10, 2018
Thanks are extended to the Summerland Chamber of Commerce and the many sponsors, volunteers, and District staff who made the 31st annual Festival of Lights such a success last Friday. The fireworks, sponsored by the Summerland & District Credit Union were spectacular. All the extra planning that went into the activities in Memorial Park made the event that much more enjoyable for families: they even had their own light-up ceremony. Well done everyone! For those who are wondering: the timing of the end of our national anthem with the Light-Up countdown clock hitting 00:00 was perfectly planned. (Not.)
On December 1 I enjoyed a delicious breakfast served by our Summerland Fire Department as part of their annual Toys and Toonies for Tots and Teens fundraising event. The event was very well attended; the generosity of Summerland citizens was demonstrated yet again. Thank you, Alison, for hosting this fundraiser at Second Home.
Council spent Monday afternoon with our Director of Finance and Works and Utilities staff looking at rates for our three utilities: water, sewer, and electrical. It is sobering to see the gap between existing reserves and the funds required to address upcoming infrastructure expenditures. More on utility rates later in tonight’s agenda.
On Wednesday, BC Transit presented Summerland options for the new regional service that will connect Penticton to Kelowna beginning in September 2019. This additional route will do more than connect the south Okanagan to Kelowna; it will also connect the Similkameen Valley to Penticton and all RDOS residents to West Kelowna who are travelling on to Vancouver.
On Wednesday, I and most of council attended the Chamber of Commerce annual Christmas reception held this year at Second Home. Thank you, Chamber Board and staff, Jordan and Tyler with Lightning Rock Winery; and Alison and staff at Second Home for a wonderful evening.
On Thursday Councillor Holmes and I attended the first regular committee and board meetings of the new RDOS board. With Area D splitting into two electoral areas (D and I), there are now 19 directors around the table. I have been appointed to the Okanagan Basin Water Board; Councillor Holmes will speak to his appointments. Thursday evening, I attended the Trails, Cycling Network and Sidewalks Master Plans open house at the arena banquet room. If you were unable to attend and wish to provide your input, the online survey on the Summerland.ca website is open until December 13.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report November 26, 2018
The last two weeks have been busy ones for council and the next two promise to be the same.
Councillor Holmes and I attended two days of orientation at the Regional District two weeks ago and a full day budget session last week. There are two significant Regional District items of interest to Summerland residents in 2019: the BC Transit bus linking us to Kelowna, and the opening of the new facility at the Penticton Regional Hospital. Speaking of the PRH, I was elected vice chair of the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital Board.
On November 14, councillors Holmes, Patton, and Barkwill and I attended an information session regarding the Eneas Creek flooding and resulting property damage this year. Staff from Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations and Emergency Management BC joined District staff to answer questions and engage with affected homeowners. We are expecting the Eneas Creek risk and hazard assessment by the end of December.
On November 21, I attended a meeting of the Southern Interior Local Government Association executive in Coldstream, then stopped in Kelowna to attend a Community Water Forum. The forum focused on BC’s action plan to the 108 recommendations in the Abbott/Chapman report on fire and floods released in the summer. One of the actions underway is the new $50-million Community Resiliency Investment Program for FireSmart and emergency planning initiatives. Item 12.1 on tonight’s agenda concerns a District grant application to this Program.
The damage caused by Eneas Creek and the Mt. Eneas wildfire to both private and public property are just two examples of how climate change is impacting Summerland. As this council moves into strategic planning in January, climate change mitigation and adaptation measures may be considered along with many other potential initiatives and projects. It will be exciting to plan for the next four years, but it will also be difficult. There is a limit on staff capacity and financial resources. First, we must carefully decide which of the growing number of projects are priorities and then plan accordingly.
Council looks forward to celebrating with you at the 31st annual Festival of Lights starting at 5pm this Friday evening.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report November 13, 2018
On Saturday night, Councillor Carlson, Councillor Patan, and I attended the Diwali ceremony at the Hindu Temple in Trout Creek. Light is an integral part of Diwali, representing the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. It was a night of music, ceremony, lights, colour, and delicious traditional food.
I was honoured to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day on behalf of the District of Summerland. It was wonderful to see such a large crowd of people remembering and honouring those who died fighting for the freedoms we enjoy today.
As the sun was setting, I attended a 100 Bells of Peace ceremony at the Catholic Church. This event included the bell being struck 100 times to mark the number of years that have passed since the end of World War I. Then, I joined over 150 people for a turkey dinner at the Legion. Thank you to the Summerland Legion Branch 22 for organizing the special memorial events of this day, the Catholic Church for hosting the Bells of Peace ceremony, and the other Summerland churches that also rang their bells in remembrance.
The week ahead is very busy. Council orientation sessions continue tomorrow and both Thursday and Friday are full days at Regional District with the Board’s inaugural meeting and orientation sessions.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report October 9, 2018
As this council closes out its term I would like to touch on a few of the highlights of the past four years.
This council was able to have a fresh start and reassess priorities for the community. Council’s role is to set direction on a number of fronts and put the tools in place to achieve those goals. We set policy to guide the efforts of council and give the administration the wherewith-all to achieve those goals for the community. To that end we required an effective operations leader and one that can guide council. CAO Linda Tynan was selected for that role.
We felt that there were key areas of concern for the community that needed a strong focus. Infrastructure, the liveability of the community, the arts, the economy and a strengthening of our administrative functions.
Within the first four months we set the urban growth boundary and the accompanying official community plan changes. This gave the community the ability to guide and set certainty for community development.
A key for guiding our infrastructure efforts, was the need for an asset management plan, to determine priorities of need, and assist council in planning for funding requirements into the future. We applied for and received $372,000 for our Integrated Asset Infrastructure Investment Plan, through the Gas Tax Strategic Priorities fund, this project is now virtually complete.
But some basic infrastructure needs required immediate attention. The Garnet Valley water separation and road work, a 6.3 million project was completed in 2017.
The PVR 10 project was brought forward in 2016. Intense planning was mandatory as a shutdown of water service to the community was required. The community in the end experienced little loss of service. Communication with residents was key and proceeded flawlessly.
Another basic need was upgrading and redundancy in our sewage treatment plant. The 3.2-million-dollar Grit Removal and Effluent project was moved forward with 83% grant funding and is now complete.
To enhance the communities’ resiliency and sustainability, council took advantage of the B.C. Rural Dividend fund to explore opportunities in support of the Integrated Solar Project. We proceeded and received $6 million from the Federal Gas Tax grant project to move ahead on the large Solar Array and Battery Project. This will integrate with our own electric utility and opens a host of options for the community.
Along a similar green vein, we have moved to change all our street lighting to LED lighting and save the District approximately $72,000per year. This project will be fully completed by mid-October this year.
As the community moves forward we will proceed with the $3.2 million water intake and flume project, another essential infrastructure element for the community.
The engineering work to upgrade Giant’s Head Road is complete, a $6,000,000 funding request was not approved, but the project is shovel ready to apply for future funding, or another financial path.
Since this council started its term, advancement of the arts and the community’s liveability was critical to balance and advance the residents life experience. The Arts Council, with support of our community co-ordinator worked hard and completed the Cultural Plan, which led to a $250,000 Gaming Capital Grant, matched with $250,000 committed from the District for renovations to our old library to bring about a new Arts and Cultural Center. The Arts and Cultural Center Project Manager is now in place and began working in the last weeks. This is all part of council’s effort to revitalize and move the arts forward.
Other projects that mesh well with renewed efforts in the arts, was the development of our Parks and Recreation Master Plan and the Giant’s Head Trail Masterplan. These plans are completed and are moving ahead. The total financial commitment for the Giant’s Head trails project was $725,000, $190,000 from the District and $100,000 from the Rotary Club and $435,000 from the Rural Dividend Fund.
Other major cycling initiatives were completed, including the barriered pathway along Highway 97 between Lower Town and Trout Creek. Also, a cycling link was put in place between the ball fields and Sinclair Avenue, as well as cycling margins on the new Garnet Valley Road.
The Skatepark is another activity and lifestyle project, this time for the youth of the community. This project was enabled by a $125,000 gift from the Penny Lane Society and the funding by the District and will be completed on time this fall.
A mayor’s Task Force on economic development was initiated in late 2015. With the receipt of a $100,000 grant from the Rural Dividend Fund, Consultant Andreas Boehm was hired to carry out a wayfinding project for Summerland signage. Signs are going up as we speak, and the task will be completed in the next two weeks. Another major project was initiating the Agri-Tech Innovation Center that will help grow opportunities particularly for value added industry in the agriculture sector.
All these projects moved forward while floods on our creeks and lakeshore compounded by forest fires strained our capacity in both 2017 and 2018. Safety of residents and property is an administration’s highest priority. Our staff and especially our Fire Department dealt with very complex situations, requiring the very best communication efforts to alleviate the concerns of residents.
All these priorities and projects were very visible to the public, but what has not likely been noticed is the exceptional improvements required in administration. Major upgrades were undertaken in finance, our IT department to upgrade systems and capacity, planning and development has seen great improvement with new and additional staff. There have also been significant changes in Public Works and Engineering to streamline responsibilities. This work is foundational for all areas of the administration.
As I close I would like to say that we certainly achieved a great deal, especially in the areas a I mentioned earlier. It has been rewarding and at times challenging, but it has been an honour to serve the community as both Councillor and Mayor.
Mayor Peter Waterman
Acting Mayor's Report September 24, 2018
Council attended the annual UBCM convention in Whistler from September 10 to 14.
As acting mayor, and on behalf of council and our CAO, I can safely say it was a very productive week. Council met with ministers and provincial staff to speak about matters of concern and to ensure we stay top-of-mind on a proposals and funding requests.
Mayor Waterman appointed council presenters on various topics, aligning the particular interests and knowledge of each councillor to the topic being discussed. Our MLA, Dan Ashton, accompanied council to most of the meetings.
Briefly, our meetings included:
- Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development staff and Emergency Preparedness BC to thank them for their responsive approach during the emergency with theflooding of Aeneas Creek. Requested that EMBC and review their funding policies and work with local governments on mitigation works.
Minister Trevena, (Transportation and Infrastructure) about extension of the lakeside pathway from Trout Creek to Penticton.
Minister Popham (Agriculture) about the work Summerland has completed and our readiness to locate the proposed Okanagan Agriculture Innovation Centre in Summerland.
Minister Robinson (Municipal Affairs and Housing) about Green Infrastructure funding for Trout Creek flume and intake upgrades and the value that the new funding programs announced at UBCM will be for our community.
Minister Donaldson (Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development) - council had the opportunity to speak about the need for the District of Summerland and the provincial government to work together to assist property owners in mitigation and recovery in regard to Eneas Creek. Also discussed funding application for Ag Sector Development Strategist (5th intake Rural Development). Also spoke again of recovery and mitigation funding policies.
Some meetings included more than one provincial ministry or agency. This is a very helpful because many of the topics we presented are relevant to more than more than one ministry.
Our CAO, Linda Tynan, led two meetings with staff in addition to attending and providing additional input at all other meetings. (Infrastructure funding programs and Rural Dividend application).
Not able to pass up the opportunity, Council had the opportunity for individual conversations with the Premier while we were there. Coercing him with some of Councillor Carlson's fresh cherries, the Premier promised to make a visit to the area 'soon'. (Councillor Carlson needs to bake a cherry pie, though!)
Respectfully submitted, Acting Mayor
Mayor’s Report August 27th, 2018
Two weeks from now, council will be attending the Union of British Columbia Municipality convention. It is an excellent opportunity to lobby officials to deal with concerns that the municipality is facing. This year, we are focussed on issues around flooding, affordable housing, infrastructure, Agriculture Technology among others. We meet staff, Ministers where applicable and possible, as well as discuss similar concerns with other Mayors and Councillors.
We will be having a joint meeting with the Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations, and Rural Development primarily to discuss issues around creek access problems we have encountered during flooding of Aeneas Creek the last two springs.
We will also be meeting with the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure to discuss the Lakeshore Pathway. Council would like to discuss funding and timelines as this is an important aspect of cycling tourism and commuter transit.
A key aspect of the Summerland Economic Development Initiatives Project has been the development of a Regional Ag-Tech Innovation Center and we will be meeting with the Minister of Agriculture to discuss the opportunities to move this forward. This has been one of the outcomes of the Mayor’s Task Force on the Economy.
We will also be meeting with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Affordable Housing, particularly around infrastructure funding and the Ag-Tech Innovation Center.
We are waiting for a response to our requests for various meetings with Ministry staff and the Premier.
UBCM is always a busy week but very important for the municipality.
Mayor’s Report August 13th, 2018
Last week we had a delegation of students and officials from our Sister City of Toyokoro. They arrived after a long flight, and we had a welcome reception where we greeted the students and Toyokoro city officials and exchanged gifts. We received some lovely scrolls and other gifts that will be on display to compliment gifts received from previous delegations. The eight girls and one boy were very impressive, and each had memorized a short piece about themselves. This reception was the only event that I was able to attend, and other councillors will have some additional news of their visit.
I would like to thank the Sister City Committee for their dedication and hard work in seeing that our guests were well taken care of. In addition, I would like to extend a special thanks to Karen Jones who did all the preparations, decorating and organization at city hall.
Another thank you is in order as well. I would like to applaud our landscaping crew for the wonderful work that they have done through out the Municipality. The round-abouts in particular are looking spectacular, so thank you to our crews for taking such professional care and adding to the beauty that makes our town great for residents and visitors alike.
Mayor Peter Waterman
Mayor's Report July 23, 2018
Our community and resources have been tested again. The Aeneas fire has been a major event and I would like to first thank all the first responders – the fire fighters, both our own crews and the forestry fire fighters, and of course the RCMP who have handled all the security aspects and emergency notifications. John Topham and his volunteers have done an incredible job at the Emergency Support Service Center.
This fire involved CORD, Ministry of Forests Lands and Resources and Rural Development, the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen and of course the District of Summerland and Peachland. When the fire jumped our borders Fire Chief Glenn Noble and Deputy Fire Chief Rob Robinson set our apparatus into gear. I can’t say enough about how they and their crews engaged to deal with the threat to Summerland.
I would like to say that CAO Linda Tynan and all the management staff really stepped up and kept our EOC center running efficiently.
As well I would like to thank all the affected residents, everybody has been understanding as well as being very helpful assisting neighbours.
Hopefully things will settle down, but everybody will remain vigilant as we go through this hot dry period.
Mayor Peter Waterman
Mayor’s Report July 9th 2018
This is a bit of an announcement – to let council and the public know that I will not be seeking re-election in this coming fall municipal election.
I have been heavily involved now for 13 years and participated in four municipal elections during that time. There are a lot of personal pursuits that I would like more involvement in- the biggest is my four grand children, two of which have arrived during this last term. In addition, I need the time to go back to some my early roots drawing and other artwork, fly fishing and fly tying, as well as a little golf here and there.
My time in municipal politics has been both very rewarding and challenging with a reasonable dose of frustration thrown in, which is all part of the job.
In the near future, I will go into some depth on the successes of this Council and how much our choices have impacted the community.
Mayor Peter Waterman
Mayor’s Report June 25th 2018
Like many others who pay some attention to the state of world affairs, I have become alarmed at the rise of authoritarianism throughout the world. Populist leaders throughout the world have risen to prominence and are threatening democracy. Hence a recent headline in the Economist entitled “How Democracy Dies”. In this article examinations of indices of the health of democracy show “alarming deterioration since the financial crisis of 2007-08”. One study by the Economist Intelligent Unit (a sister firm of the Economist) showed 89 countries regressing in 2017 with only 27 improving. There are several definitions of “Populism”. One sees it as a political strategy in which a charismatic leader appeals to the masses while sweeping aside institutions. The range of issues crosses the ideological spectrum from the extreme right wing to the far left.
Through the 1930’s during and after the great depression, Hitler rose to power using the power of fear and rhetoric to push aside democratic norms.
In the United States, the President has unleashed vigorous attacks on the judiciary system, the press and the security system as well as the rhetoric of fear to debase and dehumanize minority groups. President Trump’s outrageous hyperbole and trashing of world order is unprecedented and is very disturbing. As far as some are concerned these are the first steps towards authoritarian rule. I was shocked at the power of executive orders issued by the President, but article two of the U.S. constitution vests executive power in the President, which gives him the power to oversee and direct various aspects of the executive branch, but he must not act in opposition to the law. The checks and balances built into the system should preserve the democratic system, but only if individuals and government bodies have the courage to address such overreach.
I believe that President Trump’s rhetoric, has lowered the bar to what now seems the norm for civility, misinformation and facts and what is accepted in the public realm.
This approach to discussion and communication has spread. Anybody now uses social media to quickly and effectively spread misleading and false information to pressure larger community groups and elected officials. Individuals and groups can feel intimidated from speaking their opinions, business groups feel threatened and will not speak out for fear of boycotts. This is also called bullying on an individual and a community-wide basis.
These activities threaten democratic process and effective, honest open discussion. When this occurs, the whole community loses.
Mayor’s Report May 28th 2018
We are launching into an exciting period for Summerland as Action Fest kicks off. Its always a huge event. There is a great commitment to entertainment throughout the whole weekend. The park is a great place to sit back and relax and enjoy the many talented performers. The Man of Steel event is special for families and hardcore athletes. My kids started their tri careers here and kept coming back year after year. The slo-pitch is massive as always. Also, remember the parade which is a center piece at 10:00 am Saturday. Our downtown will be humming. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pat Bell and the rest of the Action Festival committee for another great weekend.
I would like to thank staff for all their extra effort in dealing effectively with and staying on top of flooding in the community. I’m not sure that everybody realized that if a strong, fast, and effective effort had not taken place with the issues on Aeneas creek, especially on Garnett Avenue, we could easily have had flooding occur in the downtown area.
Our CAO will have an update on the Okanagan Lake levels, but lakeshore property owners have been reinforcing their docks in anticipation of potential high water and wave action.
Mayor Peter Waterman
Mayor’s Report May 14, 2018
First, I would like to express my concerns for all the home owners that have been affected by recent flooding. It is a tremendous workload to protect homes, property and livestock.
I would like to thank our CAO Linda Tynan and all the staff for all their hard work over the last several weeks. The flooding that has occurred so far has required diligence to avoid serious damage to District infrastructure. Unfortunately, the hot weather of the last week is not over and continued vigilance will be required over the next weeks. There isn’t any department that is not affected.
I would like to thank Councillor Carlson for stepping up and taking part in the VE Celebrations. Later, at the evening dinner, the executive of the Legion had great praises for her participation.
On May 4th I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Neighbourlink breakfast at the Summerland Seniors Village. This dedicated organization of volunteers provides the personal contact of helping people, neighbours helping neighbours, and people helping friends and strangers. It is an organization creating a web of assistance in a world that can leave people feeling very disconnected.
I would like to thank Mirjana and the neighbourhood-link organization for all that they do for the community.
The 2018 Blossom Pageant was another great success this year thanks to the Summerland Royalty Committee. I would like to give our sincere thanks to Miss Summerland Chloe Knowles, and Princesses Emma Fetterer, and Trista Algar for their excellent representation of Summerland over the last year.
Mayor Peter Waterman
Mayor’s Report April 23, 2018
Summerland has just completed another successful earth week. I believe that Summerland is the only community that takes this celebration past Earth Day and makes it a full week of diverse activities covering a wide range of topics that offers something for everybody’s interest on the community. There was the Pre-Event April 14th ”Treasures not Trash” – Stash Bash and Appraisal Day at the Summerland Arts Center and the Summerland Museum. An Energy Efficiencies tour at the Summerland arena, a Creating Climate Resilient Landscapes for the Okanagan, with Allison Peatt, and Eva Antonijevic at the Summerland Arts Center.
Along with Henry Seilman, the Chair of the Trail of the Okanagans Society, we celebrated the unveiling of the Cycling Hub, the latest addition to Summerland’s cycling infrastructure. This is a bike repair station and cycling map showing the various trail networks and trail heads. In addition, wayfinding beacons are now installed at all the trail heads and at the central hub. A special thanks to the sponsorship and dedication of the Trail of the Okanagans Society, as well as the District of Okanagan Similkameen, and the Summerland Chamber of Commerce for assistance in preparing maps and making copies available. With this addition Summerland can become a cycling destination.
On another note, it is great to see spring finally coming but with current snow-packs in the Okanagan it may be a double-edged sword. All communities including Summerland are gearing up to handle an anticipated major run-off.
Our sympathies go out for those who have already experienced problems with very saturated soils. Lake levels have been drawn down to historic lows to have the capacity to meet the anticipated inflows. Communities have been preparing with sandbags and other preparation.
Mayor's Report April, 9, 2018
Council and I would like to thank our Director of Development Services, Dean Strachan for his service over the last year. Dean is leaving this Friday for a position a little closer to home. Dean’s ability to capture a huge volume of information and detail was especially valuable to the community. We wish him well as he moves to a new position.
The recent and ongoing wet weather has made life difficult for some residents and our concerns go out especially to those two families that have been under an evacuation order over the last week or so. Our staff continue to work hard dealing with situations as they come up. These unfortunate events happen anytime, and staff has been there to assist affected residents.
The SSS Grad Class has been busy this last week delivering phone books all over the community. They are raising more funds for dry grad this year. As part of that effort I was the proud recipient of a large bouquet of flowers in a yellow vase shaped just like a toilet. My gift was delivered in the dead of night last Thursday by the “toilet fairy”. I purchased “toilet insurance” for $30.00 to ensure that I don’t receive this hilarious gift again. I re-gifted the bouquet to high school teacher Mr. Dave Stathers. Please phone 250-487-9133 for all your plumbing needs to help the Dry Grad efforts this year.
Earth Week takes place April 16 – 22. Earth Week celebrations are family events to help raise awareness and inspire environmental action. Please visit the website for details on the many events taking place next week.
And lastly, our concerns and sympathies go out to the families, players of the Humboldt Broncos and residents of Humboldt Saskatchewan after the horrific crash that occurred last Friday night.
Mayor Peter Waterman
Mayor’s Report March 26, 2018
A week and a half ago I attended the spring Mayor’s Caucus in Squamish. It is an opportunity to discuss common issues affecting our communities.
Several major topics were discussed, including the ongoing opiod crisis, Marijuana regulations, and the rural urban divide.
The opiod crisis was addressed by Dr. Tyndall, a professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health, and Deputy Provincial Health Officer. He stated that 1500 people died last year in B.C., and there were over 20,000 911 calls. The crisis is reaching our communities, with deaths and overdoses occurring in the Okanagan.
Some of the drivers are HIV, HEP C, homelessness, sex worker use, mental illness, and overdose. These are intertwined, and we have really failed to address these drivers. One of the keys moving forward is to align law enforcement with public health to learn how to deal with issues instead of criminalizing and stigmatizing.
We discussed the upcoming federal legislation – The Cannabis Act (Bill- C45) which will establish several federal regulations, such as distribution, minimum age for purchase, personal cultivation and possession, and criminal penalties. It will also establish a national tracking system, regulate standards, licence producers, and will regulate edibles within 12 months of Bill C-45 coming into force.
Bill C-46 will amend the criminal code for impaired driving, will create new offences for having specified levels in blood within 2 hours of driving, and provide regulatory authority to approve roadside oral fluid screening devices.
Timing of the regulations will depend on when parliament passes the legislation.
Another significant topic, was the implications of the rural- urban divide. In the larger urban settings there is a shift taking place, from a materialist approach to a post - materialist approach. The materialist approach is one of being concerned about more basic requirements, such as economic growth and infrastructure management. The post – materialist approach is more lifestyle oriented. There is a blend of both thoughts in both urban and rural areas. I believe we are seeing a clashing of approaches taking place when we need to unify and find a balance to generally improve and recognize each other’s needs for the betterment of our communities.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson stated that social media is not helping to unify people, but rather, is creating a division through misinformation.
Andrew Coyne of the National Post (in a column March 23, 2018) said that the pessimists might be right, that social media may have plunged us into a new dark age. Many commentators have concluded that social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google are more a force for harm than good. There is a coarsening of debate with the spread of false information, and conspiracy theories.
The Cambridge Analytical scandal involving 50 million Facebook accounts has contributed to a rising sense of alarm over the effects of social media- on human behavior and civil discourse.
Unfortunately, we are seeing this take place in communities like Summerland, where social media is sometimes used to bias and inflame discussion. False information and exaggerations create unnecessary divisions, and costs the community emotionally and financially.
Mayor Peter Waterman
Mayor’s Report March 12, 2018
The last two weeks have had some significant highlights. Saturday March 3, was the Summerland Chambers 80th Annual Awards Gala. The Chamber did an excellent job. The move to hold the event in the theater has proven again to be a wonderful venue. Brodo provided a full range of appies, Bruce Crawford, background music and Kinshira not only did a fantastic on-stage light performance but also provided a walk-about light performance during the reception. Put together, the result was a very sophisticated and entertaining evening. Chamber President Erick Thompson was a great MC whose sense of humour made the evening lively.
I had the distinct pleasure of awarding the Mayor’s Award of Excellence to the Summerland Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. The Legion is heavily involved in many community functions and I felt the award was well deserved.
This past Thursday and Friday 120 grade 4 and 5 students from Giant’s Head Elementary did a field trip to Municipal Hall. Students were chosen to be the Mayor and Councillors, the CAO, Corporate Officer, Director of Public Works, CFO, and Director of Planning. We ran through opening the meeting, etc. I prepped each student with the necessary phrases to move a meeting along. The students had a great time delivering their reports. The rest of the class were the “public” and had the opportunity to make comments to the council and staff.
The community was awarded $6 million in federal Gas Tax funding for our solar array and battery storage project. A prefeasibility study was done last year to make the application. This funding will allow for the full feasibility work plus putting the array in place and connecting it to our grid.
It is a great first step and will provide 1 MW of solar power and 2 MW of battery storage. This will provide 1/93 of the 93-gigawatt hours that the community uses, moving towards greater resiliency and sustainability.
Mayor Peter Waterman
Mayor’s Report February 26, 2018
First, I would like to welcome Nicole Cressman who is now taking on the duties of Manager of Legislative Services. Welcome!
This coming Saturday is the 80th annual Summerland Business and Community Excellence Awards. Each year the Summerland Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala, celebrating individuals and businesses who have contributed to the fabric and growth of our community.
As part of the Gala, as Mayor, I will have the distinct pleasure of awarding the Mayor’s Award Excellence to a deserving community organization.
On behalf of Council and our community I would like to express how proud we are of Justin Kripps, Canadian Olympic champion. Justin, who grew up in Summerland, tied for gold at the Olympics in the two-man Bobsled race. He also had a great run in the four-man Bobsled race. Once Justin arranges to come back for a visit, Summerland will have a congratulatory celebration.
On another front, council is into budget deliberations at this time.
Mayor Peter Waterman
Mayor's Report for January 22, 2018
This past Saturday the arena banquet room was over-flowing with friends and family to commemorate the life of Klaus Kahl. Klaus came to Summerland in 1993 and bought Valley West Automotive from the Haverkamps. Through my long list of VWs’, I had a great relationship with Klaus, from two Beetles, a Rabbit, a Vanagon, a turbo Golf and later a succession of Subarus. The Subarus qualified for Klaus’s attention as they were “foreign” vehicles. Klaus almost always had a loaner we could borrow. Since all our vehicles were purchased in various states of newness, they received Klaus’s and his mechanics devoted attention. Klaus received several calls from me from the “Coq” (the connector), the Hope Princeton and once just outside of Whistler to the tune of “Klaus what do I do now- do you think it will be able to limp to your shop?”
I only knew Klaus through my frequent vehicle visits, but many of his friends and family and many close community friends attested to his love of family and his two boys and to his love of speed in cars or motorcycles hence Bridgette Haverkamp’s name for him as Close Kahl.
Klaus’s kindness and generosity, touched a great many people in the community, he was straight forward, accurate and honest in business and personally. In the last decade or so he suffered from Parkinson’s but carried on at full speed, but it finally proved too much. I will miss his friendly face.
Mayor’s Report for January 8, 2018
We are now entering our planning and budgeting period. Council’s strategic plan for the coming year will drive our budget. Those plans will be prioritized within our means that include necessary tax increases, reserve funds, potential funding opportunities, and ultimately will determine whether any borrowing is advised.
As you may know we are in the middle of an infrastructure or asset management study. Ultimately the results will tell us the physical status of roads, pipes in the ground (water and sewer) and buildings. Based on these results council will understand the priority of need and costs to renovate or replace infrastructure. A time frame will be developed as to when projects need to be completed with the financial requirements.
Many of the projects we want to do are in the range of millions of dollars. To put things in perspective, a 1% property tax increase provides approximately $74,000.
As a home owner, many of the aspects of planning and budgeting are alike although much less complex than the planning and budgeting for the municipality. Most of us still must set money aside for major items such as a roof, appliances, and amongst others, vehicle replacement, over and above our day to day expenses. There are very few options for most of us to increase income flows, most planning involves cutting expenses or reallocating dollars. Municipalities are not that much different.
Communities like Summerland primarily have a residential tax base at approximately eighty three percent. The balance is mostly industrial. Like most communities in Canada we are currently in an infrastructure deficit. That means we have not renovated assets at their replacement date; it is extremely difficult to make a dent in projects such as road remediation where the costs range from 6 to 10 million dollars. Our Garnet Valley Road and water separation project was in the order of 6.3 million. We applied and received 66.7 % of the total cost through a Federal/Provincial grant. In addition, we have been very aggressive, and successful concerning applications for many projects. Our Grit removal project at our waste water treatment facility was valued at 3.2 million. We had applied for funding for this project twice and failed, we finally were successful and the project is now near completion.
What this says is that we can’t always depend on grants, our only other option is to increase our income either through increases in property and utility taxes or to expand our tax base, or other income streams. This is extremely difficult to do, we recognize that many of our residents can only manage the minimum in property and utility tax increases.
Essentially, we have our work cut out for us for the next few months.
Mayor’s Report November 27, 2017
Well, the Chamber did it again, the 30th annual Festival of Lights was outstanding. I would like to congratulate Chamber Manager Christine Petkau, her staff and Chamber President Erick Thompson and the directors for another wonderful event. I don’t know how you did it but you managed the weather perfectly- the conditions although not terribly wintery, were wonderful for the visitors and their families. Also, I would like to thank all the volunteers for their dedication, and a special thank you to our Public Works staff for all their hard work before and after the event and of course a thank you to all our generous sponsors.
From the vantage point of the stage as the lights came on, the crowds seemed massive in every direction. At least as well attended as last year when we had similar weather and temperatures. The lights themselves were spectacular.
My wife and I checked out most of the vendors, the food selection was excellent and each outlet had a great lineup. And weren’t the bands fantastic- the music provided by our local bands – Groundswell and the Timbre Wolves, and Calgary Band Nice Horse all provided great sound. It seemed to me that the sound system was improved as the same volume and quality could be heard easily throughout all the crowded streets.
This was my five-year old granddaughter Kaylah’s first fireworks, her oohs and aahs said it all.
Thank you again to everyone involved.
There is another issue that I would like to address.
In a free and democratic society such as Canada, the public can speak their mind in many ways. Through all types of social media, letters to the editor, letters to council, signage, public protests, etc.
In addition, there are formal opportunities for the public to engage council and staff, such as open houses, and public hearings. By legislation, Council has the option in their procedures bylaw to offer other opportunities for public comment. For example, in Summerland the public are invited to speak for a limited time at the beginning of a council meeting and at the end prior to adjournment.
Despite these opportunities for respectful comment, there has been a downward spiral in terms of what is acceptable. This community has had a stated principled stand against bullying, in all its various forms, such as intimidation, sexual harassment, verbal abuse etc.
As adult members of this community concerned about issues, there is a duty to observe the same rules that we expect from our youth. In council meetings, I have witnessed bullying, disrespectful comment under one’s breath that are still heard, strong disrespectful body language, harassing commentary etc. All of this is meant by those individuals to intimidate those around them with differing opinions.
Personally, I have been subjected to dead rats delivered to my home, bullying, verbal abuse, and disgusting graffiti. This activity and has no place in a civil society. Rather than strengthening our democracy, it diminishes it.
We appreciate the passion and engagement and we need to hear from everyone. Many of Council’s projects have had very positive and respectful comment, such as Woodbridge subdivision where there was a special wildlife park included, as well as the recent Nixon Road development.
Everyone has a right to speak and be heard, please be respectful.
Mayor Peter Waterman
Mayor’s Report November 14th 2017
As you know under 9.1 of tonight’s agenda I am bringing forward the matter of the compost proposal again. It is my prerogative to do so. I do not take this lightly, and regard the idea of doing so as particularly serious. I have not taken this action so far in the first three years of my term as Mayor. Before council renders a decision on any topic or issue I feel strongly that the topic should come with a full staff report plus other relevant information and full discussion by council.
In this case, the original motion for site investigation by the RDOS and public consultation was tabled. When the topic came back to the table at our meeting on the 23rd of October the issue was rejected, with no reports and no discussion by council on the pros and cons of the issue. I am simply wanting to discuss the matter and have a decision rendered after careful consideration.
Mayor Peter Waterman
Mayor’s Report October 3rd, 2017
As we have gone through our first three years there are a few things that come to mind about underlying rational for council’s purpose in the overall management of the District.
There were a number of areas of major concern when this council took office. The general economy, including closed storefronts, job losses, business loss, and general low status of various reserves in our finance picture. Summerland like most cities and municipalities struggled through the recession of 2007- 2008 and subsequent years. In addition, there were a number of areas, such as arts and culture, and tourism activities such as cycling and hiking which are provincially recognized as drivers of economic activity and community resiliency that needed committed support.
Summerland is not particularly unique when it comes to these challenges. We have a predominantly residential tax base (approximately 83 to 85%). Please note that business tax rates are approximately 2.6 times the residential tax rate.
Over the past few years we have had residential property tax rates of two to four percent to meet inflationary costs including labor and operational cost increases, and to put aside funds for reserves. Say for example tax rates increases were zero for several years, choices would have to be made to reduce service levels which is not palatable, or let infrastructure deteriorate. Generally, that is precisely what has happened across the country, roads, pipes in the ground, have not been maintained, well past a life span due date. In addition, increases in services like enhanced bus service, renewal of recreational capacity etc., are unlikely to be achievable without outside funding.
Council and staff have been very aggressive in seeking grant opportunities to facilitate maintenance of major infrastructure. We have been successful with the funding for the Garnett Valley water separation and road project. After a failed application, we were successful in seeking funding to move ahead with the grit removal project at our wastewater treatment plant.
We have applied for funding from the Strategic Priorities Fund (a component of Federal Gas Tax program) for the reworking of Giants Head Road and for Summerland’s Integrated Solar Array and storage projects. It remains to be seen how successful we will be with one or both of these projects.
We have been very successful with our applications to the Rural Dividend Fund. The most recent is our success of our partnership with the Rotary Club of Summerland under the Destination Trails project stream for $435,000 for the Giants Head Mountain Trail project. These funds supplement the $100,000 from the Rotary Club, and $190,000 budgeted from the District of Summerland. Over the past three years we have been successful in applying for five other grants totalling $320,000. There is detail regarding these grants later in the agenda.
Unfortunately, we are not always successful. For example, we did not get the Canada 150 grant from for the proposed skatepark for our youth. The committee is working hard to fill this funding gap. Another example is the need to rebuild our flume that delivers water to our water treatment plant to the tune of $3.2 million dollars. This flume is in rough shape, we will keep trying.
Pretty much all funding requests require participation by the District and sometimes by other community organizations. In the past major infrastructure projects have had a formula of one third federal, one third provincial, one third municipal. Recently the formula has changed, our share has been 17%. In the case of the Garnett Valley water separation and road project our share was approximately two million dollars or one third. These are not insignificant dollars.
Growth in both business and commercial has until recently been stagnant. That situation means we have difficulty without significant outside funding even maintaining services and infrastructure for the existing population.
Opportunities have to be examined carefully. I always looked at things from the standpoint of how can they be done successfully. The first option should not be why things can’t be done. If there are difficulties, how can those problems be mitigated.
Mayor Peter Waterman
Mayor’s Report October 10th, 2017
This year’s Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver September 25th to 29th was very successful. We had nine meetings, six with Cabinet Ministers and three with senior ministry staff.
We discussed our plans for a South Okanagan Agricultural Innovation Center with Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham, and thanked her for the contribution of $25,000 towards a business plan development. The Minister expressed high interest, as this fits well with the Ministry plans for such hubs throughout the Province, and further the Ministry plans for an increase in the use of B.C. grown foods.
We indicated in our meeting with the Minister of Tourism and Arts and Culture, Lisa Beare of the value to the District of Summerland and the provinces of the Kettle Valley Railway, and the need for significant infrastructure funding. In addition, we urged the Minister to increase funding to arts and culture infrastructure.
In our meeting with Minister Selena Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Affordable Housing, we stressed the critical nature of basic infrastructure funding and indicated the progress we have made on our Garnet Valley Water Separation project, the Wastewater Grit Removal project as well as an asset management plan. We also stressed the need for a new Gas Tax Agreement to allow communities to move forward on infrastructure needs. We also addressed our Giant’s Head Road project.
Our meeting with Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources stressed our Solar and Battery Storage project. The fact that the District of Summerland has committed significant resources assisted our discussions. We pointed out that this project is strategic for Summerland as we are one of only five communities that own our own utility. We also have more than 2000 hours of sunshine per year which again makes us unique for such a project.
In our meeting with the Minister of Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson, we stressed the need for the continuation of the Rural Dividend Fund for communities of less than 25,000. This fund has been responsible for allowing the District to move forward on our Economic Development program which includes the hiring of our Economic Development Program Manager. This program is critical to our Solar project, our way-finding project, and our affordable housing framework which the manager will over-see. We also discussed our partnership with Rotary on our Giant’s Head Trails project. We stressed the importance of these projects to our economic resiliency and economic development and tourism.
Our meeting with the Minister of Education Rob Fleming emphasized the need for continuation of funding for rural schools, again stressing the ability to attract families. The Minister indicated his government’s desire to bring stability to the school system. We also indicated our support for the school districts request for a new gym for Summerland Senior Secondary.
Personally, I have now attended nine UBCM conventions. I was pleased with council’s participation at this convention and with the opportunity to start developing good working relationships with the new government.
Mayor’s Report September 11th, 2017
We have had another extraordinarily active time in the last eight to ten days with the Finlay Creek Fire threatening parts of Summerland, Peachland and adjacent areas of the RDOS, and CORD. Our CAO Linda Tynan and her staff have been very busy with all aspects of coordinating with the B.C. Wildfire Service, the RDOS, and maintaining updates for the public. An area of concern was the maintaining of access for Garnett Valley residents. Work was temporarily stopped on the Garnett Valley roadwork project to ensure access and egress for residents.
I would like to thank CAO Tynan, and her staff and our volunteer firefighters for another excellent response to a community emergency. I would like to also thank John Topham and the ESS team for doing their job so well. In addition, I would like to thank all the neighbours in affected areas for their cooperation and the help they gave to each other.
The rain we had this last weekend was helpful, but by no means made a significant difference in how dry conditions are in the Okanagan. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the fires are man made, so I urge everybody to be especially careful as we have another few weeks to go before this fire season is over.
Mayor's Report August 28, 2017
This evening we are dealing with a request from the RDOS to access an area west of and behind our current landfill to do site testing to determine if the site is suitable for the location of the proposed composting facility. We are not considering any kind of lease or pre-lease agreement at this time.
I would like to explain why as I wished to have an area adjacent to our current landfill considered.
Currently the District of Summerland has a recycling program that diverts paper, paper packaging, cartons, and various types of containers to our recycling program. These items do not go into our landfill and are recycled. Not only does this reuse materials, but our landfill will last years longer without the bulk of these materials.
Currently kitchen waste is part of our garbage collection and is deposited in our landfill. The newer section of our landfill has a liner and leachate collection system. Removing kitchen waste which is a very significant component of our current landfill would be removed again extending landfill life.
Bio solids are dewatered in a centrifuge at the sewage treatment plant and are brought up to our landfill and deposited and mixed with yard waste, and green wood in an area approximately 330 meters from our balancing reservoir and composted. Some of this compost material is currently stored in a gravel pit area approximately 120 meters from the balancing reservoir that supplies our water treatment plant. This bio solid organic mix is windrowed and is available for sale. This mix is not ideal for gardens, or commercial agricultural use.
The next phase of recycling as we move into the future is to produce a full organic mix without bio solids in the mix, but does include kitchen waste as well as yard waste and greenwood. Many communities now collect kitchen waste as part of the recycling program.
Over five years ago, the RDOS started looking for a site to set up a full recycling facility that would compost bio solids and separately compost kitchen waste, yard waste and green wood.
I saw an opportunity for the District of Summerland to vastly improve our landfill operation and move towards a full recycle program.
I have already stated the proximity of our landfill to our balancing reservoir, the proposed site of a new facility would be approximately 1 kilometer from the balancing reservoir. The facility has to be a full in-vessel facility, preventing any leachate from entering the soil. It would be a two-part facility, one for the bio solids mix and one for the totally organic mix. It would also be fully covered with full odour control. The bio solids mix is the preferred mix to provide a very effective cover for landfills when they are sealed up.
I made it clear to the RDOS Board that Summerland could only consider a full and complete state of the art facility. There are a number of facilities that are built to this standard and I would consider nothing less.
The organic compost would service gardens, orchards and vineyards in Summerland and the Okanagan Valley. High quality organic compost is in demand for food crops. In addition, orchards and vineyards have been needing a high-quality compost that not only creates better soil conditions and weed control but a mulch that enables excellent water conservation.
Trucking is a concern and there are safety issues. I indicated to the RDOS board that all of Prairie Valley road requires upgrading and safety issues must be addressed. Sidewalks must be considered from Cartwright to the school zone as well as significant traffic calming conditions and signage.
The subject is coming to council for the first time tonight so everybody could have a better understanding of the proposal.
Mayor's Report August 14, 2017
My experience in past councils has been that the lack of opportunity for freedom of expression led to a lot of frustration, poor communication and inadequate information. As you know this council has changed the procedural bylaw to allow the public more opportunity to voice their concerns, beyond the normal opportunities that exist in regular process.
The District has made great strides to increase communication and inform the public on specific issues. The communication prior to the PRV valve replacement and staff’s engagement with property owners for the Garnett Valley Separation and Road work are great examples. The same format has been used on other projects.
In the past differences of opinion, has occurred on major projects. This is not a bad thing at all. All sectors of the community are welcome to express themselves in whatever medium they choose. During the terms of past councils, I have witnessed the same level of passions as now. The first two iterations of the Wharton street proposals come to mind.
Where things jump off the rails is when hard positions are taken either for or against proposals prior to substantive information being available. Thus, harsh comments can sometimes on social media, and passions and opinions overtake fact. The result is intimidation, and the fear to speak out for or against a position. Careful consideration should be taken before hitting the send button.
We will continue to bring forward projects and topics that may be controversial and everybody needs to be respectful as council goes through the steps of the process.
Mayor’s Report, July 10th, 2017
Well its been that time of year again when we are all more aware of property taxes. Council tries hard to minimize the impact, but there are inflationary increases in many areas of our operation, plus we are trying hard to increase our reserves.
The Municipality raises approximately $75,000 for every one percent tax increase. To put this in perspective our RCMP contract alone required $105,000 increase this year.
We are now coming to the last phases of the Garnet Valley Water Separation and road work. This is a $6.9 million-dollar project. The District of Summerland’s share is 1/3 of this, so it is easy to see how far tax money goes when the municipality is faced with major projects.
We are now in the middle of our asset management project which will tell us the cost and priority for replacement of our various physical assets: water, sewer, roads, and building infrastructure including facilities such as our recreation center. Most grant funding opportunities require that we match other sources, the formulas change but the community still needs to supply a significant share, usually in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions.
Infrastructure ages and deteriorates over time. If insufficient dollars go into replacement over the life of the asset it is difficult to replace it in time.
Municipalities like Summerland have, to varying degrees, a significant proportion of the tax base as residential. Ours is about 83%.
When this council was elected, a major concern was the closed downtown stores, inadequate business activity and job losses. For example, when the packinghouse closed we lost over 70 jobs, and there are other examples.
My own platform stressed four major areas of concern: to preserve and protect the Agricultural Land Reserve, and three serious economic areas: general economic health of the community, growth to increase business activity and growing our financial reserves.
We struck an economic task force, a major recommendation was to hire an economic consultant. I’m pleased to report that Andreas Boehm started in this position today.
To further enhance our abilities to meet our obligations, we continue to look for opportunities that will grow our capacity to fix roads, replace sewer and water infrastructure and replace aging facilities such as our arena and recreation complex. These opportunities and needs are inextricably welded together. Each opportunity must be examined comprehensively. We will continue to look for opportunities to minimize the tax burden and at the same time move ahead.
Mayor's Report, June 26th, 2017
At last the lake level is trending down, but levels are still too high and any substantial wave action can still cause substantial property damage. Over the last number of weeks, I have surveyed the progression of flooding from the Aeneas Creek area in Garnett Valley area to the lakeshore from Crescent Beach to Lower Town and Trout Creek. More recently, as the lake level has receded somewhat, I have had a more detailed look at the damage with CAO Linda Tynan - it is extensive both on public property and private. Unfortunately, it is going to be a while before regular summer activities are back to normal.
Looking at tonight’s agenda, in development services it is easy to see the level of activity occurring. It appears the pace of activity is not going to slow down in the medium term.
In tonight’s CAO report, Linda Tynan gives a comprehensive examination of projects, funding requests, and a flood update. Forty items in total, so it is easy to see how many active files there are, to say the least it is intense. All these items need attention even when we have an ongoing emergency like the flooding event. Dealing with the results of the flooding will continue to place heavy demands on staff.
I might mention that all developments take considerable time to go through the necessary process. All proposals require detailed attention, larger ones like the Banks Crescent Proposal are particularly complex requiring in-depth reports, which do go back and forth as more detail is required. This is quite normal but does take time. A major concern over the last ten to fifteen years is the local economy including general building activity as well as declining activity on Main Street with closed businesses. Council must look closely at opportunities that may have a positive impact on the general economic health of the community.
Mayor’s Report May 23rd 2017
As we speak staff are very busy managing localized flooding in Summerland, particularly Aeneas Creek in Garnett Valley and the lakeshore areas. I would like to thank all our staff for their planning efforts, work on the ground and of course the communication efforts to deal with resident’s concerns. In addition, I would like to thank the volunteers who are assisting in filling sandbags and helping-out home owners.
Also, there is a safety issue that I would like to mention. At 7:50 this morning I was crossing the oval-about crosswalk on Prairie Valley road, I hesitated in the center safety zone, as a vehicle approached, it did not slow down, it did not stop and later turned into the Giant’s Head school parking lot. After the vehicle passed I stood there for a few seconds in the lane looking after the car. I was sure I detected the universal finger salute. I was not impressed, by this young women’s actions. There are far too many speeders in this area, far too many ignore pedestrians.
Mayor's Report May 8th, 2017
I would like to comment on the process regarding a potential organic composting site for the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen. This is an RDOS project and RDOS staff have examined several potential sites. The choices have come down to two sites. A site in the Marron Valley on the way to Apex is being considered along with a site beside the landfill in Summerland. The Summerland public open house will be held May 17th at the IOOF Hall. After the open houses are concluded, the Regional District Board will consider the full information and the results of the open houses. Based on all the information, the Board will recommend one of the two sites. If the Summerland site is chosen by the Board, the matter will receive consideration of Summerland Council.
In addition, you will note from tonight’s agenda there is a lot of activity in the municipality. For example, building permits for single family homes are up dramatically over 2016 – five in the first four months in 2016 compared to 24 in 2017. Our CAO may have more details in her report.
Mayor's Report April 24th, 2017
This past Saturday I had the pleasure of participating in the opening of the Alternative Energy Symposium put on by First Things First-Okanagan.
Summerland will be a B.C. leader in the development of solar for wide community use. As many of you know, part of this Council’s strategic plan was to initiate a solar energy project. We have successfully applied for and received initial funding of $100,000 from the Rural Dividend Fund to complete studies, upgrade infrastructure, and provide training for staff and the community that will lead us to the development of an integrated solar project. Our project includes a large-scale array for our community and provisions for businesses and homeowners to benefit from solar energy.
We are very fortunate in owning our own utility which puts Summerland in the unique position of being able to reduce our demands on the provincial grid. In particular, it will mean we will have the ability to reduce our peak demand requirements from Fortis B.C. Peak, as the word implies is the highest load demand the community requires, if this requirement can be reduced there will be considerable savings.
Mayor’s Report April 10th 2017
The budget is an expression of Council’s Strategic Plan, but it must satisfy operational cost increases, both inflationary and contractual as well as move the community forward.
Council’s Strategic Plan from a high level has a number of buckets that we stress programs, projects etc. should follow. There are six areas of emphasis. They include:
- That the District of Summerland supports a vibrant and liveable community- for example we will nurture our arts, culture and knowledge community. To that end our budget expresses the need to move forward for support for the Arts Council.
- The second is that the District engages and empowers the community. Clear communication is essential and needs to be part of the fabric of any project. An example would be the public process followed on our recent water shutdown.
- A third area of concern is good governance. We must ensure that we have financial systems and supports in place, as well as bylaws that make for consistent business decisions.
- Infrastructure stewardship is key to a healthy economy. Our budget sets aside 1.8% towards infrastructure renewal. Grants are key, and we are being aggressive in applying for appropriate funding. Our asset management project will assist us in setting precise goals.
- Sustainability and community resiliency involves managing foreseeable risks. Emergency preparedness is a key component. We are addressing areas of high risk, for example a new aerial fire truck is on our budget list.
- Economic stability for the community is another major concern, to that end we are hiring an Economic Development Project Manager, through the Rural Dividend Fund to undertake several projects that will foster economic strength. Our initiation of the solar project is key to reducing our dependency and effecting the costs of doing business in Summerland.
These key areas assist council in making decisions as we review the difficult choices necessary in the budget process.
March 27, 2017
Last week the date suggested that it was spring. I am not convinced. Despite that cynical view we should soon be into a flurry of activities and events that will see many visitors and locals enjoying what will be served up between now and late fall. Everything from the Sunday Rotary Market, Action Festival, slo-pitch tournaments, triathlons, The Giant’s Head Grind, Ride the Giant longboard competition, golf tournaments, tennis tournaments, pickle ball events, the seasons KVR schedule and train robberies, Wednesdays on the Water, triathlons, the huge multi-sport event, the Granfondo, and the Ryga festival. Mix in wine tours, the Skaha Lake Kennel Club Show, the test of Humanity Mountain Bike race, and recreational hiking, biking, and walking, and many that I have missed and there is no end of pursuits for residents, and visitors.
Staff and council are moving through the budget cycle. Under item 12.5 in the agenda there is an excellent explanation which will be addressed by our CFO. But I urge the public to read the report carefully. It is one of the best explanations and most thorough that I have had the opportunity to examine since I came on council in 2005. April 3rd there will be presentation by our Chief Financial Officer David Svetlichny and our CAO Linda Tynan. Please come prepared with your questions and comments.
March 13th, 2017
From personal experience, and quite a few responses from the public, the PVR 10 Water Project was seamless. I would like to thank all the staff, but particularly the Works and Utilities Department under the guidance of Director Kris Johnson, and managers Devon van der Meulen, and Maarten Stam. All staff were heavily involved in assisting the public. Our CAO Linda Tynan did a wonderful job of co-ordinating and directing the whole operation.
I would like to thank Summerland Steam and Ogopogo Valley Tours for being the “Water Angels” to assist the elderly and other housebound individuals with water deliveries. Also, I would like to thank the public for their patience during the project.
I can’t forget the generosity of Nesters Market for providing bottled water for the community over the weekend as well. Thank you Nesters.
The Garnet Valley Water Separation and road work is back in full gear. The Jones Flat and Washington Street areas are completed and the crews are headed up Garnet Valley Road. The same intensive effort of logistics that was obvious in the PRV 10 project and is being applied to the Garnet Valley project. As in the PRV 10 project, communication is key.
This past Saturday evening I and a number of councillors attended the Chamber of Commerce 79th Annual Business and Community Excellence Awards. The Chamber did an excellent job. The Board’s choice of venue and format was wonderful – the music was cued beautifully. And what can I say about chamber President Erick Thompson, another superlative performance. I would like to congratulate all the nominees and special kudos to the winners. The Mayor’s Award of Excellence went to a very deserving group, the Kettle Valley Railway Society. Also I would like to congratulate the Business of the Year “True Grain Bread” and the Citizen or Volunteer of the Year “Grant Stone”.
Mayor Peter Waterman
February 27th, 2017
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the B.C. Mayor’s Caucus in Victoria. We were able to discuss issues that need focus for this fall’s UBCM convention. Essentially five areas of advocacy were the primary focus of the group. The highest on the list was the need for investment in infrastructure and the maintenance of the present formula of 50% federal, 30% provincial and 17% municipal.
This was followed by the inability of municipalities to finance projects due to the limited sources of funding. Many communities are in Summerland’s position with a very high proportion of taxes coming from residential and limited industrial taxation. In other jurisdictions there are other income sources for towns and cities and BC municipalities need creative thinking to go beyond property tax. The downloading that has occurred over the years makes this a necessity.
The funding of protective services was also high on the list. It is difficult for many smaller communities to maintain the required level of response at a reasonable cost.
Affordable housing cuts across the province it must be incentivised, and supported. Rental housing needs to be retained and expanded. This subject is critical and needs a strong voice at UBCM. In municipalities like Summerland it is particularly acute, particularly when the lack of appropriate housing is linked to inadequate transit options.
Climate change mitigation efforts need continued support. Fifty percent of British Columbia municipalities have hit reduction targets. It was stressed that municipalities must maintain their independence of setting local goals and local decision making at the local level.
The Mayor’s Caucus is seen as an important lobby route for a select number of critical issues that will be pressed at UBCM.
Council’s upcoming task over the next few weeks will be detailed budget discussions.
February 14th, 2017
Of course the subject on everybody’s mind is our water shutoff for PVR 10 coming March 3rd to 6th. Council and staff have been working hard on this project for months and we are in the final preparation stages now.
The good news is that we will have an alternate source of water for all but approximately 50 properties, in those cases a water supply will be located nearby. The alternate source water will not be drinkable, so you must supply your own drinking water.
A boil water advisory will be in place starting February 27th and will remain in effect until the Interior Health Authority gives its approval to remove the advisory which could be mid March.
Please remember that this is a complex project and although every effort is being made to prepare for the work, unexpected situations can occur. Have a back-up plan in place and store up some additional water, for flushing toilets etc.
The District is hosting a Q & A tomorrow for the public, Wednesday February 15, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the Arena banquet room.
In addition, The Chamber of Commerce is also hosting two sessions tomorrow for their business members at the Visitor Information center at 8:00am to 9:00am, and again 4:30pm to 5:30 pm. An RSVP is required for the Chamber of Commerce sessions.
As we have said before we realize this situation is a major inconvenience, but it is critical that this work be done under controlled conditions with the appropriate preparation and communication to the public and businesses.
The Chamber of Commerce Nominee’s reception for the 79th Annual Business and Community Excellence Awards sponsored by Nester’s Market last Friday at the Arena Banquet room was a resounding success. We are all looking forward to the Chamber Awards Gala March 11th.
I would also like to mention the Snow Angel program. The Snow Angels are most appreciated and I and Council would like to thank them very much for their assistance to their neighbours. I am busy signing appreciation certificates and they are still coming in. I would like to thank the community again for their wonderful help.
January 23rd, 2017
Through the next several months, staff will be compiling information for our 2017 Financial Plan for Council’s consideration. This is always a difficult task as Council needs to meet all the District’s operational costs, capital requests, debt servicing as well as put aside dollars for certain reserves.
Our Asset Management study is underway. The results of this study will assist us to determine the status of pipes in the ground, roads, electrical and buildings. It is also a prerequisite for grant funding requests. We will be able to plan replacement and renovation over the next number of years. Receiving grants are not a given, as many communities are in line with just as much justification of need as the District of Summerland. We are currently waiting to hear the results of our funding request for the 3.2million dollar flume project supplying water to our Water Treatment Plant.
We apply for grants wherever the criteria can be met. Communities must have the necessary funds set aside in appropriate reserves or have the ability to borrow if necessary in order to take advantage of funding options.
As our industrial/business base taxes are small compared to the residential, we raise approximately $80,000 with a one percent property tax increase. This figure starts to put things in perspective when you realize the magnitude of the costs of infrastructure renewal.
Communities with such a high proportion of residential taxes look for outside streams of income not necessarily from taxes. For example, our gravel extraction contract or a potential reduction in costs such as moving to solar energy.
January 9th, 2017
First I would like to welcome everybody back to the council table, and I would like to wish the public, the press, staff and council a Happy New Year.
We had a busy and successful past year. All facets of the council work over the past year, as well as each department, Development Services, Works and Utilities, Finance, Corporate Services, Recreation and Administration, have had full plates.
The district has been successful in application for grants for a number of major projects. The preparation required to move from concept to funding to letting of contracts and on site work is considerable and is now bearing fruit.
We are moving forward in 2017. The 6.9million dollar Garnet Valley Water Separation and Road Improvement Project, started this past fall, the 3.2million dollar Grit Removal project, which will ensure longevity of the Waste Water Treatment Plant, the critical maintenance of PRV 10, which will require a district wide water shutdown in March will all be completed in 2017.
We continue to work on streamlining many of our services, particularly in finance, development services and recreation. The Recreation Department will be introducing online registration in early spring 2017 making it easier to sign up for our many recreation programs.
Summerland is taking a progressive role in efforts to improve our carbon footprint and ensure that sustainability is considered in each District initiative. Currently it is a council priority to examine opportunities that exist to maximize the economic benefit of owning our own electrical utility in Summerland by investing in alternative energy projects such as solar.
As we move into 2017, I would like to welcome two new senior managers to the District. David Svetlichny has taken on the role as Director of Finance, replacing Lorrie Coates who retired late last fall, and Dean Strachan is the Director of Development Services who replaces Ian McIntosh who will retire at the end of January 2017.
I believe that this sets the stage for the community and the District to move forward for a successful 2017.
This is our last council meeting of 2016. It has been a busy year for both council and staff. I would like to thank our CAO Linda Tynan and her staff for their dedication over the last year.
I would like to thank council for their diligence, hard work and good respectful discussions. I am looking forward to working with everyone in 2017.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish Linda, her staff and Council a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
On behalf of all of council I would like to wish the press and our residents of Summerland a very safe and happy holiday season.
Mayor's Report November 14th, 2016
The District’s major responsibility is to ensure that basic utilities such as water, sewer, electrical and roads are maintained and upgraded to both health and safety requirements. Residents expect the taps to turn on and provide safe drinking water. Interior Health has put in place regulations that mandate a higher drinking level standard. With the Garnet Valley water separation and road project we will be able to deliver the same fully treated drinking water that the rest of the town enjoys, while upgrading a road that was in dire need of redoing.
Significant roadwork was done on Solly and Rosedale a few years ago, but we have many more kilometers that need serious work. Our tree fruit and grape industry needs road improvements to ensure products maintain their high quality all the way to market.
In addition, toilets must flush. Our sewer system is now approximately twenty years old and parts of the sewer plant now need replacing and upgrading, hence the 3.2-million-dollar project for grit removal and filtration beds.
Our electrical utility also requires ongoing maintenance and upgrades.
We are tackling additional projects such as the flume project that brings water to our balancing reservoir and water treatment plant, and the PRV 10 project at the oval about.
The need and scheduling of a twenty-year plan for utility projects will be outlined in the asset management study that will commence soon.
The key will be balancing grants, borrowing and taxation. All the maintenance and improvements in basic infrastructure and amenities will improve our ability to attract new businesses and residents which will in turn enhance our tax base.
Mayor's Report October 24th, 2016
We are now entering a new budget cycle. In early November Council will meet for a strategic planning meeting. We will review our 2015- 2019 Strategic Plan to determine if focus and priorities need to be adjusted. The public will have an opportunity to review the plan to determine if they feel there should be redirection or a change in emphasis for 2017 and on into the future.
The budget will be driven by the strategic plan. Operationally, we have to examine service levels to decide if they satisfactory or if there are areas needing enhancement.
Infrastructure or assets required to meet service requirements will receive much more detailed examination moving forward with the funding of $270,000 from the Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund to do an integrated asset management and infrastructure investment plan. A request for proposals has just closed. The firm to carry out the plan will be chosen soon and the work will proceed.
This work will initiate a change in the District’s approach to investments in infrastructure and resource assets. An integrated approach is needed to replace the isolated decision making on a case by case or year by year situation. It will provide a twenty-year infrastructure plan.
For example, to give an idea of the complexity, we have 145 km of paved roads, 11 dams, 220 km of water mains, 6000 water services, 80 km of sanitary sewer, 2400 sanitary sewer services, 185 km of electrical conductor, and much more.
Strategic plans need to be considered carefully in order to build budgets that will ensure service levels the community needs, plus a strong base on which to grow and prosper.
Mayor's Report, October 11th, 2016
Council recently attended the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in Victoria. It was very successful in a number of areas.
One of the most critical was a meeting with Premier Clark and Minister Fassbender to once again emphasize the importance of infrastructure funding to the community and to enquire about the status of a request for funding of the much needed grit removal and filtration bed system in our sewage plant at a cost of 3.2 million from the New Canada Building Canada Fund- Small Communities Fund. The application emphasized the importance of the work to allow for community growth capacity, plus meet all our environmental responsibilities with regard to discharge of treated effluent into Okanagan Lake.
At the meeting, the Premier informed council that the Provincial Government was about to launch a new infrastructure funding program and that we were one of the first communities approved for funding under the new Clean Water and Waste Water Fund. This new program will be 50% funded by the Federal Government, 33% by the Province and 17% by the Municipality. The breakdown used to be 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. The Province provides $ 1,045,004, the District of Summerland’s share is $538,366. Council has brought the importance of this project to the attention of the province – and this has paid off with the announcement of the success of the application for funding.
In the meeting with the Premier, we also received very good news that we were successful in our application for $100,000 for the economic development initiative for Summerland under the province’s Rural Dividend Fund Program. The District will engage an economic Development Project Coordinator for a one-year period. This individual will work with the Mayor’s Task Force on economic development. There are four specific activities to be addressed:
1) developing clear communication material regarding municipal services and processes
2) development of wayfinding strategy within the community
3) Research into the development of the Agri-tech sector in Summerland and
4) development of an Economic Development Strategy Action plan
We also discussed Summerland’s proposal for a pilot project for integrated administrative services with a local school board with Premier Clark and Education Minister Bernier. They showed very positive interest, appreciated our initiative and urged the District to discuss the proposal with MLA Linda Larsen who is leading a task force on rural education strategy. The District of Summerland is very serious about the possibility of a pilot project. If successful, it will be a useful model for other rural communities.
We also met with Minister Bond’s Staff, the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills and Training, regarding the economic health of the Kettle Valley Railway Steam Train. They agreed that the KVR is a Provincial and Federal Treasure, and important aspect of B.C.’s history. We stressed that the KVR is an integral part of the District’s tourism industry, and costs of infrastructure etc., and repairs are beyond the KVR society. The Ministry staff will follow up with the District to discuss opportunities that may be available for KVR.
Council met with Minister Stone, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, regarding the Lakeshore trail to Penticton. The Minister recognizes that cycling tourism is growing in importance to the region and to B.C. The province funded 2/3 of the current planning study which is underway. Once the study is completed we asked that the Provincial Government fund the construction. Minister Stone urged his staff to accelerate the planning study process.
I would like to thank my fellow councillors and staff for their efforts in preparation for our discussions with the Premier and other government Ministers and staff. In addition, I would like to thank MLA Ashton for his hard work on our behalf.
Overall, council’s attendance at UBCM was valuable. Having the opportunity to meet with the premier, cabinet ministers and senior staff of various ministries to discuss opportunities and challenges facing Summerland, and to attend educational sessions learning more about creative solutions other municipalities have found in dealing with common current issues such as affordable housing, marijuana grow-ops, etc. brings perspective by council to the municipality as many of this items are discussed at the council table and throughout the community.
Mayor's Report September 12th,2016
In the spring of 2016, many communities in British Columbia faced the possibility of school closures. The District of Summerland faced the possibility of losing Trout Creek school. The provincial government recognized that these closures would have tremendous negative impact on the economic development of these communities and implemented the Rural Education Enhancement Fund to support the schools while assigning a MLA Linda Larson to head a task force to develop a rural education strategy. The provincial government recognized that the local school is the centre of the community and the local economy.
Summerland’s Mayor and Council were keenly aware of the significant impact to the community should schools close, and they recognize that schools in smaller communities play a much larger role than simply providing education for children. They are frequently a community hub and integral for attracting families to ensure community growth and development.
Recognizing that further steps are required throughout the province to reduce the administrative costs of school delivery, Summerland’s mayor and council has approached the provincial government with an idea for a pilot project. The proposed project would merge administrative services of the municipality with the administrative services of a new, local School Board. The concept is currently in a preliminary, introductory stage and council expects to discuss it further at the upcoming UBCM conference in Victoria.
The proposed pilot project would entail the re-creation of a local school board in Summerland – a model similar to that prior to 1996 when Summerland and Penticton school boards were amalgamated. The difference would be that the municipal council and the Summerland School Board would integrate services such as finance, administrative and works staff, equipment, facilities, etc. rather than operating two separate facilities. Council is excited about the opportunity to discuss the idea with the community, political leaders, teachers and other stakeholders to determine whether moving forward with the project would be a benefit to Summerland. This idea has not been discussed with the Minister of Education yet and extensive consultation is required as there are many unanswered questions that would require resolution before determining if the project was feasible and desirable – such as investigation into any potential impact on labour force, teachers, school support staff and other factors that would be identified as the idea of the project was developed.
Summerland believes they have an opportunity to pilot this project to determine whether integration of administrative services of municipal hall and the school board office would be a model that other communities could follow potentially decreasing administrative costs and channelling school funding into the schools.
Mayor's Report August 22nd, 2016
Council is concerned about the level of economic activity generally across the community but of course are specifically concerned about the obvious problems indicated by closed storefronts. We are seeing a considerable increase in building permits over the previous few years which is very positive. In addition, the general economy is improving. But the situation is much more complex than it might seem on the surface.
As soon as this council took office we quickly established a new urban growth area. This tells residents and developers where infrastructure and development should go and provides certainty for developers.
In order to have growth you must have healthy well maintained infrastructure. The taps must provide clean water, and the toilets must flush successfully. The lights must go on dependably and the condition of roads must be good. Maintenance and upgrades are critical for tourism and commerce.
Towards this end we will be conducting an asset management plan- for which we have received funding. This plan will tell us the condition of pipes in the ground, (both sewer and water) and the status of electrical infrastructure. In addition, these assessments will be co-ordinated with road condition. There is no point fixing a road and then finding out later that you have to dig it up again to address sewer and water issues.
We have addressed road and water quality issues for Garnett Valley and a six and half million-dollar project starts in September.
We have applied several times for funding for sewer plant upgrades in the form of grit removal upgrade and redundancy capacity to ensure no sewer plant disruption and to allow for growth. We have reason to believe that we will be successful this fall and will be addressing this with ministers at the UBCM meetings next month.
With regard to trails, the new lakeside trail along the highway between Trout Creek and lower Town is completed and is heavily used. We are working with the Trans Canada Trails Society, the city of Penticton, MLA Ashton, and Minister Stone for a similar connection all the way to Penticton. Trail and cycling tourism is growing and we need to be part of this growth.
We have applied for a Canada 150 grant to assist in financing a new Skate Park, this will be coupled with considerable funding from Penny Lane and community fundraising. Our youth have been involved in design concepts and will assist in fundraising. The skate-park will be a great attraction for youth and families.
Our Cultural Plan Task Force has just completed its year long activities and council will be examining its recommendations. This project was a result of council’s recognition that the arts are a strong economic driver. A well rounded healthy society requires a strong cultural component in the visual and performing arts.
Our Economic Task Force is ongoing and requires more depth to achieve results. We have applied for a provincial rural dividend grant to assist us in increasing its scope.
It is not a quick one solution fix for a healthy downtown retail. All of the proceeding comments need to be taken into account to foster the environment that will have positive results in growth to assist in filling storefronts. There are certainly other issues, such as downtown building condition, lease and rental rates that are very difficult to address successfully. We have supported the Rotary downtown market which really has been a wonderful addition to the downtown business activity.
All of the above and more are areas that will enhance business activity and make the community attractive to businesses and families.
One last note –we lost a wonderful member of our community, Mary Leardo passed away Saturday morning. Mary was a dear friend to me and to her farming family. She will be greatly missed. Our sincere condolences go out to her husband Enio and to the rest of the Leardo family.
Mayor’s Report August 8th 2016
Activity is picking up, building permits are up dramatically, in particular the value of building permits.
Major projects are also coming off the drawing boards, in particular the Garnet Valley water separation and road project where construction will commence in September. A list of outstanding tasks is listed in the agenda as it is in every agenda package. These tasks bring with them the need for adherence to process both regulatory or required and optional.
As an example, a project comes to us – staff interact, the developer may make an application which could include an OCP amendment which has to come to council and may receive first and second reading. They then will likely apply for a rezoning. A public hearing is held before third reading and they then will likely apply for a development permit. The project will be held at third reading until they meet or satisfy all conditions. At the initial point of contact, the developer may want to, or it may be suggested, that a public open house be held by the developer. Anywhere along the process council may ask for another public meeting. It is our intention to go beyond the required process where we think additional information may be required.
We are trying to be pro-active in consultation, but if we are not entirely proactive, we are trying to be sensitive to reasonable concerns. An example was the protective barriers on Prairie Valley Road. The barriers were not well received to say the least. Staff arranged meetings with residents and examined their ideas. As a result, the large unsightly concrete barriers were removed and a new curbing was installed trying to provide more aesthetically pleasing barriers, providing the residents with better access and parking while at the same time protecting children as they headed to school.
When this council came into office, one of our objectives was to do a good job of public consultation. We moved in that direction by providing fifteen minutes at the beginning of our agendas giving people the opportunity to bring information forward regarding high-lighted items prior to a vote taking place as well as bringing concerns forward on any item at the end of the meeting. We are currently looking at ways to enhance these opportunities.
Mayor’s Report July 25th, 2016
It seems that Summerland has become the focal point for hectic activity. Of course the change in the weather doesn’t hurt. My wife Claire and I toured virtually all of Summerland this past Sunday. Downtown, the wineries, the KVR and all the beaches were full with visitors and residents. After that tour we spent the afternoon at Powell Beach- it was incredibly busy with families having picnics, loungers like Claire and I, and tons of kids ripping in and out of the water. The lake was dotted with power boats, sailboats, kayaks and paddle boards. We later stopped at Summerland Sweets. It was busy with ice cream sales plus people enjoying all that Summerland Sweets and Sleeping Giant Winery had to offer. The one winery we visited was also busy and had a full parking area.
On Saturday, I happened to be at the golf course, it was also busy, not only with regular players but yet another tournament was on for the afternoon, all the carts were lined up and it was busy with locals and visitors.
All this activity combined with our Sunday market, really makes it obvious how much Summerland has to offer.
Other economic activity is substantiated with the activity in our Development Services Department. For the month of June there were 17 building permits issued with a value of 4.75 million dollars, versus 24 for last year with a value of 2.6 million. The increase in value is worthy of noting as it indicates more single-family residences verses decks, renovations etc. Year to date we have 101 building permits in 2016 compared to 95 in 2015, but for an increase in value of 1.3 million.
Other projects such as the Jones Flat and Garnet Valley Water System Separation Project are getting close to construction phase. The necessary pre-construction work is almost complete and things will be moving ahead in September. An informative open house will be held on Thursday, August 4 from 6 – 9pm at the Arena Banquet Room.
Mayor's Report July 12th, 2016
At the time of the last council meeting the potential of keeping Trout Creek Elementary open had not been officially resolved. As I stated two weeks ago the opening or closing of a school is critical. Schools are essential to the municipality’s community fabric and of tremendous importance to families and children. I and council would like to thank the families and parents that worked so hard over a long period for their incredible effort. In addition I would like to thank MLA Dan Ashton for his tireless efforts behind the scenes to encourage a positive government response. Also special thanks to Premier Clarke for her funding announcement and her government’s recognition of the importance of schools to the community’s economy. In addition I would like to thank the School Board for their reconsideration and final decision to apply for the funding to keep Trout Creek Elementary open for Summerland families.
Keeping with celebrating schools and students, I had the good fortune to attend the 2016 Summerland Senior Secondary Graduation ceremonies. In addition I had the distinct pleasure to award the District’s Scholarship to Allison Mott. I would like to congratulate all the grads for their hard work and wish them well with their all endeavours in the future.
Another major event of course was Canada Day. Thanks to John Dorn and the Legion for making this event special for the community.
This past Saturday I attended and brought greetings from the District to the Yacht Club’s Annual Commodore’s Ball. This is a special event, Commodores from throughout the valley attend.
Mayor's Report June 27th, 2016
The key issue that appears to be headed to resolution is whether Trout Creek School will remain open. The Board of Trustees of School District 67 has unanimously voted to send in the application for funding for Trout Creek School to remain open. We certainly appreciate the government’s offer of funding and MLA Ashton’s hard work to assist in bringing the offer to fruition. The Board of Trustees has had a difficult job and we appreciate this turn of events.
For Summerland families this is huge, there will be a collective sigh of relief when the issue is formalized. I do appreciate that a considerable amount of work has already been undertaken in reconfiguration by teachers and staff in the face of the impending loss of Trout Creek Elementary, but at the end of the day this is very good news.
As well, the community will now be able to move ahead confidently, the potential for growing families that already reside in Summerland will mean no disruption and the option for new families to move here and enjoy all that Summerland has to offer will not be constricted by lack of elementary school space.
Another topic that links to youth is the effort that our CAO has made in applying for a Canada 150 Grant to assist in funding the much anticipated Skatepark. MP Dan Albas provided a letter of support to accompany our application and we appreciate his efforts on our behalf. In recent discussions with MP Albas, he felt our chances were good for a positive result.
On a final note I had the distinct pleasure of attending an award ceremony for Mr. Charles Bernhardt at Angus Lodge last Saturday. Lance Corporal Bernhardt received the French Legion of Honour, France’s highest military honour for his service in the “D” day landing to liberate Europe. He is a member of the British Columbia Regiment “Duke of Connaught’s Own”. Mr. Bernhardt a long time fruit grower and past president of the B.C.F.G.A. has lived in Summerland since 1934, when he came here as a thirteen year old with his family. Council and I and all of Summerland would like to congratulate Mr. Bernhardt on this wonderful recognition.
Mayor's Report June 13th, 2016
It seems summer got a great start with Action Fest Weekend from the Parade, the Man of Steel Triathlon, Giant’s Head Run, to a large and successful ball tournament. The parade route was well jammed with families and the music in the park was well attended. I would like to thank the Action Fest Committee under Chair Pat Bell for a wonderfully choreographed event, as well as Brenda Ingram and the Recreation Department staff, and Kris Johnson and the Public Works staff for their hard work.
I participated in two events – the Kick Off tourism week in British Columbia by manning the desk at our Visitor information Center with Chamber staff and participating in Camp-day at Tim Hortons. It was great meeting and greeting people. It was a good thing that I know the town and farming areas of Summerland like the back of my hand as I had a lot of fun telling visitors about Summerland and the sites and activities available.
I can’t forget our first Sunday Market June 12th. The vendors were many and varied with Summerland businesses and farms well represented. The music provided atmosphere and sudden appearance of the Summerland School of dance flash mob dance routines was a real hit.
Councillors in their reports will mention the other events and activities.
The School closing issue is still of major concern. MLA Ashton made an offer of dollars and the option of an advisor to assist the board. I and council are extremely disappointed that the board refused to seek a way to re-examine the closing of Trout Creek School. The reality of the impact on students, and all Summerland families and the attractiveness of Summerland as a place to come and live should urge the School Board to examine any and all options.
I find it difficult to believe that a community of almost 12,000 residents can manage to meet the community’s educational needs and growth expectations with only one elementary school.
Mayor's Report May 24th, 2016
The activity list has been incredible. I had the great opportunity to talk to two of Mr. Stather’s civics classes. It was an open forum with lots of discussion and questions by the students about municipal politics and the impact people can have on their community by being involved.
The Meadow Lark Festival was again a major event and is the flagship activity of the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance. There were 79 tours including a session on the birds of the Okanagan with Dick Cannings, to a voyager canoe tour to Rattlesnake Island.
I am sure councillors will elaborate on this event as well as a very successful Giant’s Head Grind this past weekend.
Action Festival is just around the corner. Action Fest brings a great number of visitors to the community as ball teams and competitors for many other events home in on Summerland from June 3rd- 5th.
On another note, the President of the Chamber Erick Thompson and I will be doing weekly business visits throughout the community. We hope to make this an ongoing effort to seek concerns and ideas from the business community. We will be starting in mid-June.
Later on in this meeting, we will be having a discussion concerning road surface widths and bike lanes as part of the Garnet Valley Water Twinning project. This is an exciting major project for the municipality. Garnet Valley residents will be pleased that the project is continuing to move forward.
Mayor's Report May 9th, 2016
First I would like to say our hearts go out to the residents of Fort McMurray, the devastation of their city and anxiety over tremendous loss and change in their lives is hard to imagine.
I would urge Summerland residents to be careful and vigilant. We have the second largest watershed in the Okanagan Basin and we must take care to avoid putting this large forested area at risk of wild fire. In addition we have a number of interface areas where housing developments and other structures mix with natural treed vegetation. A considerable amount of risk reduction work has been carried out by our fire department in these areas.
This subject was addressed from the OBWB perspective with a report by CEO Anna Warwick Sears where she indicated that the British Columbia River forecast center reported a rapid loss in snow pack from above average to below average due to the unusually hot and dry conditions over the last month. The Brenda mines snow pillow data at 1453 meters showed a rapid loss of snow at lower elevations so levels are well below average.
On May 1st I was honoured to be asked by our Royal Canadian Legion to participate in V-E celebrations at the Canyon view cemetery. My wife and I attended the celebration dinner at the Legion, we appreciated the opportunity to participate and represent the District of Summerland.
I have had a number of residents over the last several weeks mention their concern over the condition of many of the District’s roads. As many of you know we are redoing a major section of Garnett Valley Road as we twin the water system in the area. Major works of this nature are very costly and we have been fortunate to partner with funding from the federal and provincial government in a 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 share of this 6 million dollar project. Work will start this fall. In addition we have received funding assistance for several asset management studies. This work will assist us in determining the priority of need in renewing our infrastructure – that is our pipes in the ground, water, sewer, electrical, and roads over the next number of years.
My wife and I attended the Saturday night of the Blossom Pageant. The candidates were amazing and impressive. I would like to congratulate our new Blossom Queen Sarah Gottwald, Princesses Khush Saran and Chloe Collins and Miss Congeniality Sidnee Chick.
Mayor's Report April 25th, 2016
The second set of business walks with the Chamber and members of council occurred on April 14th. I was paired up with the new Chamber President Erick Thompson. It was very successful, notes and comments will be on the Chamber website. This collaborative effort by the chamber and council will result in a renewed capacity for council and the chamber to respond to business needs, and enable us to work together more effectively.
Over the last several months council and staff have had a number of budget meetings and discussions. As you will see tonight, we are now getting close to the end of the process as we present the grant in aid requests and bring the financial plan bylaw forward for first, second and third reading.
As I and several members of council were at the SILGA meetings in Kelowna, I was only able to attend one of 13 different Earth Week events. If the Philosophers Café presentation of Syilx Water Perspectives by Dr. Jeannette Armstrong and Dr. Marlowe Sam was any indication, the whole week was a resounding success. Their presentation illustrated how water weaves through every aspect of our existence, through us, the plants, soil, and animals, and respect for its role in our lives needs to be fully understood. I would like to congratulate all the organizers and volunteers who put so much work into this rewarding week.
Several of council attended the SILGA (Southern Interior Local Government Association) meetings in Kelowna. The theme this year was “Water Connecting Us All. It was an opportunity to advance a number of resolutions to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities this fall, as well as to establish connections with other councillors and mayors. I had the good fortune to spend some quality time with Minister Fassbender who is Minister of Communities, Sport and Culture to advance our thoughts on aspects of concern to Summerland. One of these in particular was regarding our application for a Building Canada Fund grant to assist in our need to do a 3 million dollar upgrade to our sewage plant for the filtration beds and grit removal equipment. This will give us much needed redundancy for our plant for maintenance purposes and to always be able to meet Interior Health requirements.
And finally, I would like to remind everyone that Thursday, April 28th is National Day of Mourning. A day set aside to remember those who have been injured, lost their lives, or suffered illness due to work-related incidents or hazards.
Mayor's Report April 11th, 2016
The last few weeks have been exhausting for the community, at this point Trout Creek Elementary is destined for closure at the end of this school year. We will be pursuing avenues through upcoming SILGA (the Southern Interior Local Government Association) and the UBCM (Union of British Columbia Municipalities) meetings this fall where we will press for a meeting with the Minister of Education. Closure of Trout Creek Elementary and lack of appropriate provincial funding are working at cross purposes to Chamber of Commerce goals and the business community as well as dramatically affecting lives of children and families.
The week of April 16th to 24th is Earth Week. The theme for this year is “A Drop in The Bucket”. There will be an opportunity to tour our Water Treatment Plant and Don Gayton will be presenting a discussion on the Daylighting project for Prairie Creek behind Giant’s Head School- this will help restore wetland habitat and be a tremendous educational experience for the community. A conversation Café evening will take place where First Nations water perspectives will be presented –this should be fascinating as this will in part be verbal history passed through generations. There will be many other interesting events during the week– please check our website for details.
My wife Claire and I had the pleasure of attending the SADI fundraising event – a great dinner contributed by Zia’s and live auction with caller Roch Fortin doing a great job. I was auctioned off as part of a golfing foursome and dinner courtesy of the Summerland Golf and Country Club- believe it or not that donation topped the list at $375.00 for SADI.
Mayor's Report March 29th, 2016
There have been a few key engagements that I had the privilege of being involved in over the last two weeks.
I attended the Chamber AGM and carried out the swearing in of the new Chamber executive. Congratulations to the new President Eric Thompson, Vice President Robert Hacking and Treasurer Micheal Hughes. Council looks forward to a productive ongoing relationship with the chamber board and executive.
I had the privilege of speaking to the KVR AGM where I addressed the critical nature of the KVR in community tourism and the fabric of the community. I feel strongly that businesses, and in no small measure the KVR, the chamber and the District need to work together to create synergies that will enhance everybody’s bottom line.
I would like to thank the community for their participation in our recent open house on the 2016 budget. In addition, council owes tremendous thanks to CAO Linda Tynan and her staff for a great presentation. It is a tough but critical subject, and staff made it interesting and interactive. Council will now be addressing the budget again in light of the public session and finalizing our 2016 financial program and tax rates.
The issue of school closures continues to dominate our resident’s minds. Council and residents have made multiple comprehensive representations to the school board. We realize that government has placed the school board in a very difficult position. Our offer to sit down and collaborate with the school district on ways of maintaining our schools is sincerely meant and still open. A decision to close Trout Creek elementary negatively affects all families and students in all schools in Summerland.
Mayor's Report February 22nd, 2016
The last two weeks have kept me very active with critical meetings as we deal with issues and projects in the District.
The initial steering group meeting for the skatepark was held. Eric Thompson was selected chair, the first steps were taken towards a schedule and planning for fundraising. The grant Summerland Charity Shop Society of $135,000 gives the effort a large jump in the total dollar requirements. The hope is to link skate demos with other events to promote fundraising. The area will likely have public art, outdoor fitness equipment in addition to a youth led design for the skatepark itself. Hopefully looking to a sod turning late spring or early summer 2017.
At the regular RDOS board meeting, a key discussion was held on the status of the Southern Interior Beetle Coalition group. This organization was initiated to deal with the effect on economies of small interior communities by the Mountain Pine Beetle. It will likely morph into a rural development group.
MP Richard Cannings gave a report on his new role and activities in Ottawa. He noted that there is no new news on the status of the Penticton airport, or on the issue around legalizing Marijuana.
The District has been successful in their application for a $372,000 grant from Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund for integrated asset management and infrastructure planning. This asset management planning is essential to be able to move forward to determine priorities for action on infrastructure.
Council met with the Chamber of Commerce to discuss joint cooperative opportunities. We had a very good discussion which will lead to synergistic efforts to benefit the community.
Council strategic planning continued on the 15th and will now be blended with budget discussions over the next several weeks.
Council recently met with the school board to address mutual concerns. We hope to be able to have further discussions to advance Summerland’s concerns on school closures.
An excellent Philosopher’s Café was held last week. This event is an excellent way to engage the community in discussions relevant to Summerland residents.
The third meeting of the Mayor’s Task Force on our local economy was held. We are discussing and prioritizing brainstorming ideas, we hope to soon have more focussed opportunities to move forward with.
Mr. Joe Smuin gave a factual and amusing presentation on the history of the development of the KVR last Saturday afternoon. Approximately 100 people filled the basement of the old library. His talk was excellent as it was laced with personal and family anecdotal stories that brought the history alive. Thanks to the Heritage Commission for their work in arranging this speaker for Heritage Week.
Mayor's Report February 9th, 2016
I had the pleasure of attending the Chamber of Commerce nominee’s reception January 28th at the arena banquet room. This is a great opportunity to recognize all 57 nominees across eleven categories for their efforts and contributions to the community. Nester’s again did a wonderful job of appetizer plates and Bottleneck Drive provided wine and cider for the event. This will culminate in the Awards Gala at the Waterfront Resort February 27th. Please take time to vote for your preference in the categories. At that time I will also be awarding the Mayor’s Award of Excellence to honour a community organization.
At the end of January the District received notice that our project of Okanagan Fur Brigade Linear Trail Park which was nominated for a Heritage B.C. Award in the Heritage Conservation category won at the Recognition Level. It is likely that Councillor Peake as one of the liaisons to the Cultural and Heritage Commission will attend the Annual Heritage Awards Gala February 18th at the Imperial Hotel in Vancouver. This award speaks to the dedicated effort of community members and to the Heritage Commission.
Trail development has been a topic of discussion at several meetings recently.
Since the completion of the Lakeside Trail between lower town and Trout Creek, discussion has centered on continuation of that project with excellent advocacy from the Trails of the Okanagan’s group as well as development of the KVR rail bed from the Research Station to Penticton. There will be more discussions and meetings with decisions coming forward in the near future.
Other than the regular RDOS board meeting, I also attended the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) Board meeting February 2nd in Kelowna. Several topics were covered that are interesting for us. There were comments on our winter and El Nino. The extremely low snowpack that we experienced in 2015 are not commonly associated with El Nino events. Some of the snow pillow data is trending about average. The more pronounced effects of El Nino occur from February to April. This appears to be the case as we will experience above normal temperatures and decreased precipitation.
The other information referred to environmental flow needs of streams (this is primarily a determination of water requirements for fish flows being carried out by the Water Stewardship Council. The First phase of a study on methodology will be complete by April. The second phase will implement those methods to establish EFN’s for streams where there is a limited understanding and will build on modelling developed from the 2010 Water Supply and Demand Study. In Summerland we are one of the few communities where an EFN has been established for Trout Creek in 2004.
Mayor’s Report January 25th, 2016
I had the pleasure of attending the Business after Business event at beyond Wrapture at the Waterfront Hotel, on Tuesday the 19th. Summergate Winery provided wonderful wine and Zia’s provided tasty appetizers. The Business after Business event shows off unique Summerland businesses, and they are a great way to meet the entrepreneurs of the Summerland business community.
On Thursday the 21st I attended the RDOS and Regional Hospital Board meetings. There was a discussion and resolution on issues around trails, some of which will be referred to later in our agenda.
Thursday evening we held the inaugural meeting of the Mayor’s Task Force on Summerland’s economy. This was a brainstorming session with each member offering up ideas and concerns. We will be continuing the process to ultimately prioritize ideas to bring forward. The members were unanimous in the desire to come up with actionable results to bring forward to the council and the community.
Mayor’s Report January 11th, 2016
It has certainly been a long stretch since our last council meeting. It was great to get together with friends and family, I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday and a good rest. I would like to thank our public works staff for the good job over the holidays with the several blasts of snow.
Speaking of Works and Utilities – I would like to welcome our new Director of Works and Utilities, Kris Johnson. I am sure our CAO Linda Tynan will have more to say.
We are now just into our traditional January melt which should help out. Snow packs in the water shed are reasonable for this stage of the season.
There have been a number of activities to note. I and council members attended the Chamber of Commerce Business after Business Christmas get together on December 16th. Also my wife and I had the pleasure of attending the Air Cadet Christmas Potluck. It is a wonderful organization, the youth were especially excited about the fact that the top brass from Edmonton attended and flew to Kelowna in an F-18. They all got a great tour of the fighter jet.
Mary Trainer from our Heritage Advisory Commission has indicated that the commission is submitting a form to Heritage B.C. that nominates the Fur Brigade Linear Trail Park for a Heritage Conservation award and would like to name the Mayor representing the District as one of the individuals who were helpful in completing the project. So of course I will let my name stand on behalf of Council for our part in approving the 30 year lease with the Province of BC.
Several times over the last few months I have mentioned the formation of a Mayor’s Task Force on the local economy. We have a great committee and we are all anxious to get going. So I will read out the names of the committee members:
Jai Zachary Technology
Kelly Marshall Banking
Karen Bowyer Arts
Steve Brown Agri-Tech
Todd Laidlaw Downtown Business
Bob Campbell Development/Business
Sandy Berry Construction
Mike Stohler Real Estate
Roch Fortin Business
Linda Holman Seniors
Haley Laktin Youth
Sunveer Dhaliwal Youth (alternate)
Erin Trainer Council rep
Peter Waterman Chair
Linda Tynan CAO – Staff rep
Council had their first strategic planning meeting last week. This week we will be meeting jointly with staff to get into more detail to set realistic goals for 2016 prior to detailed budget meeting.
Mayor’s Report December 14, 2015
The last three weeks have been active with Regional District budget and strategic planning meetings, council strategic planning, and an Okanagan Water Basin Water Board meeting.
I and several council members attended the two local school district information meetings regarding the issue of potential school closures in the district. The school board has a difficult task facing declining enrollment and escalating costs. But the suggestion of closing Giants Head elementary and creating two K-7 schools will leave the district with virtually no growth options for the K-7 demographic and hence little option for growth including families. This is of particular concern as we have seen a dramatic surge in building permits over the last year. Council has set a number of actions in motion that may very well see this upward trend continue.
On November 26th the reality of a skatepark became one step closer. New Line Skateparks, participated in an information session. A great contingent of youth was present to give voice to their preferences. Everybody is excited to see the project moving forward.
December 2nd a Syrian refugee workshop was held. The issue is a massive human tragedy and I am very pleased that Councillor Holmes is assisting the sponsorship group. Our assistance and support will be dealt with a resolution coming to Council a little later on our agenda. I will leave the topic to Councillor Holmes for further detail in his Councillor report.
Tuesday the 8th I had the pleasure of addressing the Rotary breakfast meeting to present an update of Council activities over the past year. The presentation was well received and I intend to address more community groups in the near future as the opportunities arise.
Mayors Report, November 23rd, 2015
My schedule has been active since the last council meeting.
I would like to extend a thank you to our local Royal Canadian Legion for a very special community Remembrance Day. It was cool but sunny and only a slight breeze at times. The attendance was the largest we have had, although attendance seems to have been building the last several years. A lot of young people turned out, it is good to see the importance of remembering those that fought and died or suffered to preserve our freedoms will be passed on to successive generations.
My wife and I, attended the Diwali event in Trout Creek Saturday the 14th at the Hindu Temple. It was a wonderful community celebration.
Tuesday the 17th the new library hosted its first business after business. Sue Kline and her staff gave a tour of the new library which has seen visits for October more than double the previous October.
A great Philosophers Café was held last Wednesday with Councillor Holmes presenting and moderating the discussion. We discussed the size of nations and the drawing of borders. In light of the world’s situation of conflict and migration of large numbers of people, it was a very interesting topic.
The regular RDOS board meeting was held last Thursday. One of the key reports was the progress and results of a service review initiated in 2012 of the Emergency Radio upgrade project to establish effectiveness, user acceptability and to recognize any deficiencies. For Naramata/Summerland the improved repeater site will provide similar coverage but included 14 technical upgrades to the service. The whole system has better redundancy.
This Friday is Summerland’s Festival of Lights and I hope to see everyone there!
Mayor’s Report, October 26, 2015
It has been a busy last two weeks as council prepares for strategic planning sessions and the 2016 budget. It is important to recognize that council’s concerns for the community for 2016 are expressed in council’s strategic plan which will drive the budget process. Priorities will then be set within the constraints of our fiscal capacity.
I have had individual meetings with councillors prior to strategic planning to set the stage for our upcoming planning sessions.
More specifically over the last two weeks I have attended the Okanagan Water Forum. The theme of this forum was “From Knowledge to Thinking Forward” it brought Okanagan Nation Alliance representatives and regional water stakeholders in an effort to build partnerships and create actionable solutions in regards to water management in the Okanagan Basin. The drought of this past summer here in British Columbia and from California through to Washington State is prompting a greater intensity of discussion around water issues.
A noted keynote speaker was Dr. David Suzuki whose presentation spoke of the “Biosphere in Crisis”. Dr. Suzuki was a professor of mine at UBC in the late 70’s and I have a great deal of respect for his views on the environment.
Last Thursday the chamber members and councillors participated in a business walk where of councillors, our CAO and chamber executive and manager Christine Petkau paired up and visited local businesses to hear concerns that affect their business success in the community. It was an excellent co-operative effort and will be repeated on an annual or semi-annual basis to assist in guiding the chamber’s and council’s efforts in enhancing business success in Summerland.
In addition last Thursday my wife and I attended the 7th annual Southern Interior Construction Association Commercial Building Awards banquet in Kelowna. The reason that I mention it in particular is that the Okanagan Nation Alliance received an award of excellence for the Penticton Indian Band fish hatchery facility. Pauline Terbasket plus other ONA officials were there to receive the award. Council recently had a tour of PIB facilities and saw this facility.
On Friday the 23rd I participated with Herlinda Burt and Kelly Marshall of the Summerland Credit Union and Recreation Manager Brenda Ingram in a tree planting initiative where the Credit Union gifted $5000.00 to the District’s Tree Planting program. This will supply a number of fairly good sized trees for the Living Memorial Ball Diamond area and Peach Orchard Park.
This last Sunday my granddaughter Hannah, myself and Councillor Trainer attended the unveiling of the new signage for our Lakeshore Trail. It’s a great addition to explain our trail network to residents and visitors. Hats off to our Public Works crew who assembled the sign structure.
Mayor’s Report October 13th 2015
Council has had an active and productive last two weeks.
I was pleased to be able to participate in the United Way drive through charity. The lineup to participate at the Lakeside was full and I’m sure it was a successful event.
We had a successful council to council meeting with Chief Johnathan Kruger and his council. This followed a few days later with a special tour of P.I.B. facilities. There will be ongoing regular meetings to enhance our relationship with our First Nation neighbours to build a framework for consultation.
The week of September 21st, council participated in the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities Conference in Vancouver. We met with the Premier, the Honourable John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, the Honourable Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Finance, the Honourable Mike DeJong, and the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Honourable Todd Stone. We discussed the issue of the perpetual slide near the golf course, highway speed zones and safety issues through Summerland, opportunities in the Ag-Tech sector, and advice and assistance in relationship building with our First Nations Neighbours.
Although the meetings are brief, they are a significant opportunity to establish critical contacts to advance important issues for the residents of Summerland.
October 3rd I had the pleasure of participating in the grand opening of the new Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library. The staff and the Friends of the Library have been waiting close to 15 years for a much needed expansion and finally we have a facility that will meet our needs. A special thanks to the ORL staff for their hard work.
Two conferences on water quality and conservation are in process; one just finished in Osoyoos and the other takes place in Kelowna tomorrow. Ongoing droughts, climate change, wildfire impacts and mitigation are aspects that are very important for Summerland. I believe in the “one basin one water” concept. What we do and what our neighbours do with respect to water impact us all.
Mayor’s Report, September 14th, 2015
The end of August and early September seem rushed and busy as lots of events are squeezed in before school starts for families, and it seems to signal the end of summer.
For myself and councillors we have all attended a number of community events. Thursday evening of August 31st a critical meeting was held to discuss the potential to retain the Presbyterian Church in Lower town as a heritage building. A good crowd filled the IOOF Hall. Dr. Gregory gave an interesting historical account which opened the discussion. All kinds of options were presented. In the end, interested parties left their names to spearhead an effort to retain the church.
The grand opening of the new Lakeshore Trail project took place at the south end of the trail (near Illahie). Our MLA Dan Ashton did the honours of cutting the ribbon, along with myself, Don Gemmel, who represented Henry Sielman of Trail of the Okanagans committee, Connie Dennesiuk past chair of the trails committee and Mayor Jackubeit of Penticton. The new link is a great safe addition for the Summerland Trails network. MLA Ashton was very hopeful that a similar link is not too far off in the future to Penticton. There is considerable energy valley wide to have a complete valley-wide trail system.
On the evening of September the 9th my wife and I attended the showing of the Amazing Race Canada at the Waterfront Resort. Hellen Walker-Matthews of TOTA and the Summerland Chamber of Commerce introduced the showing. It was a great showpiece for the South Okanagan and particularly Summerland. It gave viewers across Canada a tremendous window on us and the region.
Friday the 11th I had the pleasure of welcoming the 25 RCMP riders of Cops For Kids at our local RCMP detachment. It was the first leg of a 10 day ride. They anticipated raising in excess of $300,000 for kids in need in the South-East RCMP region. Over the last 15 years they have received donations of 3.2 million dollars. Last year they were able to help 190 children in our region.
This past weekend I welcomed participants of the Happy Valley Cruisers Show-n-Shine car show. The park was packed with 220 entries and hundreds of visitors and locals to take it all in. I picked the Mayor’s choice award. It was a pale yellow 1930 Model A Ford with a rumble seat, owned by Butch and Bev Choinard of Osoyoos. It was a real gem.
Yesterday I attended the massive Dragon boat festival at Skaha Beach in Penticton. There were 82 teams with 2100 team members plus families. A very colourful event. There are lots of Summerland paddlers. The Survivorship Team won back the Dale Charles Trophy after six years.
Mayor’s Report August 24, 2015
Over the last two weeks the key areas of concern have been the ongoing drought discussion and responses by municipalities and regional districts, as well as the wildfire situation.
August 13th Councillor Boot, myself, and our Manager of Utilities, Devon van de Meulen, attended a Drought Management Workshop held by the Okanagan Water Basin Board in Kelowna. The South Coast and the Southern Interior have moved from Level 2 (dry) , Level 3 (very dry), and into Level 4 (the highest rating). We are now in an unprecedented drought. Creeks and rivers are at low levels not usually seen until September and fish stocks returning to spawn have been decimated by low flows and high killing water temperatures.
The District of Summerland’s Water Use Plan developed in 2004- 2005 required consensus by all water user groups and is a plan where there was give and take by all stakeholders. It is being used as a model throughout the province. In response to the provincial Level 4 declaration, all water purveyors were encouraged to move to the next level of water restrictions. As a result, Summerland is at Stage 2. Staff are carefully monitoring the water levels in our storage dams as well as following our trigger graph developed in our Water Use Plan. The plan determines when we move into various stages of water restrictions as well as supplying mandated fish flows. The raising of Thirsk Dam put Summerland in a good position as far as managing our water use for all purposes. Currently with the request to users to reduce water use voluntarily and the move to Stage 2, our daily flows from our system have been reduced from approximately 70 to 80 megaliters per day to 47 megaliters per day. Our storages stand at 67 percent full. The water plan is built to anticipate three years of consecutive drought.
A closely related topic was dealt with in a presentation at the RDOS last week where biologist Natasha Lukey discussed the salmon rehabilitation project for the river channel in Penticton. In the past, 85 percent of the river was channelized, 50 percent of the river was lost and 90 percent of the riparian vegetation was lost. In pre settlement times there were up to 6,000,000 spawning salmon, this number dropped to 5000 in the sixties and seventies. In 2008 the Okanagan Nation alliance and the RDOS started doing habitat restoration and the 2014 return was 150,000 salmon. Extensive additional spawning beds are being put in place this year. Unfortunately, numbers will be greatly reduced this year due to low water conditions and high water temperatures.
With regard to wildfires, up until now Summerland has been fortunate and has not had a severe wildfire situation. We have had a number of small fires that could have been serious if the fire department had not acted thoroughly and quickly.
Mayor's Report August 9th, 2015
The community has two major immediate concerns right now. The fire hazard rating is at 4 or high as the hot dry weather continues. According to the Fire Chief we had a ¾ acre fire on Saturday which was aggressive and could have been larger if it had not been fairly accessible. The weather continues to not look good with lightning in the forecast for the remainder of the week.
On recommendation from our Fire Chief Glen Noble we continue to block access to vehicular traffic (including cars, dirt bikes and quads) on Giant’s Head, Conkle and Cartwright Mountains. There is significant danger that an extremely hot exhaust could ignite grass or brush.
The second issue is the drought situation. Up until late last week the Okanagan was still in a designation of Provincial drought level three. At the end of last week the Okanagan was placed under drought level four (please note there is no level five). This has implications for water purveyors like the District of Summerland.
A provincial declaration of a drought level four is recognition of the seriousness of water shortages throughout the Province. As a community we need to continue to vigorously reduce water use wherever we can and be efficient stewards of a precious resource.
Later in the meeting, staff will be giving us a water supply update.
One other topic, I have been managing to drop in on the Rotary Sunday market. There are approximately 50 vendors plus the downtown merchants, everybody is indicating good attendance. Vendors and the public seem to appreciate the laid-back but exciting atmosphere of the market.
July 27th, 2015
The extreme hot weather over the last number of weeks has created devastating wildfires throughout British Columbia. The Fire Chief is very concerned about our local tinder dry situation. I approved his desire to close Giant’s Head Park to vehicular traffic, and the closure of trails on Cartwright Mountain and Conkle Mountain to use by any motorized vehicles such as dirt bikes and quads. The rational is that hot exhaust pipes can ignite tinder dry brush and grasses. In addition we are asking the public to be extremely careful with cigarettes. We have had a lot of lightening but human caused fires are still very high on the list of causes of wildfires. This was brought to home this morning as an old fifth wheel caught fire adjacent to the base of Giant’s Head near the industrial area with grasses and pines nearby. Our fire department was right on it and dealt with it quickly.
Throughout British Columbia the other concern is water. The province has announced a level four drought advisory for the South Coast and Nicola area. The Okanagan is at a level three, and the situation here is under review. The recent rain has certainly assisted the firefighting effort but has not substantially changed dry conditions if very hot weather returns as it is supposed to. All areas in the interior have been asked to reduce consumption by 30%.
We have a very unique situation here in Summerland. The raising of our main reservoir, Thirsk Dam, doubled our storage in Thirsk Dam. We are sitting at approximately 80% of full storage for our combined dam capacity. At this point the Director of Works and Utilities advised that we urge the residents to reduce consumption. We will be reviewing our situation on a daily basis.
Along with other Regional District directors, I had the honour of attending the second anniversary of the Regional District’s protocol agreement with the Penticton Indian Band. This was very significant as such an agreement creates an environment of consultation and partnership on topics of mutual concern.
This last Saturday I had the honour of welcoming the teams and throwing out the first ball at the Senior Ladies Provincial tournament. I actually threw a decent ball and did not embarrass myself by wildly missing or injuring anybody. Ball tournaments bring a great number of participants to our community and they had a great time.
The Sunday market is proving to be a fantastic success. This last Sunday my wife Claire and I attended and it was buzzing with residents and visitors. Booths and retail stores indicated really good activity. So Kudos to Rotary, and the market manager Laurel Burnham.
July 13th, 2015
The last three weeks have been active and exhilarating.
It started July 1st with the Royal Canadian Legion’s celebration of Canada’s 148th birthday which I attended with our MLA Dan Ashton. The legion brought pageantry to our birthday as Pastor Rick Gay led the celebration. Two more years and we hit a grand 150 years.
The big story for Summerland and Garnet Valley water users and drivers, was the announcement by the Federal and Provincial governments of our grant for the Garnet Valley water separation project. I participated with the rest of council in a golden shovel event with our MLA Dan Ashton and our MP Dan Albas on site on Garnet Valley Road. Tremendous thanks goes to Dan Ashton who worked hard with the previous council lobbying on our behalf with the rest of cabinet. A special thanks goes to MP Dan Albas who diligently worked on our behalf to secure the Federal Governments participation. In the process of delivering high quality water, the Garnet Valley residents will also see Garnet Valley road rebuilt, a boon to safety and front axels.
I would like to thank MLA Dan Ashton as we celebrated the provincial grant of $420,000 for the Lakeshore trail project. I would also like to thank Rotary, and community members as they spearheaded the project that will see an important safe link in our trail system linking lower town and the Trout Creek area for walking and biking. It will be completed in mid-August and will also contribute greatly to tourism in the community.
The other exciting news is the strong success of the Sunday Market. What an event! Special kudos again to Rotary. The market is gaining strength with approximately 50 vendors so far, with potential for 80. The retail stores, coupled with the vendors and the music, have created a buzz that I am very excited about. It’s a laid back event and fits the Chambers new tag line of “Take Your Time”.
June 24th I had the opportunity to speak and enjoy dinner with seniors at the Senior Centers’ regular Wednesday social. I was able to explain council’s direction and respond to questions.
June 26th I was able to attend the 2015 Summerland Senior Secondary graduation ceremonies and had the honour of presenting Summerland Scholarship Bursary in the amount of $1100 to Abishek Lekhi.
The weekend of June 27th we had another fantastic long board competition. Giant’s Head is the premier location in the Pacific Northwest. I could not attend this year, but there are again chances for some incredible video clips.
My wife Claire and I were invited to the Yacht Club Soiree, Saturday July 4th. It was a formal event with full dress whites for Yacht Club members and a lovely dinner. I was also invited to participate in the Sunday Sail Past with Past Commodore Brian Wilke. It was a beautiful Okanagan morning as we saluted the Yacht Club Commodore.
July 9th I was invited to say a few words at a gathering of the Specialty Car Association at the Dairy Queen. The association contributes greatly to the colour of Summerland as well as the economy as they pursue their passion.
Back to regular business, I also attended the Okanagan Basin Water Board meeting where vigilance on water use was emphasized as well as the heavy theme of the concern about monitoring for the invasive Qaugga and Zebra Mussels. We all received this new Mussel shirt.
Councillor Boot and I also attended the regular meeting of the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.
One final note, we had the misfortune of a community-wide power outage July 8th. I realize that such an event is financially very difficult for business, but Fortis and staff got us back on line as quickly as possible. Staff will be participating in a debrief session with Fortis early this week and we will have an explanation very soon.
June 8, 2015
What a weekend! Great weather and tremendous participation by athletes. I would like to extend my appreciation to the Action Festival Committee, Chair Pat Bell, and his team for a job very well done and a special thank you to all the volunteers, and staff involved. All venues seem to be well attended, including the Kinsmen beverage garden. I would like to thank my wife and two grandchildren Hannah and Kaylah for being with me in the lead car for the Action Fest parade. On top of all that the music was fantastic, with a great set of CCR renditions which got yours truly and his wife up on their feet.
In addition there were other events that I had the pleasure of attending. The big one was the 100th anniversary of the Kettle Valley Steam Railway which included a special commemorative run and an unveiling of a special stamp of an old red caboose by Mr. Gus Boersma. This was all followed by a BBQ and cake. I’m pretty sure my grandfather was at the inaugural run 100 years ago as a representative from the Princeton Light and Coal Company.
Last week a joint meeting of the Okanagan Basin Water Board and the Water Stewardship council (this is the science advisory group to support the Water Basin Board) was held at the Summerland Lakeshore Resort.
Most importantly, this is our Corporate Officer, Maureen Fugeta’s, last council meeting as she is about to retire. Maureen started with the City of Penticton in 1989, went to the RCMP and back to the City of Penticton and on to Summerland as the Deputy Corporate Office in 2008 and has been our Corporate Officer since 2011. On behalf of council and staff, I would like to thank her for her years of dedicated service to the administration and the community. She has been kind, patient and generous to me in my new role and I thoroughly appreciate her willingness to help. She will be greatly missed.
Mayor Peter F. Waterman
May 25, 2015
First you will notice some changes to our meeting agenda presentations, they are clearer and more complete for the public. Our new CAO and the admin staff have brought these changes forward.
I attended the Okanagan Regional Library board meeting on Wednesday the 13th and introduced Erin Carlson as the new District of Summerland representative who will take my place on the board. The board continues to be excited about the progress of our new library in Summerland. Our CAO and I had a quick tour of the new building- it’s impressive.
The Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association had a PR event at the Sandman to announce new initiatives and direction of particular interest is an initiative led by Ellen Matthews focussing on trails and experience tourism.
This is a great Segway to the Giant’s Head Grind - Ellen Matthews and our Rotary Club did a wonderful job. The full day event was a great success, our own Councillor Trainer did extremely well. I couldn’t help but think what an incredible venue we have at Peach Orchard beach. Summerland has yet to realize its potential for events and tourism.
Last Thursday Councillor Boot and I attended the RDOS board meetings, of particular interest was the passing of a motion recommending a moratorium on the installation of smart meters in the South Okanagan. Also noted was the strong monitoring effort to prevent the invasion of Quagga and Zebra Mussels into our lakes and streams. There will be mobile monitoring taking place but a serious border inspection commitment is required immediately by the Provincial government. Eradication is not possible once they have invaded our streams and lakes and water infrastructure.
My wife Claire and I had the pleasure of attending the annual Rotary Gala fundraiser at the Waterfront Resort. The dinner was excellent, and the dining room was filled to capacity. Lawyer Micheal Welsh did a stellar job of the live auction; all in all it was a very successful evening.
May 11, 2015
The first part of our term has been busy, and the last three weeks have been no exception.
Councillor Boot, Peake, myself and our CAO Linda Tynan all attended the Southern Interior Government Association (SILGA) conference in Kamloops from April 29th to May 1st. This is a regional government conference where resolutions from municipalities and Regional Districts are forwarded to the Union of British Columbia Municipality conference in September. There were some excellent seminars plus opportunities for discussions, relationship building and networking. As a new Mayor I found this very valuable.
May 2nd two special events took place. First, I brought greetings for the District of Summerland to the South Okanagan Boundary Labour celebrations at Gyro Park. I stood with our MLA Dan Ashton, and Mayor Andrew Jackebuite. The event was well attended and focussed on the successes of the Labour Movement over the decades.
The second event was the selection of our new Royalty at the 45th annual Blossom Pageant. As Mayor I opened the evening’s events and presented gifts to our very successful retiring royalty, Miss Summerland Taylor Arkestyn, Princesses Julia Belmonte and Makenzie Vandertoolen and Miss Congeniality Brianna Ure.
Of course at our opening this evening I had the opportunity to swear in our new Summerland Royalty. Congratulations again ladies and we wish you every success in your activities over the next year as you represent Summerland.
I also attended the Okanagan Basin Water Board monthly meeting on the 5th. Discussions revolved around our snow pack, which for our area runs about 76% of normal, but some areas such as the Island is running at 15% of normal. In addition we discussed the need for border inspection at all border crossings to keep on the watch for the very destructive and invasive Quagga and Zebra Mussels. These invasive species will cause millions of dollars’ worth of damage to water based infrastructure. I would urge the provincial government to protect British Columbia with a much more serious commitment.
Other events that I and Councillors attended were the annual Health and Safety Breakfast at Public Works. All I can say to staff is please continue to work safely.
In addition, I attended the regular RDOS board meeting with Councillor Boot, and on Saturday the 9th I attended the final event for NeighbourLink at Summerland Senior’s Village. Kudos to this tremendous organization and their work at making life better for Summerland citizens.
And lastly, I looked in on our Emergencies Services Saturday morning workshop. Watching the effort, I came away feeling pleased with our abilities and capacity to deal with emergency situations. Congratulations are due to our Fire Chief, our ESS Coordinator John Topham, his volunteers, and all the residents that gave of their time to make this event a success.
Mayor Peter F. Waterman
April 27, 2015
The last two weeks seemed to have whipped by with a large number of key community events.
It started with a highly successful Sadie Fundraiser at Zia’s –it was packed, the food was excellent as usual. I don’t know the exact amount but considerable funds were raised for Sadie through the silent and live auction, and the contribution of the meal cost by ZIA’s. The live auction was led by our talented and exuberant Marty Van Alphen, a fun and excellent event for Sadie.
On Monday the 20th, I along with several councillors, attended the excellent anti-bullying presentation at the Lakeside in Penticton given by Barbara Coloroso. It is a terribly difficult problem and not easily solved.
As most of you know, last week was Earth Week. Busy probably does not cover the number of events adequately. I believe there at least 11 events. My wife Claire and I attended the taking out the Olives event- at PARC – an invasive species that has run rampant.
In addition I attended the Philosopher’s café – Henry Micheals, a First Nations knowledge keeper presented, as did our own Don Gayton – biologist and writer.
In addition Trails BC held their AGM at the IOOF hall – reps from around the province were there. I was pleased to be able to make the introductory remarks welcoming the conference to Summerland.
On a more somber note- Our long time employee at public works, Gary Williams passed away recently. The celebration of life will take place tomorrow at the Providence funeral home at 10:00am.
Also April 28th has been designated a National Day of Mourning for workers, families, employers, and others to come together to remember those who have lost their lives on the job.
April 13, 2015
First I am delighted to introduce our new Chief Administrative Officer Linda Tynan, who joined us at the end of March. Linda comes to us with an impressive list of credentials. She was recently the CAO for Nakusp, prior to that the Chief Financial Officer for Nelson and is also a certified general accountant. In addition she has been the Chief Executive Officer for the Kootenay School of the Arts. It has been a whirlwind of introductions to staff at a special BBQ organized by Karen Jones and chief cook Rick Leardo. Also, I gave her a tour of Summerland from one end to the other, including a special roadside seminar of tree fruit horticulture.
During the past three weeks since our last council meeting we have had an excellent council team building session led by facilitator Dan Dinsmore on Saturday March 28th.
In addition, two select committees have been active. One a select committee on the OCP composed of Councillor Boot, Councillor Trainer and myself, with recommendations coming forward to council soon. The second select committee concerned with restructuring our committees, composed of Councillor Peake, Councillor Holmes and myself. The first set of recommendations will come forward tonight with the recommended list of Cultural Task Force members and the terms of reference. This task force will formulate a cultural plan in collaboration with arts and culture groups in the community. The cultural plan is critical, as arts and culture are a key pillar in Council’s four pillar strategic plan.
Council also had a special meeting with our new school district board led by Board Chair Linda Van Alphen. This was an introductory meeting to be followed by more strategic meetings in the future.
April is Daffodil month and is the Canadian Cancer Society’s national fundraising campaign. There are not too many people that have not been affected by cancer either directly or indirectly. Wear your daffodil to show your support.
April is also National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness month. Right now there are 465 British Columbians waiting for a transplant. 326 transplants were performed in 2014. If you would like to be an organ donor, please go online to www.transplant.bc.ca.
Mayor Peter F. Waterman
March 23, 2015
The last two weeks have been active to say the least. One of the main focuses for council has been the development of our strategic plan, which consumes a large part of tonight’s agenda. This is council’s focus for this year and beyond. We have added a forth pillar “cultural vibrancy”. Council feels strongly that our drive to the future needs to reflect the depth and breadth of the cultural identity of Summerland. To that end a Cultural Task Force will be struck to formulate a cultural master plan for the community.
Another major effort of the last two weeks has been the review of amendments and proposed amendments to the OCP over the last six years. Council struck a select committee which has met a number of times for a considerable number of hours. This effort reflects the desire of the community to preserve our rural urban mix. The electorate provided this direction in the last election. Council will be bringing the results of these deliberations to the public in the near future.
Both of these major efforts are meant to spur economic activity, and to provide certainty and focus to the development community in Summerland.
All our efforts in these areas, with extensive budget deliberations over the last three months, plus an on ongoing examination of the advisory committees have been led very successfully by the stellar leadership of our interim CAO Tim Wood. Tim’s depth of experience has provided a seamless transition for a brand new council as we start our term. For me personally his kind, personable and thoughtful advice during his three month term has been invaluable.
Mayor Peter F. Waterman
March 9th, 2015
The main event during the past two weeks was the Chambers 77th Annual Business and Community Awards Gala. The dinner was excellent, Thor Clausen did a great job of auctioneering- and I had the pleasure of awarding the Mayor’s Award of Excellence to the Sister City Committee. Many community businesses received awards, but accolades go out to all those who participated. I would like to thank Christine Petkau and her staff for a wonderful and fun event.
On the 7th I attended the AGM of the Friends of the Summerland Research Gardens- excellent attendance – The gardens have always been a special place for tourists, Summerland residents, and indeed the whole Okanagan. It is kept beautiful, largely due to the host of hardworking volunteers.
I have also attended regular meetings of the RDOS and the OBWB as Summerland Council’s representative.
As a council we are finalizing our strategic plan for this year. Also a select committee of council is reviewing our Official Community Plan and will soon bring a report to council.
Mayor Peter F. Waterman
February 23rd, 2015
This particular council meeting is somewhat of milestone. Each new council has aspirations for meeting public need, for accountability, and for transparency. This council is making some significant changes for open dialogue.
We decided to meld the Monday morning Committee of the Whole with our evening meeting to bring full discussion and questions for better public understanding. In addition we have provided for public input in our 15 minute period early in the meeting prior to votes on specific topics. As well the new procedural changes allow for public comment at the close of our meetings prior to adjournment. These opportunities for public participation are in addition to regular public comment where that is already a matter of regular procedure.
Existing and new committees are in the process of being set up with the terms of reference being largely driven by those tasked to participate.
We hope that these changes will help us reach our goals.
A phrase I heard recently covers our approach- “if you want to go fast, go alone,” “If you want to go far, go together”
As well over the past two weeks, I have been involved with council in strategic planning, district budget plans for 2015, as well as Regional District budget, planning and regular meetings. I also met with our RCMP detachment commander Sergeant Stephane Lacroix- we will be meeting monthly so we can maintain a good dialogue.
Lastly as most of you know there was a flooding emergency at SADI, it has been resolved for the short term and we will be looking for long term solutions to meet the needs of SADI and Summerland’s youth.
Mayor, Peter F. Waterman
January 26th, 2015
Since the last council meeting my schedule has been very active. Things started with an interesting business after business evening at the latest opening of a new business Rock Star Clothing, on the corner of Main Street and South Victoria. Its a great location and we wish them every success. This event was followed by yet another fascinating evening of the Conversation Caf. (by the way I do sincerely mean this), Barbara Thorburn and her committee do an incredible job of finding very interesting speakers. The speaker was Danielle Krysa. She is a returned Summerlander a challenging writer and artist.
The balance of the period was a series of meetings, including interviews for a new CAO for the District of Summerland, where we are getting very close to finding a successor to Mr. Day. In addition, Council has been busy in our own budget deliberations, and Councillor Boot and myself, have attended a series of Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen regular meetings, budgets meetings and planning sessions.
And last, but certainly not least, I was extended an invitation to attend the Legion, Robbie Burns dinner, I had my first serving of Haggis with all the pageantry of bagpipes, and drums plus very entertaining renditions of Robbie Burn poetry, and blessing the Haggis. I had a generous serving of Haggis and will go back for more next year. It was a full house, and the food was outstanding.
One final, rather sad note, was the passing of Ollie Olaf Norman Norum on December 31st. I attended a celebration of life at the Legion on January 22nd. Lots of good stories, many of us remember Ollie as a fixture of downtown he added colour to our town. A bench will be funded in his memory at gofundme.com/Ollie Bench or donations may be made at the Credit Union, his friend Steve Haaf took care of all the arrangements.
Mayor Peter F. Waterman
January 12, 2015
It has been a busy start to our term. One of our biggest snowfalls occurred January 4th and 5th. Crews were kept very busy, there were some complaints but by and large residents realized that crews did their utmost with some equipment breakdowns. Anybody who has run a farm or heavy equipment business realizes that despite constant maintenance equipment still goes down with heavy use. In addition Trout Creek residents had difficulties, in future as snowfalls reach approximately 4-6 inches, collectors and bus routes will be done as quickly as possible just like the other areas in town.
The electrical surge that happened in late November, hit homeowners in the Front Bench and Trout Creek areas very hard. A public open house was held January 6th. Public concerns were aired and staff explained the issue with the available information, a further Special Council Meeting will be held January 27th. Our Corporate Officer Maureen Fugeta will have more to say a little later.
I attended a special workshop of the Local Immigration Partnership Council January 7th- it was very informative, focussing on efforts to integrate new immigrants into the work place and generally to our society.
Chief Financial Officer Lorrie Coates will be leading our budget discussions starting January 21st, January 26th, January 28th, and February 2nd.
Councillor Boot and I have had several meetings of the RDOS board where we have just started budget discussions.
As you know Tom Day, our CAO, has just retired after doing a stellar job for Summerland.
Now I would like to introduce Tim Wood, a retired CAO who comes to us as our Interim CAO. Tim comes highly recommended. He will be leading us through a seamless transition as we move to hire a new full time CAO.
Mayor Peter Waterman
December 8, 2014
Our first week started December 1st with our inauguration. Official photos were taken where we were flanked by the RCMP in their Red Serge, and a swearing in with his honour Judge Koturbash. The pageantry with our families attending, made the whole ceremony a great honour. We were also happy to see our MLA Dan Ashton come forward and shake the new Councillors hands and wish us well as we started our new term.
The new Councils orientation started November 26th, with an all-day session with governance expert George Cuff, followed by an excellent session on legal responsibilities with the law firm of Fulton and Company of Kamloops, who specialize in municipal law Monday December 1st.
The calamitous snowstorm of November 25th /26th wreaked havoc for many home owners and had a major impact on many peoples electrical service with disastrous effects on appliances, furnaces, etc.
Staff will have a more thorough explanation in tonight's agenda.
Crews were busy twenty four hours straight plowing and cleaning up.
It was a very difficult time for Summerland residents, but I sincerely applaud our municipal staff for an exceptional response in a severe situation.
Mayor Peter Waterman