Michael Brydon's blog

Response to Summerland-Faulder water deal

The following letter was published in the Summerland Review (link to letter)
Published: August 11, 2010


Dear Editor:

Having chosen to live in various rural regions of B.C., I believed it was the responsibility of homeowners to provide their own water, either hand dig a well, have it extensively drilled or personally transport their water.

While living in Meadow Valley, I had to both filter and boil the drinking water. Never once did I think that others miles away should fill our water needs.

People have made their choice to live in the country, both enjoying all the benefits of rural living and also bearing responsibility for their own upkeep.

Upon moving to Summerland, I was shocked to discover the impurity of our local drinking water.

Neighborhoods: 

Summer reading

SMR cover

My collegue Peter Tingling and I have an article on decision making published in the Summer 2010 edition of the MIT Sloan Management review.  The article takes a look at the issue of "decision-based evidence making", which is the process of manufacturing evidence to support a decision made using other means.

In case you are looking for something to read this summer, a PDF version of the article can be found here.

Explanation of the 2009 property tax mix-up

Update 11 June 2010: Area F residents outside of Faulder should notice that the mill rates for "Area F OK_Simil. Reg" and "Area F Tax on Bldgs" have gone down significantly in 2010 (relative to 2009).  This is the "adjustement" that the provincial government promised us.  If you did not notice the impact of the adjustment on your taxes, it might be because RDOS taxes are a relatively small part of your overall bill.  See a more detailed discription of rural taxes.

 

Issues: 

The threat of two-tiered user fees for recreation

I recieved the following question recently from a concerned resident:

What is your position on the surcharging of children involved in sports when using Penticton facilities?  I understand that my children will now be subjected to a user fee to engage in Penticton Minor Hockey.  Are we not trying to encourage families to engage in healthy lifestyles with active bodies?  This measure seems to speak against the value of involvement in physical activity.  Children who live outside of the Penticton tax zone will be penalized and many will not engage as a result of being priced out of participating. This is a major step in the wrong direction.  Many families on the West Bench and outlying areas are having their ability to cover costs stretched far too far. This is another of those situations.

Background on the City of Penticton's two-tier scheme can be found here.

Website difficulties

This Area F website is hosted by a "discount" web hosting service in Eastern Canada (www.hostpapa.ca).  So far, I have been pretty happy with the reliablity and responsiveness of the service.  But the day I send out two newsletters (one to rural Penticton, one to Faulder) pointing to this site, the hosting company starts to have all sorts of technical problems (especially April 6-7). Hopefully, if you are reading this, these problems have been resolved. I apologize for any inconvenience.  I guess this is what I get for going with an inexpensive provider...

Issues: 

Targa Bambina in Faulder

As you may have heard, a proposal is currently floating around to hold a Targa Bambina race in and around Faulder on the May long weekend. Please see this announcement.  As fun as this event sounds, it will not be fun for those along Fish Lake Road who will lose access to their property during a long weekend.

Update 23 Mar 10: From Targa Bambina:

At this time, we have formally withdrawn both our approved road closure application and our pending road closure application with the District of Summerland and the pending application with the Ministry of Transportation for the Faulder Area.

Neighborhoods: 
Issues: 

Why I voted against the funding request from Okanagan College (again)

The RDOS board took a bit of a blast from James Miller of the Penticton Herald regarding the board's decision not to contribute up to $2M to the new Okanagan College Centre of Excellence (see also the editorial by Dan Ebenal in the Penticton Western News).  I voted with the majority on this, so some explanation is perhaps in order:

What would a horse fence cost?

As noted in a previous posting, we are having a light year for horses on the West Bench.  Some residents have therefore posed a reasonable question: Why would we build an expensive fence if the horse problem is solved?

Ultimately this will go to some kind of voter assent process (likely a referendum) so you will be asked to decide this question for yourself.  But a couple of things to consider:

Issues: 

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