Thursday, August 11, 2016

'Yes' gets campaign rolling

By Wayne Moore - CASTANET Aug 11, 2016 / 5:00 am
Two political heavyweights have joined forces in an effort to promote construction of a new city hall and civic centre in West Kelowna. Retired realtor Peter Wannop and former West Kelowna councillor God Milsom are co-chairing the 'Yes to the Civic Centre Committee.' The group recently registered with Elections BC and tomorrow, will officially open a storefront office. The office, in the Westridge Mall, will be staffed from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday to Saturday, beginning tomorrow. "The Alternative Approval Process showed there were quite a few people out there that were opposed to it for a variety of reasons," said Wannop of his decision to get involved. We started digging into it, and there, in our opinion, was a lot of misinformation being handed out about the city hall and civic centre. We thought we needed to get the facts out that, staying with the status quo and having the city hall where it is in a jammed, rat infested headquarters...was not good enough." He said staff deserve better and the city needs the civic centre, and needs it in the downtown core. "There have been numerous Westbank Centre revitalization plans done, which all point to having this located in the downtown core. We really believe it's the right time." Wannop also said the city also deserves to get the Mount Boucherie Community Centre back. The city has altered its original borrowing proposal, from the one defeated during the Alternative Approval Process. Now, when voters go to the polls for the Sept. 17 referendum, they will be asked to approve borrowing up to $7.7 million for the new facility on Elliott Road. The original bylaw asked for approval to borrow up to $10.5 million. The No side has been out in force since the city announced it would try to get voter assent through the AAP. While that campaign helped in getting about 15 per cent of the eligible electorate to vote no on the original proposal, Wannop believes not all of those people are against the new city hall. Wannop believes some of those people just wanted to ensure their voice was heard during a full referendum. Along with a storefront office, Wannop said the Yes side will also have a strong social media presence. They have established a website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.

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