LETTER: In response to Palmer’s ‘A war has begun’

CSRD Area B director David Brooks-Hill says he won’t bend over backwards for the city

In response to Tim Palmer’s column of Aug. 7, I would like to make a few points.

First, I very clearly ran almost solely on the building inspection issue. It was virtually a referendum.

It was obvious to voters when they voted for me that they were voting to remove building inspections from Area B.

Mayor Gary Sulz and the city should have been well aware of this fact.

Whether or not you happen to be in support of building inspection services, it is undeniable that having this service provided to Area B by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District will not work in any reasonable way.

For example, given round trip travel time to Trout Lake from Salmon Arm is nearly eight hours depending on the ferry, there is no way that the CSRD can provide decent service to this area.

Given the number of inspections required in the bylaw, this is made even less doable.

CSRD staff have disputed this, but I have first-hand information from many residents that implementation has in fact been a nightmare.

READ MORE: Regional district director working to remove building inspection requirements

Many have had to live in campers over the winter having first applied for a permit the previous spring.

If the CSRD provided a compromised service with fewer inspections, then they would open themselves up to huge legal liability for inadequate inspections.

Liability does not exist when no inspections are required.

One should not make a law that can’t be properly enforced or provide a service that cannot be provided in a reasonable way.

I proposed to leave building inspection requirements in the fire protection area surrounding Revelstoke as a gesture of good faith to the City of Revelstoke as it was their desire.

The people in that area also voted in vastly high proportions for my election promise to do my best to remove building inspection.

Even with this compromise, the city refused to respect the clear desires of Area B residents.

We are upset by this and now I listen to Area B residents’ concerns without much regard for city concerns given the lack of respect shown to Area B residents by the city.

We fund large amounts of city services with almost no input into how they are delivered.

This is not a democratic situation, where there is a clear lack of respect for our wishes.

Area B residents do not wish to bend over backwards for a city that does not respect them.

So I will do my utmost to make sure their needs and wishes are fulfilled which currently appears to mean doing it on our own.

David Brooks-Hill

CSRD Area B director

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