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Penticton council looks to change shape of city’s future with 6 notices of motion

The motions range from pausing the bike lane to looking at the city providing land for affordable housing
Penticton City Hall. (Western News - File)

Penticton’s upcoming Dec. 20 council meeting is set to be an unusual one.

When the agenda for the meeting was published, below the routine requests for zoning changes or development variances, and below updates on vacation rentals, there were six notices of motion that ranged in topics from the bike lane to housing.

A member of city council can introduce a notice of motion at any time, but they are uncommon. In some communities, such as Ashcroft, eight years of council can go with only a single notice being introduced.

Coun. Campbell Watt, whose motion to speed up the hiring of firefighters for the city is one of the six to be discussed, said that it might be only his third notice in eight years at the council table.

READ MORE: Councillor wants to speed up hiring 4 firefighters

So far Penticton is up to eight notices for a council term that only began in November.

The notices up for discussion at Dec. 20’s meeting include Watt’s motion for the firefighters, two from Mayor Julius Bloomfield, one from Coun. Helena Konanz, one from Coun. Amelia Boultbee, and one from Coun. Isaac Gilbert.

Bloomfield’s notices of motion include a request for the city to look into the costs for the city to fund its own Car 40 Program, and to have staff look into the options to have the city provide land for affordable housing projects.

A freeze on the final section of the Lake-to-Lake Bike Route is the core part of Boultbee’s motion, with the pause proposed to last at least until a review of lessons learned from the first three phases and ridership information is shared with council.

Konanz’ motion is calling for the remuneration councillors and the mayor receive to be frozen for 2023.

Gilbert’s motion would direct city staff to be looking at what a Living Wage would be for the city, how much it would cost to introduce city staff and city subcontractors, as well as to present those costs for consideration in 2023’s budget deliberations.

The notices appear to show a new council quickly moving to distinguish itself from the previous one, and one that is moving aggressively to shape the city’s policies and future developments.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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