The structure of a task force that will look into the impact of homelessness, poverty, and addictions on Vernon’s business community, is getting a thumbs up from a downtown merchant.
Vicki Eide, owner of Dean’s Tailor Shop, raised concerns about criminal activity by transients last month to council, saying it was like being in a “drug apocalypse.”
Eide says she would like to be a member of the 13 member committee.
“There’s a few other people that want me on there. I think I was referred to as a hot head — lumped in a group — by (councillor) Catherine Lord for some reason, but some people perceive things differently, and I didn’t take it personally,” Eide tells Kiss FM.
Pictured: Vicki Eide, Vernon business owner
The committee will be made up of the following stakeholders:
Business representatives: Economic Development Advisory Committee (1), Tourism Advisory Committee (1), Downtown Vernon Association (1), Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (1),
Community at large (2), City of Vernon Councillors (2), BC Housing (1), Interior Health (1), RCMP/ Community Policing (1), City of Vernon Bylaw Compliance (1), and Social Planning Council (1).
It’s goal will be to discuss the problems and come up with solutions/recommendations for council to consider by early next year.
Councillors Catherine Lord and Dalvir Nahal were opposed to the terms of reference, feeling the committee was too large to be effective.
Eide disagrees with that.
“I don’t think there’s too many because were basically a little city with big city problems and they’re not going to go away, so starting something now and getting it together and having that many resources is a good thing,” says Eide.
Lord felt having business and social planning reps in the same group would not be productive.
“I was looking more for cool heads, not hot heads,” said Lord, without mentioning any names.
Nahal said “I think we need to have more fresh faces.”
Brian Quiring and Scott Anderson were chosen as council’s reps to sit on the task force.
Quiring apologized for his comments several weeks ago where he denied there were safety issues with homeless individuals downtown, as he had never felt threatened.
“That was out of line,” said Quiring. “Just because I’ve never had it happen to me, doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.”