The Downtown Vernon Association is looking forward to see how the city is going to manage the recommendations its accepted from the Activate Safety Task Force.
Executive Director Susan Lehman says she appreciates the time and effort city staff and council is taking.
She finds the decision to ban shopping carts from public property to be interesting.
“It’s a bit of a polarizing approach to shopping carts in the community. We’ll have to see what happens as this becomes a bylaw and goes through the legislative processes.”
Lehman wonders if there still may be some room for public debate to get a temperature check in the community to see how people feel about that.
She’s not sure if it will create a better situation.
“I think that we really have to be thoughtful about what some unintended consequences of this may be. For some folks, this is their only sense of mobility around town. For others, they’re using them as very temporary ways of getting their items from point A to point B.”
Lehman feels those carts are the bigger issue, rather than the ones people keep to hold their tents and personal belongings.
Meanwhile, the DVA hopes Council’s decision to increase the number of tamper-free containers for used needles will help reduce the number of needles left lying around.
Four are to be set up in the community, but a needle buy-back program was rejected.
Lehman thinks that decision was a good one.
“Personally, I’ve not seen it work or not work in other communities. There will be a significant uptake in the beginning. They’re privately funded for the most part and we just don’t have the data to see if they make a significant, sustainable impact.”
On another move, Lehman thinks moving the bylaw office to the Parkade will allow for an improved eye on the streets and should result in positive effects very quickly.
She adds she’s looking forward to seeing what the new officer in charge of the Vernon RCMP will bring to the community.
Lehman says from what she’s heard, Superintendent Shawna Baher has had a positive impact on other communities with her approach to social issues.
She says the DVA is ready to share its ideas with her.