A planned meeting between downtown Vernon businesses and the Social Planning Council is turning into a much bigger affair.
The Centreville Neighbourhood Council meeting on February 6th will involve facilitated mediation while the two sides try to resolve ongoing issues centering on the homeless issue.
Vernon city council has approved $2,500 in funding for the meeting and expects to receive a report from the facilitator involved in the talks.
City councillor Scott Anderson says businesses want an equal presence on the neighbourhood council where they are “simply outvoted.”
Following the recommendations in last year’s Activate Safety Report, Anderson said businesses feel they are “right back to square one” and that attendance at the neighbourhood council meetings had dwindled.
He said they were not consulted about a new homeless shelter being built.
Councillor Akbal Mund welcomed the presence of a facilitator from Urban Matters so the upcoming meeting didn’t descend into “yelling and screaming.”
He suggested a few city councillors attend as well.
“We don’t want it to turn into a town hall meeting,” said Mund. “We want a meeting where everyone could communicate.”
“The question we have in front of us (is) has the trust broken down?” said Mayor Victor Cumming (pictured).
A larger number of businesses will be invited to the talks than originally planned.