Occasionally, information provided to the public and local media by the Regional District may be misinterpreted or misunderstood. As a result, sometimes a correction is needed when media stories or Letters from the public are published containing a factual error/errors.
As needed, on this webpage you’ll find ‘Just the Facts’, with corrections or clarifications.
Media should direct any inquiries to:
February 4th, 2019 - a letter to the editor in the Daily Courier (Dog Licenses are Cash Grab) unfortunately misses several important points.
First, the 'offensive, patronizing television ad' suggested by the writer of the letter, actually receives many compliments from residents contacting the regional district. They find the ads to be both entertaining and informative, reminding them if they haven't already, to purchase or renew their dog license.
The letter writer suggests incorrectly that the regional district has 'just raised the license fees'. In fact, the discounted annual license fees for most dogs of $20 and $60 during January and February have not increased since 2010.
All dogs in the Central Okanagan are required to be licensed each year. If licenses are purchased or renewed before February 28th, the annual cost is $20 for a dog that's spayed/neutered and $60 if not. That's a saving of $20 from the regular annual license fees that kick in each March 1st.
Finally, as for the suggestion by the letter writer that 'licensing certainly has no value except to those whoses salaries it pays' , the revenue generated from the more than 23,000 dog licenses sold in 2017 goes a long way to offset the costs to all taxpayers for the Dog Control service and 24/7/365 operation of the regional dog pound, which provides food, shelter and veterinary care for lost and homeless dogs, not to mention the public safety role of the service including investigations into dog attacks and protection from dangerous dogs. While most dog owners who license may never need the pound, they do receive benefits to offset their annual license fee by having the the opportunity to receive discounts/special services from businesses participating in the My Dog Matters rewards program. As well, fees contribute to the annual contribution from the Regional District to the SPCA Spay/Neuter program and other educational opportunities provided by the organization.
To learn more about dog licensing and the Dog Control service in the Central Okanagan please visit www.regionaldistrict.com/dogs.
April 13th 2018 - An opinion piece ‘It’s time to cut the CORD’ in the April 12th edition of the Daily Courier may leave readers with a misconception regarding the work duties and annual remuneration paid to Regional District directors.
Bylaw 1247, adopted in 2009, sets out the remuneration for all Directors, elected and appointed to the Regional Board.
While the opinion column focusses on meeting attendance and extrapolates an hourly wage for Directors, there is much more involved with the total remuneration than a simplistic hourly rate calculation.
Directors are appointed to sit on various internal and external committees. Directors meet with other agencies and government officials to discuss subjects of mutual interest to their residents. Directors also are available to hear from their constituents on a wide variety of service issues or other matters of concern, whether it’s curbside garbage and recycling pickup, dogs in parks, to water and sewer matters to name a few. And of course, Directors must prepare in advance of Board meetings to debate the issues and make informed decisions as they carry out the corporations business.
It is a rare occurrence for a meeting to be cancelled, however they are subject to having items and staff reports available for consideration. Occasionally, as was the case on April 12th, there were no reports approved for consideration of the Board by the meeting agenda deadline of April 5th, and as a result, the meeting was cancelled.
With local elections scheduled for this fall, anyone considering a run for office may wish to consider all of the duties and responsibilities involved with the job, including meeting attendance.
Here are some useful links:
January 20, 2017 - In response to an editorial in the Vernon Morning Star on Sunday, January 15th the following Letter to the Editor was sent by RDCO Chair Gail Given:
On behalf of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Board, I’d like to thank the Morning Star for its ongoing coverage related to the Governance study for the North Westside Fire Protection Service Area.
It’s important for all residents in the area and throughout the Central Okanagan to be aware of important issues like this, which come before Board Directors.
I would however, like to clarify one statement made in the editorial ‘Westside study a good start’ in the Sunday, January 15th edition.
It was written, “RDCO only wants the study to explore issues within the existing electoral area structure”. Actually, the Regional District has in its request for Provincial funding for the study, reiterated the position put forward by Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Peter Fassbender in his letters to the Board. He’s stated the study should consider, “approaches within the existing Regional District electoral area structure” and “I believe a small-scale review, with a focus on local decision making and input into Regional District services, would be a good starting point.”
For my part, as the editorial indicated, “I am hopeful that we can come to a better place at the end of this process.”
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January 19, 2017 - In response to a few media stories about increases in the licensing fee for dangerous dogs in the Central Okanagan:
It's important to note that the license fees for dogs deemed nuisance, aggressive and dangerous came into effect last February (2016) with Regional Board adoption of the amendments to the Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw including increasing the maximum number of dogs allowed from two to three, along with opportunities for owners of nuisance and aggressive dogs to have a second chance by having those designations removed if a dog has not had any further infractions after a period of time and increased fines and impound maintenance fees for violations affecting owners of dangerous dogs. http://www.regionaldistrict.com/media/194180/Item_9.2_Amendments_to_Responsible_Dog_Ownership_Bylaw_No._1343.pdf. That report outlines reasons for the increases and that other local governments charge higher licensing fees for Dangerous and Aggressive Dogs as it takes more time for staff to handle these dogs as a result of their behavior designation.
The fees were not retroactive to dogs that had already been licensed for 2016 and deemed. For them the fees would take effect upon renewal for 2017. A previously unlicensed dog deemed aggressive or dangerous after the adoption of the bylaw amendment would pay the new licensing fee.
Last spring we sent a letter to the owners of licensed aggressive and dangerous dogs advising them of this higher license fee which would be effective when they renewed their license for 2017 and to let the owners of aggressive dogs know that after three years without any further incidents, the aggressive designation is removed and regular license fees would apply at their next license renewal.
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