Citizens on Patrol collapses in Pemberton 

Village pushes for extension of transit agreement

Vandals are on the lam in Pemberton, and they no longer need fear the Citizens on Patrol.

Mayor Jordan Sturdy confirmed in a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday that the patrol initiative, intended to curb rising instances of vandalism within the community, failed to generate the interest needed to go ahead.

The program needed a minimum of 15 people but only five submitted applications despite more than 20 showing up at an Oct. 8 information meeting.

"I think we needed to jump on the people that were there at the time and we didn't have applications at the time," Sturdy said. "We should have made them fill them out."

The revelation comes as the Village of Pemberton experiences increasing concern about vandalism in the downtown core. Councillor Susie Gimse noted that vandalism in the village has been "quite extensive" in areas such as the community centre.

Numerous councillors believe that the vandalism stems from people leaving drinking establishments at around 1 a.m. but Councillor Ted Craddock admonished council to be careful about calling out venues specifically. Sturdy and Gimse, however, were more pointed in calling out certain locations where the vandalism might originate.

"I think there is a substantial amount of evidence that it is a result of a bar or alcohol consumption," Sturdy said. "I don't think it's a bad idea to have some suggestion of what the problem is. I don't think we have to point fingers, but not negate any reference to the timeline.

"The funny thing is that once certain establishments close at 1 in the morning, the problem seems to develop and there is a trail that it does follow."

Gimse agreed.

"I don't have any trouble being truthful and honest about where the problem lies," she said. "Sometimes we go overboard trying to be politically correct."

Sturdy suggested that council send its discussion back to the Public Works department to make some recommendations on how to deal with vandalism within the community.

Other items touched on at the Committee of the Whole Meeting included a Public Transit Cost Sharing Agreement that the Village of Pemberton entered into with the Mount Currie Band and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.

The agreement saw Pemberton and Mount Currie each contribute 40 per cent of funds that allowed a public transit service in the SLRD.

The agreement was to expire on Wednesday but Roger Lundie, the acting manager of financial services for Pemberton, recommended council extend it to Sept. 30 and that it agree to a service review being carried out by B.C. Transit. It was also recommended that council reconsider its funding percentage if the Mount Currie Band decides not to take part in the extension.

Sturdy said he was uncomfortable with the recommendation because council didn't know what Mount Currie would do. The band was holding its own council meeting that same night. Sturdy added that he's happy to support the current cost sharing agreement but if Mount Currie decides not to participate any further then that could change its own funding percentage.

The mayor went on to say that Pemberton should push B.C. Transit to complete its service review because there's increasing demand for more regular transit within the valley. Council unanimously passed a motion to let the transit authority know that it needed its service review completed by the end of May.

 

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