VERNON, July 9, 2018 –The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has called on the City of Vernon to accelerate efforts to address the impacts of homelessness, poverty, addictions, and criminal behavior in our business community. Their call was answered on Monday, July 9th as Council unanimously agreed to carry the recommendations put forth by the Activate Safety Task force, even pushing to expedite many of the recommendations.
The City of Vernon’s Activate Safety task Force was formed in response to concerns brought to City Council by Vernon's business community. Darrin Taylor, Chair of the Safety Task Force and Chamber representative, addressed council on Monday with the recommendations produced through research gathered at weekly meetings over several months. By-law, local RCMP, community members and business owners were some of the participants providing feedback to the task force.
Darrin pointed to a joint effort between law enforcement, the municipality, the community, and business owners as the path forward for our community. It is a complex issue requiring involvement and support from more than one single group or organization. “It is difficult to strike a balance between support and services for the homeless and drug-addicted, and also enforce the law and discourage unsafe, harmful behavior that contributes to urban decay. But this is the balance we have to find, and it is achievable” said Darrin describing the challenge ahead. “We must raise the bar”.
The Safety Task Force summarized their report into eight carefully researched issues. Included in the report were tactical, actionable recommendations for addressing each of the eight issues. The City and Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce were very pleased with Darrin’s presentation and the Task Force’s recommendations.
“The Chamber supports the recommendations as presented today to City Council,” says Markus Schrott, President of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce. “We are very pleased Council has accepted the Safety Task force report, and recommended City administration begin prioritizing the recommendations”