Letters to the Editor

Climate plans make sense

Today’s rapidly escalating energy prices, such as Fortis’ planned 11.6 per cent increase and the rising price of gas at the pumps, underscore the need for us to examine how we consume energy and fuel. It’s only one of the reasons why the City of Penticton is considering two climate action plans — one for the city operations and one for the community. These action plans will save taxpayers money and have a positive impact on the environment.

The City of Penticton spent $1.8 million on energy in 2009. Those were your tax dollars. The 15-point climate action plan being reviewed by council will reduce those costs substantially through building retrofits, fleet improvements, more efficient capital projects and improved energy management.

Conversely, if the city fails to act on climate action, it will not only be disqualified from some provincial grant opportunities but also be forced to purchase carbon offsets which are currently estimated at $60,000 a year. That’s money I don’t want the city to spend.

In addition, residents of Penticton spent an average per capita of $2,900 on energy in 2009. The climate action plan for the community aims to help every individual reduce this cost through education and awareness programs.

Penticton’s climate action plans are part of a wider strategy. The regional district and the neighbouring municipalities have adopted similar plans.

While the federal government mandates improved fuel efficiency for vehicles and the provincial government amends the building code to ensure more energy efficient buildings, local governments have an important role to play as well. They can plan communities to reduce reliance on cars, provide incentives for energy efficient buildings, improve recycling programs and enable the use of alternate energy sources.

The next steps will be to adopt these concepts into Penticton’s official community plan and begin engaging the community in action.

It all makes economic and environmental sense. It’s money in our pockets today and a cleaner environment for our children tomorrow.

Garry Litke, Penticton Councillor

Climate Action Committee

City slogan needs a rewrite

As I navigated my way to the City of Penticton website, I came away a little bewildered and almost stunned. How on earth can this site still be preaching, A Place to Stay Forever?

With the continual raise in fees including utility rates, property taxes, dog licensing and so forth, how can this wonderful feel-good phase still be online? This promotion of this once great city is far from the truth, and in reality way off the mark.

This city is on a path of destruction and the end in sight is nowhere even close. With the recent financial outlook given to residents, things are as bad as they’ve ever been. The site should read: No jobs, no growing industries, and certainly not a place to stay forever.

The average working family of two incomes and a couple of children are for the most part struggling. No matter how any of our city leaders want to fudge the numbers or put that fancy spin on things, the picture is far from bright. A prison is far from the answer. Isn’t the last large building built doing enough damage to the financial coffers of this city?

Kyle Sunderman

Penticton

Hazards in school zone

Every morning and afternoon I drop my child off at school, and every day I witness countless people, even parents, speeding through the school zone.

Now, I’m assuming you all have taken a driver’s test and are able to observe the school zone area and the times it is in effect. There is a reason you have to slow down to 30 km/h, there are parents dropping off and picking up their children.

Kids don’t always look before they dart out. How would you feel if you struck a child, perhaps even killed them because you were in a hurry or simply don’t think the school zone speed applies to you? How would you feel if it was your child?

When I’m driving through a school zone I’m annoyed being tail-gated because I slow down. Once, to my horror, I was passed in a school zone. Numerous times I have called the police and was told they simply can’t be at all school zones all the time. Well, come to think of it, not once have I seen them set up in that area this year.

Also noted, I haven’t seen the bylaw officers around. On any given day, before and after school, there are five or six vehicles parked in the No Stopping Zone. Often parked or stopping right up to the crosswalk to drop their kids off or pick them up. At $50 a ticket, that’s almost $600 a day the city could collect in violations.

If you are in such a rush, leave earlier. If the weather is bad, make sure your child is dressed properly. Bottom line here is slow down, and park in the designated parking/drop off areas. If you can’t obey street signs and do the speed limit, then perhaps you don’t need to be driving.

Khrysia Cherry

Penticton

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