Coun. Jake Kimberley. (Western News file)

Councillors criticize Downtown Penticton Association actions to not host events

Multiple councillors are upset with the DPA’s decision to no longer host its civic events

The Downtown Penticton Association has some critics on Penticton city council following the decision to cease hosting its annual civic events and putting it back to council.

“This has been certainly downloaded onto us in short notice, and after the budget process. And to me it’s really sad to hear that DPA put this to us because personally, I think they’ve damaged their public relations and such in doing so,” said Coun. Jake Kimberley during the council meeting on April 2. “Because all of a sudden we have to organize these events. We can’t do without these events. I will support the motion to approve this but I am really saddened that the DPA doesn’t recognize they’re damaging their public relations. And when every effort is made to encourage economy in the downtown core.”

The DPA recently approached council with the intent to partner with the city in organizing and funding its annual civic events. Until now, the DPA was responsible for Penticton’s B.C. Day celebrations, Canada Day celebrations, Rock the Sun music in the summer and the Santa Claus Parade.

On March 19 at the regular council meeting, council voted to take over hosting the events entirely when it was announced prior to the meeting that the DPA would be stepping down as organizer. The decision resulted in the city allocating $32,800 out of the grants program for 2019 to fund the events, money that would have been previously directed to the DPA as the city’s contribution.

Kimberley said he was also upset because it came without forewarning and that the DPA made the decision after the city budget had been decided upon.

READ ALSO: City of Penticton assumes ownership of DPA civic events

Council also voted to increase the city’s sport and event budget by $38,465 with funds to be found through administrative savings. While the vote came out in favour of funding all of the events as is, multiple councillors were upset that the decision was put upon them in the first place.

Coun. Katie Robinson suggested cutting the Rock the Sun portion of the budget, and thus not having the event this year, in order to be “fiscally responsible.” She wanted to provide some consequence for their actions and was concerned about the precedent it sets should other festivals or events decide to cancel

“I think there should be some pain involved when decisions like this are made. I have a fundamental problem with picking this up and running with it because there will be absolutely no consequences to the actions that were taken by this and I think that’s wrong,” said Robinson.

READ ALSO: DPA looking to partner with City of Penticton for civic events

Coun. Campbell Watt clarified that civic events such as Canada Day and B.C. Day are the city’s responsibility to host for its residents and that festivals like Fest of Ale serve a different purpose. He also wondered why council was still dwelling on the DPA’s decision when he said they needed to move on.

“Regardless of how it happened or why, I’m reluctant to point fingers at people. Everyone has reasons for what they do. I don’t like to hear language about somebody has to suffer the consequences of a decision, because those that suffer would be our community and I can’t buy into that,” said Coun. Judy Sentes.

The Western News approached Lynn Allin, executive director of the DPA and board president Ryan Graham for a response. They declined to comment until they have spoken to their board.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Penticton adventure park hosting Easter Fun Day and Egg Hunt

LocoLanding Adventure Park is hosting the ninth annual Easter Fun Day and Egg Hunt Monday.

Candidates ready for Summerland Blossom Pageant

Royalty pageant will be held at Centre Stage Theatre on May 3 and 4

Landlord of alleged Penticton shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Summerland reservoirs expected to fill, despite low snow levels

Snow measurements at two Summerland sites have been significantly lower than normal

VIDEO: Weekend weather for the Okanagan-Shuswap

A mix of rain, clouds and sun are expected for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Truck crashed and dumped near Predator Ridge

Police are looking for two men in connection with a stolen vehicle

Man seriously injured after driving wrong way down B.C. highway

Police say the driver hit a transport truck, then another car after merging from the off-ramp onto highway

Shuswap society finds pets often suffer in domestic abuse cases

SPCA, SAFE Society working together to provide shelter for pets of women fleeing abuse

Salt and Brick chef to compete in Canada’s Great Kitchen Party

Chef James Holmes will compete in the fall competition

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Give Canada geese at Okanagan beaches a break

LETTER: Tour busses, full of photographers, local goose guides and an annual goose festival

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Most Read