Followers of Time For Change Penticton may have been surprised this week to find the Facebook page closed down.
Less than seven weeks after it was founded, dissension in the group has led to the original page being deleted and the conversation shifting to a new one, Educate Encourage Empower #Penticton, according Crystal Olson, one of the founders.
The group got started Aug. 11, part of the backlash against city council following the Boonstock Music Festival, making some serious waves and gaining more than 2,000 followers on Facebook in its first 24 hours. The founders talked about needing change on council and at city hall, setting a new direction for the city to better reflect the needs of the youth population and other sectors.
Jennifer Taylor, who took the lead in establishing the page and starting the conversation, made it clear that she saw one of the goals of Time For Change as reviewing candidates for the fall election and assembling a slate reflecting positive change.
“It’s about building a strong representative council and not necessarily people who are just wanting to appeal to the youth. It is about a future for Penticton and that is really what our core message is,” said Taylor on Aug. 12. “We all want a bright economic future for us to stay, to raise families, buy homes, furnish homes, grocery shop, etc. Currently the political climate is not encouraging that.”
Taylor could not be reached for comment about what happened with the group. Along with deleting Time For Change Penticton, Taylor has also apparently removed her personal and business pages from Facebook. Olson said the group did not agree with Taylor’s intention to assemble a slate of candidates.
“She wanted to do a non-partisan group, but we had different directions. She kind of removed us from the group and shut it down on us,” said Olson. “Kind of left us with no choice but to open a new one.”
Olson said the new page reflects what she saw as the original vision, trying to engage the youth vote and just get people to the polls on Nov. 15.
“It’s kind of an eye opener about politics. If anything, hopefully the breakdown of Time For Change will get people more motivated,” said Olson. “I don’t want to endorse people and have everyone vote for a certain group. I just want everybody to know about everybody and do what they feel is best for their situation and their family and ultimately get out and vote.”