City kills golden goose

It was with disgust and regret that I read of the City of Penticton’s decision to decline the placement of a regional correction centre within city limits. Penticton voters again didn’t turn out, with only just over one-fifth of the city’s eligible voters making an appearance.

It was with disgust and regret that I read of the City of Penticton’s decision to decline the placement of a regional correction centre within city limits. Penticton voters again didn’t turn out, with only just over one-fifth of the city’s eligible voters making an appearance.

Of those voters, it would appear that more than 66 per cent of them feel that they don’t want a facility. I can honestly say that we have let the golden goose fly the coop.

In a time where budgets at all levels have been cut, we just said No to a stable income for the city. Did I miss something or is the city in a surplus and looking at hiring back people? The excuses, of course, continue to be based on fear mongering. “Somebody will escape and commit crimes against us,” or “It will affect tourism in the city and area,” or my personal favorite “Not in my backyard!”

I researched escapes, crimes and effects on community population and there was nothing of significance. Penticton is based mostly on tourism. One bad season and everybody suffers, especially those in the tax base who live here full time. Two bad seasons and you might as well write off any sort of proactive spending for at least 10 years. Congratulations to those of you who continue to manage to stifle and suffocate Penticton. You are doing well. When our average age rises even further and our tax base starts to die off, I would like to know where are we going to get more people to come live here when there is very little to support a family?

To those of you who say jobs won’t be for Penticton people, I say we still have to replace what we’ve lost, and our kids will have a chance to train for these jobs and come back here, just like in any other job. For those of you who say we won’t get any construction jobs and all the workers will be from out of town, I say “Where do you think they’ll be sleeping and eating?” I’ve watched big money being spent in the last couple of years in hopes that it will bring people in, but only temporarily. “Come. Spend your money. Please leave afterward though!”

Kudos to the Penticton and Osoyoos Indian bands, Summerland, Lumby and any other community who is trying to better themselves with jobs and families. It might be time for us to move on to where my kids will have a chance to stay and grow and raise their families. Right now Penticton isn’t looking like it’s that place. Too bad … I wanted to spend all four seasons here instead of just one season once in a while.

Justin Smith





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