Coun. Garry Litke should be commended for expressing his views against the prison proposal during a recent council meeting. So there is at least one councillor who listens to the people he represents.
Comments from councillors Vassilaki and Pearce and Mayor Ashton about Litke’s timing are hypocritical to say the least, given the fact that they slipped the pro-prison decision — which will shape the future of the city for 50 years — into two council meetings under “business arising from in-camera”. In other words: they did not put it on the agenda. And I am sure Coun. Litke, who was absent for personal reasons from the meeting where the decision was made, felt blindsided at that point. He did not have a chance to voice his position then, so it was his democratic duty to us to do it now.
As far as Vassilaki’s accusation of electioneering, all councillors will eventually be judged by the electorate on their actions. Following his line of thinking, any statement that any councillor makes on a major issue could be labelled ‘electioneering’. That goes for both sides in the prison debate. And there is no question that if by November the prison proposal has not been taken off the table, it will be election issue number one. The mayor and the other councillors should be well advised to consider where they stand in comparison to the vast majority of the population of Penticton on this issue.