EDITORIAL: Decisions made in the best interest of who?

Council is trying hard to make this community a better place, but perhaps they need to use a little more of their own common sense

It’s important to remember that the overall mandate we gave Penticton City Council when we elected them was to make decisions in the best interest of the community, not individual concerns.

However much the residents of Penticton disagree with the decision to lease out a portion of Skaha Lake Park to a developer, it can be argued that council was acting in the best interests of the community and its future prospects.

Likewise, as disagreeable as the idea is of going to B.C. Supreme court to have the arbitrated agreement with the city’s firefighters overturned is, there is an element of looking out for the future interest of Penticton’s finances.

It’s not quite as easy to apply the future interest argument to the $500,000 planned for half a block of Main Street, especially in light of the lawsuit against the firefighters — supposedly driven by Penticton’s financial need.

Like the lawsuit against the Penticton Hospitality Association last year, what the public doesn’t have is the context that council is using to make these decisions. In that case, the question is, what is driving council to proceed? It turned out in that case, not much, at least according to the Supreme Court justice that overturned all the arguments they brought forward.

Perhaps what needs to be examined here is not the decisions themselves, but the process that led them to being made and the advice council members were given.

There is no denying we have some intelligent people on council, but to make decisions on the many items that come before council requires expertise in business planning, tourism prospects, trend analysis, the legal system, finances, urban planning and more. A lot to expect of any group.

But these are successful people: entrepreneurs, business people, retirees. We believe council is trying hard to make this community a better place, but perhaps they need to use a little more of their own common sense when evaluating the effects of their decisions.