If nothing else, city council’s special meeting last week made it clear that a resolution to the Skaha Lake Park controversy is badly needed.
The opposing sides need a resolution, so we can get back to being a community instead of lobbing insults at each other. Trio needs a resolution because as a business, they need to know if they are going to be able to get on with their plans or abandon them. City hall needs a resolution so it does not have to use taxpayer dollars for legal fees.
Most of all, Penticton needs the controversy settled, once and for all, so the city can get started rebuilding its public image.
Is it possible this issue has caused potential businesses to back away? Are people that wanted to locate here scared off by it? Just a few of the things that need to be considered as well.
Living here, we know that this is an isolated issue, and that Penticton, as a whole, is “open for business.” But outsiders looking in, maybe not so much.
The ramifications of that are extensive. Penticton’s growth rate has been stagnant for years, which contributed to the infrastructure deficit the city is facing, when long-range projections of growth didn’t happen.
New businesses mean new jobs, for both old and new residents. Jobs and residents means more money being spent in local stores, boosting the local economy further. And, it all adds up to more taxes, more badly-needed income for the city.
This controversy needs to be put behind us, so the work of rebuilding, or building a new, image of the city as a place welcoming economic development can begin.
This isn’t going to be a quick process. But the sooner the work begins, the sooner it is done, making it all the more important this controversy be put behind us.