EDITORIAL: Transparency needed with Skaha marina lease

Future of Skaha marina causing controversy with current tenants and the city.

City council is busy creating controversy once again.

This time, its over the future of the Skaha Marina, where they are in the process of transferring the lease to Trio Marine Group, and in the process evicting the current tenants, Penticton Yamaha and Marina.

It’s bad enough that they are effectively shutting down a business that has operated successfully there for more than 20 years, but the policy, practised by both the city and Trio Marine Group, of refusing to talk about what is being planned for the site is akin to the time-honoured technique of pouring gasoline on a fire to put it out.

Nature abhors a vacuum, the saying goes. The same holds true for information; people will simply fill in the details they are missing with rumour and speculation about worst- case scenarios. And it doesn’t take long for rumour to become equated with fact, in the mass mind of the community.

Does the city and Trio Marine fear the public rejecting the plans, like what happened in 2012, when a large group of citizens rose up to oppose the removal of angled parking along Lakeshore Drive, part of the original Okanagan waterfront concept plan prepared by city staff?

That leads to a very simple question.

If council, or the company involved, fears negative  community response to plans to develop public land, should the project even be considered in the first place?

On the other hand, if this project is going to be as positive for the community as the city and Trio want us to believe, why should they fear the public knowing more about it, at least in general terms?

Many of the current council included transparency and openness in their 2011 campaign platforms.

It’s not a promise they have truly followed through on.