Letter: Penticton’s green spaces matter

The beauty and open space of Okanagan Lake Park is something to be closely guarded

When, oh when, oh when will our elected representatives recognize the value that the citizens of Penticton put on our greenspace?

No sooner has one hugely-used park finally been saved from an unwelcome and ugly piece of permanent construction (after massive public protest that spelled the end of the tenure of our previous mayor) then it seems our new council is investigating that an enormous, ugly, permanent structure be built on another treasured piece of our city’s constantly threatened greenspace.

In 2002—after city-wide protest—the unique area that is now Okanagan Lake Park was saved from being the site of a hotel.

In an interview with media in 2016, our current mayor (then out of office) said (regarding the then ongoing issue of a waterslide on Skaha Lake Park): “Taking all that park space, nobody in their right mind would do that. If you’re elected to city council, you should know and understand what the culture is in Penticton and with public space …”

We took you at your word then, Mr. Vassilaki. And those who recently voted you in as mayor recall the similar vows you made in many pre-election conversations.

Festivals are great additions to the city in their season. But the beauty and open space of Okanagan Lake Park is an enormous public boon in every season and something to be closely guarded.

Besides, surely a newly minted council does not want to inflame yet another park-related uproar like the recent waterslide debacle.

Barbara Lambert

Penticton

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