I am all for progressive change, evolving, thinking of the future, including finding jobs for people to keep them in Penticton.
I have voted for most of the people on council, and have had discussions with them over the past few years. The Trio Marine proposal has merit for upgrades to the marina, etc. However, I disagree with a long-term lease to take away our green space. Two weekends ago, our running club had a barbecue with over 20 congregating on the lawn behind between the boathouse and the concession. Yes, we could have been by the gazebo, but how many of us wish to be near the water?
Most of us can not afford to own land by the water. This park land gives us the opportunity. There were three other large groups in the vicinity of us. The new plan would mean that we would have to use park space elsewhere and not as close to the water. Where else is there lawn right by the water?
I do not agree with giving up park land, that we Pentictonites paid for over the years, and currently own. It appears that people are looking at the potential for revenue and development, which is good, but overlooking giving up park land that we already own.
It will not be easy to obtain future park land on the water and the benefit of park land, with trees, to provide opportunities for children to run, or people to play bocce, will reduce our future medical costs. A waterslide is a good idea, just not at the cost of giving up park land.
Revenue today, but the cost in the long run is? The ability to use park land any time, right by the water, the health benefits of walking, running, playing in a park, by the water, year round is like the old Mastercard commercial — priceless. It will show in the medical costs we are all paying. If we do not use the park, because it is taken away from us, up goes our medical costs, again.
Oh, and I would say that the walkway from the southern parking lot, to the pond, is often used by people and currently part of an annual duathlon in May. Some of the existing park space by the concession is used for an annual dragon boat festival, where 60-90 teams of 22, congregate for a full weekend in September. These events will have to move or adjust their park use.
The loss of green space has environmental and health effects. Most of council knows that I cycle year round to be environmentally conscious.
I encourage them to do so, and I am aware that Mayor Jakubeit and his wife often cycle in town, as they are also green-minded.
Brad Lee, M.Sc.