The Western News raised an important question in their July 3 editorial: “… why there hasn’t been ongoing protests, starting last September, when the City of Penticton forced out the previous leaseholders — the Attrill family, who operated the marina and their business there since 1986 — in favour of the bigger plans put forward by Trio. Details were sketchy at the time — itself a warning sign that more was going on behind closed doors than the City wanted taxpayers to know about, or could divulge at the time — but it was clear that public park lands were part of the deal.”
This raises the issue of the danger of in camera meetings where too much leeway for unnecessary business is conducted in secrecy. It shows a severe lack of understanding by city council of their responsibility towards the people they were elected to serve. It also raises the issue of public involvement in issues that concern the community. Despite the many years some on city council have served, have they still not learned that an open and extensive public process is essential? The public meeting on this issue made apparent that people become angry if they feel they have been duped by having sensitive issues pushed through too quickly.
Council better hope this project fails to come to fruition; come next election that water frontage area will be a red flag telling everyone how they should vote in the upcoming election. Skaha Beach is sacrosanct. Penticton citizens decided years ago and made it very clear what is their vision for Skaha Beach. City council of the day agreed with them. What part of this does city council not understand? The citizens of Penticton should not have to keep reinforcing this message.