LETTERS: Minority against squandering

Our current city council, the Done Deal Gang, has struck again, most recently in Skaha Park.

Our current city council, the Done Deal Gang, has struck again, most recently in Skaha Park.

They’re apparently encouraged by their recent “success” with their proposed conversion of a ballpark to a hotel … er, convention centre … er, casino project.

At Skaha Park we witness a welcome upgrade to the marina operation. But on May 19, a private waterpark proposal by the marina operator was publicly revealed after many months of behind the scenes deal-making.

The pattern is becoming one of late public notice, a hastily convened public meeting, and provision of inadequate prior information, followed by alleged approval by the silent majority.

The leaps of logic are Olympian, such as claiming the waterpark is essential to attract and retain young families and critical to Penticton’s economic future (sure just like the prison).  If a waterpark is that critical, surely other locations on vacant private land are viable. Plus, those locations present a win/win option: citizens and visitors retain scarce parkland, we get a waterslide and a vacant site is developed.

Our elected officials seem to miss the point that public parkland, especially with waterfront, is an attraction in itself. Go to the beach and check! Plus, public amenity (coupled with good municipal services) is a recognized attribute of successful communities.

Council apparently believes that those opposed to the waterpark are against families and young people.  Really?  Consider also the bold, unproven assertions by the mayor, and councillors Konanz and Sentes that the silent majority are the “positive” people who speak privately with them and favour a private sector waterpark on already scarce parkland.  Also, late notice, presenting no options, policy driven by perceptions, weak questioning, and cavalier dismissal of formal public input, suggest a serious democratic deficit.

Please understand the so-called “vocal minority” are not against young people, fun or economic success. We are against squandering public parkland, backroom deals, late public involvement, disguised subsidies and ignoring of reasoned input.

Given the citizen reaction, council should drop both the proposed waterslide and wine/beer sales outlet proposed for Skaha Park.

And yes, council can also commence meaningful public consultations on the Power Street hotel/South Okanagan Events Centre campus operations/casino concept, including something better than last minute revelation of new information at a formal public meeting.

Denis O’Gorman

Penticton

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four things NOT to do if you run into Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Like many in British Columbia, you may be worried about running into… Continue reading

NHL prospects returning to Penticton for Young Stars Classic

After a one-year absence the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Classic is returning… Continue reading

UPDATE: Australia wildfire event in Penticton cancelled

Mike Bridson has been fighting the fires in Australia, and returns to help more later this month

South Okanagan swimmers and coach off to Euro 2020 in Belgium

Three members of the KISU Swim Club are headed to Belgium to compete in the Euro 2020 meet

Controversial patio expansion in downtown Penticton to be addressed at council

Cannery Brewing seeks the City’s permission to open a patio on Ellis St.

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Summerland taxes expected to rise by 4.0%

Increase to add an estimated $77.73 to typical tax bill

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

Tourism visits to the Thompson/Okanagan up 18 per cent year-over-year

In 2019, almost 11.4 million people spent at least one night visiting the region

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Most Read