Historically, when faced with a new development proposal, some of Penticton’s citizens’ first answer is “no” — no matter what the proposal is.
The point of development is to make money for the developer and, hopefully, our city. Developers don’t set out to lose money. Over the past few years the “no” faction has ensured that many developers packed up and left, leaving behind a stagnating community with limited opportunities for our younger residents.
In our last civic election, when more of our younger citizens actually voted and elected a mostly young, entrepreneurial and business-oriented mayor and council, those voters were making a statement. They need Penticton to become more progressive and aggressive, to actively advocate for job opportunities and increase the economic outlook of our community. The voters said “yes.”
Voting lineups at the last election were long and some voters could not get in to vote. Being unable to vote for that reason means you get to complain to city hall about the lineups, but it does not mean you get to re-write the election results.
The current battle in Penticton is about whether or not waterslides should be developed on parkland, but perhaps the battle should really be about whether or not a vocal “no” section of the community gets to override the choice of the majority who voted for progress.
The Skaha Lake park proposal has been in negotiation for longer than the term of our current council. Since the project is still active, it means it has a reasonable chance of success for both the developer and our city. Our mayor and councillors are quite right in moving the proposal forward.