LETTERS: Penticton mayor rambles on

Penticton mayor and city council need to listen to taxpayers about hotel development.

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit made several statements in what might be deemed as being off the cuff (May 29, Western News letter to the editor,  Mayor weighs in on hotel development).

The mayor makes a statement that it is council’s duty to taxpayers to protect private business dealings under the “Freedom of Information and Protection Act.” Hooray for council! Noble gesture or what?

Is the mayor trying to impress us (the taxpayers) or is he just being a master of the obvious? Is the jury of opinion in deliberation yet?

The mayor makes reference to Mr. Prystay as to benefits and contributions to the city over the years. These kudos, almost anyone would agree, are warranted and deserved.

The mayor goes on to say that council, however, must look out for the taxpayers who subsidize the convention centre and economic development for the entire community. In saying this, is the mayor partitioning taxpayers into groups e.g. individual property owners and business owners. The wording of the comment might lead people to think so. I would remind the mayor that the backbone of city development is the taxpayer both business and individual landowner.

We are told by the mayor that tourism stakeholders and visitors feel the need for premium hotel rooms. Does this mean that we don’t have anything in the way of accommodation that might be termed premium? How does the mayor’s  reference  “It’s as simple as that” come into play here?

Mayor and council would have us believe that we are in the speculation stage and that nothing has been done yet. It almost seems like the first pony scenario where a saddle is bought and then the search for a horse to fit it takes place.

How is it that a body that has been elected to represent the taxpayers of the city sees fit to banter about “premium accommodation and city land development” without direct consultation with taxpayers. In all fairness to taxpayers, information sessions need to be held and a public referendum be held. Are you listening, Mr. Mayor?

Ron Barillaro




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