LETTERS: Privatizing parks in Penticton

I don’t want to see the beautiful Skaha Park destroyed for the sake of the almighty dollar.

Having adopted Penticton as my “Place to Stay Forever” for 50 years of my life I don’t want to see the beautiful Skaha Park destroyed for the sake of the almighty dollar.

I use the term “privatization” of Skaha Park because the lease not only allows the private commercial use of the Park, it also allows the leasee complete control of the total Skaha beach for vendors, for the next five-years.  Vendors like what we have now on Okanagan Lake beach. It is my believe that agreement will be changed to the whole 30 years of the lease. Do you think if Trio were successful with their 30-year lease on the waterslide, council would cancel that part of the agreement only allowing five years?

This council promotes that they have adopted a business approach in all their decisions in city hall in trying to increase the city’s finances and economic growth. Leasing of publicly owned property that taxpayers have paid for since this city was incorporated over one hundred years ago is not the way to do it.  There is absolutely no guarantee that this council can provide that this 30-year lease will boost the city’s finances or its economy. It’s a total gamble.

All those campaigning against this councils decision cry out, “shame on you” for completely ignoring  the unprecedented “opposition” on the evening of June 29th. “Shame on you council” for completely ignoring the unprecedented rally by city residents to protest your decision not once but twice on Main St.

“Shame on you” for ignoring the thousands of residents of the city who signed the petition appealing for the right to vote in a referendum.

Granted we voted you in with the responsibility to run the city, but we did not elect you to ignore the democratic right of your employers. We the taxpayers who deserve the right and are willing to pay to vote on one of the most controversial decisions any past councils has ever made!

On behalf of all those opposed, I appeal to members of council to have the courage to put forward a simple motion to cancel this lease.

Suggested motion, “I move council rescind the decision of June 29,2015 to lease public property in Skaha Park and that the city reimburse legitimate costs expended by the lessee to date”. A motion to rescind requires two thirds of members of council to vote in favour of the motion.

To rescind would mean the city would have to provide compensation to Trio, but we don’t know what that cost would be. I believe if it is possible that this motion could be passed, it would save the taxpayers money that this council will now spend to fight a legitimate legal challenge put in front of them by city residents. Residents who are so strongly opposed to the “privatization” of Skaha Park and beach they are willing to donate and have donated, their personal income and savings to legally challenge this councils decision.

Our taxes our paid for services, and maintenance of our city, that’s the number one responsibility we gave you as our, employees! We did not vote you in to spend tax dollars on a costly legal challenge to justify your controversial and irresponsible decision.

In closing, thanks to all the residents to date who have dug into their pockets and donated their dollars to have the “privatization” of our beautiful Skaha Park overturned by the courts.  Hopefully council will recognize our rights to protest. Donations to the legal challenge can be made to the “Save Skaha Park” account at any Valley First Credit Union.

Jake Kimberley




Just Posted

The City of Penticton is beginning plans to revitalize its north entrance on Highway 97. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton reviewing ideas on how to make the city’s north gateway more vibrant

The city has plans to redevelop the area into a welcoming and attractive entrance

A portion of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail near Naramata will be closed temporarily for upgrade work, including paving. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Upgrades plannned for trail near Naramata

Surface improvement work will mean temporary trail closure

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Skaha Bluffs climbing spots. (Monique Tamminga)
New parking lot and picnic area coming to Penticton’s Skaha Bluffs

The city will turn the access point at Crow Place into a parking and picnic area

Osoyoos mayor Sue McKortoff shows a drip line used efficiently in a local vineyard. Most of the Okanagan is experiencing tinder dry conditions. (YouTube/Screenshot)
Extremely dry spring brings water shortage worries to the South Okanagan

The Okanagan has the least amount of water available per person and highest water usage in Canada

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

The location of the vehicle incident near Chase that currently has Highway 1 closed in both directions, according to DriveBC. (Black Press staff)
Hwy 1 closed in both directions east of Chase due to vehicle incident

Detour is in effect and drivers are encouraged to reroute to Highway 97 or Highway 97B

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, four deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

The suspect reportedly assaulted a security guard and robbed him. The incident happened at a Kelowna hotel. (Contributed)
A structure is burning on Sage Avenue in Armstrong Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Richard Breaks - Facebook)
BREAKING: House on fire in North Okanagan

Amstrong blaze causing lots of smoke

Most Read