LETTERS: Residents losing their trust in the city

Penticton Western News letters to the editor for the Oct. 10, 2014 issue.

Residents losing their trust in the city

On Oct. 3, 2014, I read the Western article entitled Cherry Lane Towers owners feel shut down by city as written by Steve Kidd.

It is quoted that Mr. Kunka said owners will not be charged for safety permit. We are working on solutions, we are just here to make sure people are safe.

Here are some written quotes from Mr. Kunka’s letter to home owners in CLT. Re: permit requirements for existing roll shutters and sun screens second notice, “In the event that we haven’t heard from you on or before Oct. 4, 2014 to arrange for a site inspection, we may have no other recourse but to recommend to city council that it consider a resolution directing the corporate officer of the city to file a notice in the Kamloops Land Title Office against the property with respect to construction deficiencies in accordance with Section 57 of the Community Charter.”

This does not sound or read that he is trying to make sure that we at Cherry Lane Towers are to be safe. The first letter sent out to some homeowners had five pages of demands that need to be done to bring our unit balconies into safety compliance. In brief these demands included: authority to require building permits, permit applications, balcony enclosure openings ratios cannot exceed 50 per cent of the area, structural integrity of roll shutters, electrical installation to be certified, gas fireplace venting and ventilation exhaust and makeup air ports

This is only a small part of the demands that were made to the homeowners. Not sure who the city staff are trying to save, surely not the homeowners of Cherry Lane Towers.

Possibly now trying to save their reputation, but we have had no letters of retraction of any of these demands.  If they have changed their stance on the situation they have only made this available to the newspaper? We at Cherry Lane Towers are still feeling very much threatened and untrusting of the staff at City of Penticton as this has gone on for some years.

Rick  Hofer


Support Vassilaki

This letter asks Penticton Legion veterans to support John Vassilaki for mayor.

Vassilaki stepped forward and saved the Legion from a dismal end. The Legion’s provincial and Yukon executive played hard ball with Vassilaki. He could have walked away from the Legion. Had he done so the local branch would have folded. Vassilaki has committed himself to the Legion’s future.

Vassilaki believes in the time honoured process, when Canadian families reach a reasonable level of business success they give back to their communities, the province and/or the nation. Either they volunteer, or contribute their valuable time or make a significant financial contribution. Vassilaki is dedicated to ensuring the survival of the local Legion branch.

The Legion building operation is barely at the break-even stage. He is not making much of a profit. From a business perspective, the building is not a valuable investment package. Vassilaki’s commitment is the survival of the Legion branch. By keeping the Legion in business, he is honouring Canada’s veterans.

During Vassilaki’s younger years the Armed Forces wanted him to join. The Canadian UN Cyprus deployment was in serious need of Canadian citizens who could speak Greek and Turkish. Vassilaki was interested but had applied to join the RCMP. While waiting for word from the Mounties the Forces moved on to other Canadians who would join immediately. After some time had passed the RCMP contacted Vassilaki advising him that he was a half-inch too short for their height restrictions. Vassilaki’s disappointment in not becoming a Mountie did not last. He went on to become one of Penticton’s well established business men.

On average he provides employment for 50 families. He is a solid corporate citizen who will do his best to keep a Legion branch alive and well in Penticton.

Ernie Slump, Canadian Army retired



Think again candidates

Candidates running for Summerland municipal council who are coming out of the gate telling us their preoccupation will be job creation and saving local businesses should join the local chamber.

The job description for city councillors is a lot more boring than that: members of city council are responsible for the orderly flow of water and sewer, and picking up the garbage. In addition to that, they are supposed to provide law, order and good government. That will include the protection of people, property and our quality of life. They will also provide short and long term plans for land use and development that will foster fiscal, social and environmental well being. The top of the list should be a commitment to stop wasting taxpayers money on issues and programs that will never benefit the community, and invest that money in infrastructure.

The success of local businesses is not the responsibility of local taxpayers, and giving the chamber $225,000 a year will not save a single business. The only way to revive the local business core is to give prospective customers compelling reasons to come to those places of business, and only the business owners can do that. Summerland is, and will continue to be, a bedroom community, only 16 short kilometres from Penticton, 24 km from Westbank. Competing with big box stores that operate on margins that are less than one per cent is a losing proposition. The only businesses that will thrive in Summerland are the ones that are more creative, producing and selling specialty items people are prepared to drive longer distances to buy.

Andy Thomsen


Shut it down

I “shutter” to think of the waste of time and money that city staff are expending in hotly pursuing the non-existent problem of roll shutters at Cherry Lane Towers.

And then there are the years of stress and uncertainty to which the owners of roll shutters have been subjected. Shame on the city.

To present members of  city council I urge you to direct city staff to grandfather in all existing roll shutters at Cherry Lane Towers. Council also should drop the need for owners to obtain a retroactive building permit. Unless this is done a new city council will have to deal with staff in pursuit of power and an unresolved problem regarding roll shutters.

Shirley Myers


The small buses

My wife and I are fed up with the small buses as they do not have enough room for wheelchairs, walkers and strollers and they do not have a back door.

We feel the city should get rid of them for good. Please think about the people who use wheelchairs, walkers and strollers.

Calvin & VeraLyn Whipple


True heroes

Special thanks to our Penticton firemen for recent support on a non-urgent safety concern and also immediate first responders in a past medical emergency.

These men make their first priority to save lives and make our community a safer place.

The fire department should also be our first priority for community and civic support.  They contribute in many ways and were kind enough to take a moment to make my grandchildren proud, perhaps even a future firefighter.

Vera Marchant






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