What should happen when paid public employees try to launch a multimillion dollar theft from the people furnishing their salaries?
Yes, taking away green space bought by Pentictonites’ taxes, and turning it over to developers is not only a travesty, it could also be called outright stealing. It is not right for five councillors to take away public assets acquired over more than 50 years. That’s not democracy!
The hearing was a farce. Well-informed public speakers were virtually ignored, and council made its decision after 35 minutes. Was it a done-deal from the start? It certainly seems that way. Coun. Tarik Sayeed voted “no” to the alienation of public land, while Mayor Jakubeit seemed to think that the proposal could be “massaged.” Yet, he also voted “no.” What is the matter with the rest of council? Were they too busy listening to the siren songs of the developers?
So the question at the beginning of my letter was what should happen to the people involved in this attempted theft? Voting them out after their term is finished will be too late for saving the important green space near the convention centre and Skaha Lake Park. Probably there will have to be a legal suit against the councillors involved in the yes side unless they change their minds.
A referendum could be a good idea. When the public needs to vote for something such as sidewalks or bicycle paths which are of benefit to the tax-paying public, it’s logical that tax money should foot the bill for a referendum. Yet, why should Penticton taxpayers have to be on the hook for having their land stolen?
Shouldn’t the developers pay for the referendum? After all, they will be the potential beneficiaries.