Local companies take back seat

Penticton council giving unfair advantage to out-of-town retirement residence proposal

Over the years the corner store has been almost extinguished and box stores have sprung up like poisonous mushrooms. Now residences that are built for seniors seem to follow the same pattern.

Regency Resorts is a chain. Athens Creek Retirement Lodge is not a chain. Mr. Mead is the private owner of Athens Creek Independent Living Retirement Lodge on Warren Avenue. I beg Mayor Ashton to come and visit us here and take a tour. I doubt the Regency chain could do a finer job than Mr. Mead and his dedicated and skilled staff.

Our local entrepreneurs should be the first to be encouraged to continue providing excellent facilities for us, the seniors. Actually, you could make this incentive to Regency retroactive, and calculate the tax break that Mr. Mead and other local facilities could receive.

Seniors do not leave their career and suddenly become feeble. But when a little help is appreciated, places like Athens Creek Lodge provide us with elegant and kind support. The smaller facility enables us to get to know residents and staff and consider them family. Location, location, location is imperative for independent movement around the neighbourhood. The proposed Southwood Project has a lovely beach location; the accessibility to community resources is, however, limited. Perhaps some of the condominiums that stand half-empty could be purchased and, with small renovations, become supportive retirement homes. They are close to town where doctors, stores and entertainment are in close proximity.

Please, when a developer comes into town, consider our local resources first. Give them the same incentives; $500,000 can provide 50 jobs? That is $10,000 per employee. On this scale, hand out our tax money to small business developers first, not large, national and international corporations.

That is my opinion and if anybody agrees, do write our council and persuade them to reconsider.

Barbara Jensen