In my naivety I thought the purpose of city council and the employees at city hall was to support those initiatives both supported by and in the best interests of their employers, the taxpayers of Penticton.
The public forums following the fiascos of the dorm and the soccer fields on Munson Mountain were very encouraging in trying to convince us that city hall had really turned the corner on its way toward listening to the public and would follow through on widely supported interests.
Unfortunately, the current devastation of Okanagan Lake beach at the north end of town seems to reveal quite a different motivating force.
The degree of change is not what we, as actively interested citizens, either desired nor expected. While many appear to agree that the widening the walkway was probably necessary, at no time were we informed of the degree of transformation that is currently underway. Walkway improvements this spring, coupled with the increase in licensed beach vendors has reduced that beach area at the Peach.
At the afternoon open information sessions held at the Peach, the vast majority of people who came by to discuss the formulation of the changes, supported and improved walkway but only as it would enhance the ability of all to enjoy nature’s gift.
For many tourists and residents alike, it is the magnetism of this natural beauty of the lakes, swimming beaches, and the surrounding geographical beauty, coupled with the fascinating skies and pleasant climate that draws us to either visit or to proudly call Penticton home.
At the city’s spring information meeting held at the Lakeside Hotel we were assured that there were no plans to build boat moorage at the Sicamous and that the sign to the north of the Sicamous stating the beach was for moorage only, no swimming would be removed.
The sign is still in place. Signage designating beach area as boat moorage only, no swimming, extends from the doggy beach to the Lakeside Hotel, then from Pier Water Sports to the western corner of the Rotary Park beach.
The only areas for uninterrupted leisurely swimming, sun tanning and simply enjoying the serenity of drinking in nature’s beauty are the “handicapped” beach and the stretch from the Peach to the Sicamous.
To what degree, if any, do we want to further change this unparalleled distinctive natural beauty of our city?