Prison not a good fit for city

Huh? A huge prison in the small city of Penticton noted for its beaches on two warm water lakes, orchards, wineries, a variety of sporting events including the internationally famous Ironman and other numerous internationally popular summer events? When I look up to the heavens, my grandpappy, referring to our city council, asks, “What are they thinking?” I reply, “sorry gramps but I don’t think they are.”

I do not think that such a facility amidst a thriving industrial complex and viewscape of homes on Carmi and Wiltse areas, areas that may lose the night sky to vast floodlights, will serve the greatest good for Penticton and I am surprised that some in this council are seriously considering it. As well, the Campbell Mountain area is a beautiful green area important to a variety of outdoor activities as well as an important habitat for wildlife.

I am not against a prison somewhere in the South Okanagan, but in the three locations being considered I fail to see any redeeming social values. I guess I’m from Missouri — show me. So I say no, no and no to the sites selected by council since they have not put forth a reasonably detailed sales pitch showing economical and social benefits. Jobs are not a good sales pitch as the same jobs would be available in any other area more suitable to all.

I find it difficult to place confidence in council’s decisions on this issue as it seems they and some previous councils have agendas that drift hither and yon, rather than mission-oriented objectives that do serve Pentictonites socially and economically. For example, the SOEC is still a white elephant regardless what one councillor tells us.

The Munson Mountain sport complex that did not materialize, the thoughtless proposal to tax charitable organizations, the process of developing a highrise on Martin Street that flew (pun) against federal aviation airspace regulations, and the antagonism to the majority of Pentictonites who came out against privatizing the community centre and a councillor who callously wants to delay its opening which affects swim clubs. And recently, a council or councillors proposing a large marina on the west end of our Okanagan Lake beach. Again, what are they thinking? A marina that detracts from the natural lake view from the beach and corrupts the setting of the Sicamous?

How can I now have any faith in this council’s decision on a prison in this city, especially when one of the councillors states he is “uncategorically still on side relating to the prison,” a position that does not appear to consider constituency concerns.

Sheldon Hansen