The City of Penticton has put forth a presentation and survey on its website seeking feedback on the west Okanagan Lake revitalization project.
The presentation shows two options for the major improvements along Lakeshore Drive and the adjoining beach, and is “based on public input” according to its opening page.
However, the proposed marina for the rock pier west of the SS Sicamous is not presented as an option. It appears in both Option 1 and Option 2 as if it were a fait accompli, even when public input shows a majority of 62.1 per cent rated a boat dock area as being of little or no importance. This is indicated in question 24 of the Waterfront Revitalization committee’s own survey, available at: http://tinyurl.com/okanagan-waterfront. It is noteworthy that Coun. John Vassilaki has been ardent proponent of the marina project.
The preliminary architect’s design for the marina was paid for by Vassilaki himself (Penticton Western News, 8 March 2011), and it now appears to be fully integrated into the Waterfront Revitalization Committee’s plans, despite there being minimal public input in favour of it.
I find it outrageous, therefore, that Mayor Dan Ashton would state for the record, at the City Council meeting of Aug. 20, “… Council at no time directed senior staff on the waterfront committee on the direction of the public consultation, on the priorities (it) should take, i.e., the direction or the priorities or for any of the outcomes,” and went on to say, “there was absolutely no direction from the city manager, council, and/or the mayor. This is the input that is coming forward from the public.”
The marina is clearly not based on a desire from the public. Until it is, the plan should be scrapped.