Setting the course for future

With the exception of Garry Litke, the current and past few administrations have sold out Penticton

Election time — finally we have the option to clean out City Hall for a new mayor and council that will lead Penticton into prosperity along with preservation of its foundation as a tourist destination.

With the exception of Garry Litke, the current and past few administrations have sold out Penticton. They jump at any developer with a chequebook, weather it is in the best interests of the city and the safety of its residents. They have been on a spending spree for projects that, although nice, we cannot afford and are now willing to jump at anything for revenue without careful long-term consideration.

They also have little respect to the wishes of its citizens. The prison vote was a prime example. I attended the council meeting after the prison vote, and although two-thirds of the votes were against a prison in Penticton, they all (with the exception of Garry Litke) said they would not pursue it in city limits, but would pursue it as close to Penticton as possible, in our bedroom so to speak. This kind of “we will do what we want anyway mentality” is not acceptable and the public deserves a government for the people and prosperity, not a dictatorship for what they deem best.

I took the time to call a lot of the new candidates to personally find out their views on what is best not only for bringing quality jobs to Penticton, but preserving the image, the park lands and making Penticton a better, safer place to live. My personal pick for mayor, hands down, is Julius Bloomfield. After a long conversation questioning his visions and goals for a better Penticton along with his job creation ideas, I knew he was the candidate for the job. My first option is of course to pick someone living in Penticton, but the only way in and out of Naramata is through Penticton, their shopping and business is in Penticton. For what Julius Bloomfield has to offer the future of Penticton, I cannot justify voting for a different candidate with less to offer, just because they sleep in Penticton.

As for councillors of the old administration, the only candidate with respect for its citizens and the quality future of Penticton is Garry Litke. My utmost last pick is Mike Pearce.  With conversations with the new running councillors, my personal picks for those with quality ideals and in the best interest for the future of Penticton are Jeannie Cavallo, Helena Konanz and Frank Conci. Two are from the bedroom community of Kaleden. Call me a hypocrite again, but I will vote for who is the best for Penticton’s future.

This election is probably the most important election Penticton has ever had and needs as many voters as possible to direct our future. Do we head on the developers path like Kelowna, or do we preserve our future as a tourist destination?

My first trip to B.C. was as a teenager in 1977. Kelowna was a fun place, much like Penticton. Now with years of selling out to large developers and jumping at anyone with a chequebook, it is just another big city on the map with gangs, prostitution, rampant drugs and related crimes, heavy traffic and no longer a tourist paradise that it once was. This is the direction Penticton is headed for — is this the future you want for Penticton? A Joni Mitchell phrase is evident: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” That’s where we are headed. Save Penticton’s future by voting. See you at the polls.

Clifford Martin