Still against commercial development at Skaha

As many of you know the agreement with Trio Marine, in regards to the waterslides, is no longer in effect.

However, this does not mean that we are finished with this divisive issue.

It’s only the start of yet another battle with city hall and mayor and council who are bound and determined to “revitalize” Skaha Park and equally determined to assure that it will be  Trio Marine who does the “revitalization.” They have put together a new agreement with Trio Marine which will give them access for another development.

City hall is bending over backwards to accommodate this company. Are there any developers or contractors in Penticton who have been given a one-year extension to get their financing in order? Were they told only their bid would stand?

Under this new agreement only Trio Marine will be the operators of a portable waterslide (Wibbit), a kiosk and also a concession stand whose present owner will not be given renewal when their lease runs out. No other bids will be considered. Trio Marine will also be given a free hand at the marina to upgrade.

The residents of Penticton do not want any additional commercialization in Skaha Park beyond those that are there right now. Skaha Park is mentioned among the top 20 parks and beaches in Canada. What is there to improve or revitalize?

At the recent Save Skaha Park Society meeting we were asked not to think about what we are against but what we are in favour of. Most residents are in favour of free and open park spaces without any commercial for-profit-development.

Mayor Jakubeit received over 5,100 votes in the last election and over 5,100 people are telling both him and council we do not want commercial development in our parks.

Joan Eschbach

Penticton

 



 

Visual needed of Trio plan

If the mayor, councillors and staff, Trio, private developers and Parks Revitalization Committee really want to say that they have engaged the public in this matter of Skaha Park, then the public needs to know and see the whole picture.

The proposal must be shown, in full, online. As well, all of the plan needs to be spoken and shown very clearly at public meetings. Visuals, pictures, models would be most helpful.

Hannah Hyland

Penticton



 

Save Skaha Park trudges on

I personally would thank all of our members who attended Save Skaha Park Annual General Meeting last week.

You were very attentive to what was presented and asked specific questions of your committee members that was of direct interest to your observations of what this council has attempted to do with one of our most treasured public parks.

Sad to say what was presented at the AGM (in a nutshell) meeting was the most recent announcement by council that clearly suggests they have not been listening to your concerns about the commercialization of public park property. So, as announced by Gary Denton at the AGM, “the battle with council was won but we haven’t won the war.” That being said, sorry say, to continue to this campaign we may need more financial support to fight this latest decision by council.

This attempt by council, over 16-months ago, was the sole reason why Save Skaha Park Society was created. This council has not been listening to the concerns of their employer, the taxpaying residents.

Jake Kimberle

Penticton

 



 

Halfway there in Penticton with waterslides scrapped

I see the waterslides have been dropped from Trio’s plans; no one could be happier than I (I had no issues with a water slide being built, just not on public green space).

It appears we have won the battle, but not the war.

I would like some clarification. Trio has stated that they have committed to expand the marina by 70 stalls. Why so many? When is the last time you saw 70 boats out on Skaha lake at the same time?

The amended deal will include a small retail area in the park. How large will the retail area be, and exactly where in the park will it be located?

As long as it is not built on green space, where the lacrosse area is, or near the basketball courts, then I personally have no problem with the amended plan. “I do, however have some remaining concerns, first with the length of the contract, secondly with the fact that the lease is transferable, and lastly is the fact that mayor and council are still permitting private industry to set up on public land. Even though I not a member, I will continue to support the Save Skaha Park Society as well as Nelson Meikle in their bid to make the city comply with proper protocol when it comes to the disposal of public lands”

I am also understanding that there will be an option in the future for Trio to try again for a waterslide, only this time the people will have a say. Well, a recent poll says only 17 per cent approved of the water slide in the first place, so Trio shouldn’t bother wasting their time or money. That figure alone speaks volumes and is unlikely to change much in the near future.

Off topic, I see mayor and council are also finally starting to listen to the experts with respect to our aging infrastructure. In a recent brief conversation with Mitch Moroziuk, he assured me that mayor and council intend to earmark a significant amount of money to begin replacing our ancient underground infrastructure.

I assume they will start with the oldest first and work their way towards the newer stuff that is only 20 or 30 years old.

My hope is that the city will also liaise with entities like Fortis to see if they will budget for gas pipe replacement at the same time. Some of their gas lines are the old iron pipes, especially in the downtown area. This way, the road will only need to be dug up once, saving money and causing only a minimum inconvenience to businesses and residents.

The mayor and council are almost at half-time, and currently the game is scoreless. Let’s see if the Magnificent Seven can come out on the field in the second half and mount some kind of comeback.

Mark Billesberger

Penticton

 



 

Not thrilled about Skaha Park turn of events

While it was interesting, and enlightening, to listen to the City of Penticton’s interim Chief Administrative Officer present the council report on the issue of permitting a private, for-profit, developer to build on city public parkland, I also checked the city’s website for details of the Revised Proposal from Trio Marine Group.

As we now know, waterslide development on said public parkland has been scrapped.

Why am I not super thrilled about this latest turn of events?

City council has given the citizens of Penticton less than seven days to review the council report (12 pages) along with the 17 other documents listed on this link. Sadly, only for those with Internet access, and a printer should they want a hard copy.

I understand that others will have to wait until the Nov. 8 special city council “info session” to get a hard copy. A copy of what? This council report, Tuesday’s presentation (50 pages), settlement agreement (13 pages), proposed agreement (37 pages), license to use agreement (11 pages), sub-license of occupation (14 pages) or the dozen schedules of various pages?

Is it a typo on the first page of Mr. Moroziuk’s council report? It states that the special council meeting is on Nov. 6, which is next Sunday, with no mention of time or place.  Mayor Jakubeit announced tonight there will be a special city council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. Or, is there another special meeting on Nov. 6?  It was encouraging to know, that if the citizens of Penticton need more time to hear, discuss and have their questions and concerns answered, that city council are “considerate” enough to have further special meetings on this issue.

Brigid Kemp

Penticton



 

The real issue of Skaha Park

The mayor has made a statement as to the agreement re: waterslides and restaurant/marina development.

The idea of waterslides in the park has “supposedly” been taken off the table. The real question here is why?

Maybe it’s the mayor and City of Penticton trying to save face, de-emphasizing the fact of the cost of legal fees. It could be that there was too much heat and this is a way for mayor and council to stay in the “proverbial kitchen.” Finally, mayor and council might be thinking by acting in a conciliatory way it might lessen the negativity of a recent poll. Take your pick. It seems to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors hidden by the mayor’s statement “that we’re out for business.”

Balderdash! If you believe that, Donald Trump will sell you one of his hotels for $1.

This agreement is at best a feeble attempt to show accountability that was promised in pre-election mode. It’s a token joke. It makes as much sense as washing one’s feet with the socks on hoping that both get clean.

The other two promises of feasibility or transparency are non-existent and will remain so, given what has come down the pipe so far.

Who ever heard of leopards changing their spots? Remember the old saying, “beware of strangers bearing gifts.” Also remember what P.T. Barnum said “there’s a sucker born every minute.”

Where do we as taxpayers sit? That depends on our resolve to keep what is from becoming — what was!

The real issues here seem to be somewhat convoluted. On the one hand, it seems to be a waterslide issue. There is another side to things as well. There are those that feel that there should be no marina/restaurant development. What people should be looking at is the combination of waterslide and restaurant development as a package that threatens the very essence of what Skaha Park is and must remain.

We, the taxpayers, not the City of Penticton must make a difference. The old standby song from Peter Pan summarizes the city’s latest action re: the park. “Never smile at a crocodile. No, you can’t get friendly with a crocodile. Don’t be taken in by his welcome grin. He’s imagining how well you’d fit within his skin.” Don’t be taken in by smoke and mirrors.

Ron Barillaro

Penticton

 



 

Skaha Park issue not over yet

Under these new agreements offered to Trio, the green space in Skaha Lake Park has no legal protection.

The mayor claims  the Parks Master Plan Steering Committee will set guidelines. The planning committee cannot enact laws to call for a referendum on park use, only city council can do that.

In 2019, the council of the day, will be under  legal obligation to offer Trio the means to revitalize, enhance and commercialize the park.

This with public input, of course. And, we all know how well that has worked over the years. City hall has worked long and hard to give away our parks. There is no miracle on Main Street.

Lynn Crassweller

Penticton

 



 

Clarification by Save Skaha Park

Dear Editor:

Re: “Simmering issues come to forefront at meeting” (Herald, Oct. 19).

Save Skaha Park Society would like to clarify that any protesters who may have attended the engagement officer’s presentations throughout the City and “commandeered some of the conversations” were acting entirely on their own behalf and were not representing the society in any way.

Save Skaha Park Society has at all times been respectful in their actions to oppose the waterslide and we would expect Coun.  Judy Sentes not to insinuate otherwise.

As our goals state, Save Skaha Park Society avoids actions that appear disruptive or disrespectful of the business of council and our civic administration.

We have always distanced ourselves from such behavior and will continue to do so.

Lisa Martin for

Save Skaha Park Society



 

Sayeed should have stood up for Penticton

Tarik Sayeed’s statement that “citizen’s need someone who will listen to them, and fight for them, for the right causes” is just another example of, say whatever it takes to get yourself elected.

You had a perfect opportunity to do this Tarik and you failed dismally, consequently disqualifying yourself from representing many of us at anything. We don’t want you. Are you listening to that?

The Skaha lakefront land grab is a deceitful and probably illegal, attempt by our incompetent city council to give beautiful and much loved public park land for commercial use to a group with no appropriate experience for this size or type of project and a dubious business plan, if you can call it that.

The Skaha lakefront land grab fiasco stinks and we all know it does. Sayeed had the perfect opportunity to show us his courage, leadership and principles by reneging his seat on council in opposition to what council has done and the way they have done it.

Sayeed, you did not listen and you did not fight for us. This is the worst council that the voters of Penticton have had the misfortune to elect.

You are part of it and like them you deserve to end up on the heap of political has-beens. Remember the phrase contamination by association.

Bill Smith

Penticton