Dear Editor:

Recently, I have read, with interest, letters by Ms. M. Wood. She is to be commended for her aplomb in dealing with the Skaha Lake Park development issue and the Trio investment issue. Having said that, there are some questions that need to be asked of her.

They might be as follows: The “naysayers” that she alludes to might wish to know how she may have obtained chapter and verse information on the state of the union re: park development. It almost seems council directed.

What does she not understand about the two principles of democracy that seem to elude the present council? They are quoted here for reference:

Accountability:

In a democracy, elected and appointed officials have to be accountable to the people. They are responsible for their actions. Officials must make decisions and perform their duties according to the will and wishes of the people, not for themselves.

Transparency:

 In a democracy, for government to be accountable, the people must be made aware of what is happening in their locale.  This is referred to as transparency of government. A transparent government holds public meetings and allows citizens to attend and interact. In a democracy, the press and the people are able to get information about what decisions are being made, by whom and why.

A reference is made regarding Kelowna being much larger than Penticton. It seems immaterial that size should play a factor in decisions involving parkland.

Kelowna is realizing the value and the need for parkland preservation and has identified a need for more without sacrificing what they have. Forward thinking council or what?

Ms. Wood makes reference to parkland faux-pas of  some past councils. That was then.  This is now! We all know that the past cannot be changed and that what is done now will affect the future.

As far as cost of a referendum and cost of legal defence is concerned, it is ironic that Ms. Wood brings up the fact of the city and firefighters’ wages. While almost anyone would agree that firefighters should receive wage compensation, she seems to forget that in all cases here, we the taxpayers are going to have to deal with all of these at some point.

It seems ironic that irrespective of the outcome, the taxpayer will pay. I ask you, is it fair that we should give away parkland and still pay to use a portion of it?

Ron Barillaro

Penticton