Are you listening?

We want to add our voices and objections to the proposed waterslide at Skaha Lake Park.

At an information meeting prior to the last municipal election, residents heard from the numerous candidates of their plans and intentions should they be elected to city council. Candidates promised to listen carefully to their constituents and to work together with Pentictonites to preserve and improve our wonderful city.

On the issue of the proposed waterslide and park development by the city and Trio Marine Group, our council appears to be not hearing, or ignoring, the ever-increasing objections to this project (public information meeting on June 29). Council members, this is not why you were elected.

We have lived and worked in several overseas cities. Skaha Lake Park, in our opinion. is world-class as it is. However, to build a waterslide, which will be used for only one-quarter of the year, by a small portion of residents, is a poor plan. Losing such a huge portion (20 per cent ) of irreplaceable greenspace is catastrophic and shortsighted.

Whatever financial gains available through revenue from the Skaha Marina lease agreement and revenue sharing from the waterslide, will fall well short when measured against the long term loss of prime park area. To suggest we should give up current park space on the beach so that revenue generated by the waterslide can be used to develop less desirable park space around the city just does not make sense.

We have a beautiful park, right on the beach. Let’s look after and protect this unique treasure for generations to come. Few cities can boast such a beautiful area, especially one so readily accessible to its residents and guest. Councillors, are you listening?

We are in a tough spot on this hugely important issue. We believe the best solution has already been suggested by Gary Denton, Loraine Stephanson and Charles Armstrong (letters to the editor, Western News). A referendum needs to be held. In this way residents can inform city council of what we want for Penticton’s future. We urge council to provide a carefully and fairly worded question to put forth for the electorate to respond. Then we all need to list to  the results and act accordingly.

Judith Bernard and Ron Ford