Park land could become condos

Dear Editor:

That was quite the dog and pony show as the mayor and his band of, well, we’ll leave that alone as no need to get personal, and the irate citizens of what was once a beautiful little city.

Now, according to one reader, it’s going to be a “ghetto for seniors.” Imagine some poor senior waking up and crying “they dropped our $300,000 condo in the middle of a ghetto.” I’ve been looking for the letter but no luck. I would suggest the reader look up the meaning on the word “ghetto.”

Can you believe that not pumping up a couple of plastic slides, at the cost of the ninth most beautiful park in Canada, will slide us into a ghetto?

They moved a few greedy grabs around, such as the concession stand lease being given to Trio, a gift of the dragonboat shed, and from what little we’ve been told, part of the beach.

Why were the present operators of the concession stand shown the door? Where are they going to house the dragonboats or is this another Penticton loss?

Remember when people used to camp out on Highway 97, both north and south, and money was being spent in local small businesses? Penticton was a family destination for holidays. We had raft races down the channel and companies would put together fantastic rafts, some water cannons and people had high-powered water guns and they fire at each other from the bridges and the rafts.

We had community spirit. We weren’t trying to be Kelowna South.

One reader commented that Trio has had nothing to say. Why would they? Once their greasy toe is in the door they will slowly

wiggle in the rest of the foot and we’ll be on our way to condos, complete with marina, beachfront property and any other toys and rides they can slowly slide in.

From their body language and snickering at the Nov. 23 public meeting, I got the impression they had a signed deal in their back pocket and they were laughing at us ghetto dwellers.

Please, take your hustle somewhere else. Imagine how your family will feel if the protests, that are sure to come, are splashed across the evening news complete with names and photos.

Jack Goode




It’s not easy being a city councillor, according to the pollster who determined Penticton’s elected officials have a collective approval rating of just 21 per cent.

Results of the poll commissioned by The Herald show 71 per cent of voters disapprove of the job council is doing, while another eight per cent are unsure.

Support was highest among wealthy, male, middle-age voters, according to the survey conducted earlier this month by Oraclepoll Research.

Company founder Paul Seccaspina said councils typically poll poorly because they’re first in the line of fire when something goes wrong.

“It’s that level of government that really is closest to the voters, so (voters) tend to be more critical,” said Seccaspina.

“The street wasn’t plowed. Who do you blame? My water’s off. Who do you blame? There’s a pothole that blew my tire. Who do you blame? You tend to blame council.”

Penticton’s current council is at the midway point of its four-year term.

Excluding the mayor – whose approval rating will be revealed separately on Friday – the group is composed of two women and four men.

All of the men – Andre Martin, Max Picton, Tarik Sayeed and Campbell Watt – were elected for the first time in 2014.

The women, Judy Sentes and Helena Konanz, took office in 2008 and 2011, respectively.

Sentes wasn’t shocked by the group’s poor showing.

“Given there is a very organized group stating some dissatisfaction with the current council’s leadership, I am not surprised by the poll’s indication of a low percentage of approval,” she said in a statement.

“I had hoped for a better outcome as this council has achieved several positive outcomes which always seem to be overlooked in conversations of criticism.”

Sentes pledged to take the approval rating to heart as she goes about her political business.

“Councillors must gather as much information as possible on matters requiring our authority and so I will be cognizant of this poll’s information as I continue in the process of ongoing governance,” she said.

Council’s approval rating was highest at 29 per cent among those ages 35 to 50, followed by 26 per cent among those in the 18 to 34 range. It tapered off to 17 per cent among those ages 51 and over.

Men came up with an overall approval rate of 23 per cent, well up on females who checked in at a collective 19 per cent.

Wealthy people also tended to give a more favourable assessment of council.

Those whose families earn between $75,000 and $100,000 annually registered 29 per cent approval, followed by 25 per cent support from those making over $100,000.

The approval rating stood at 18 per cent among those earning under $50,000, and 17 per cent in the $50,000 to $75,000 range.

Toronto-based Oraclepoll Research, which has done work for federal political parties and government agencies, was commissioned and paid solely by The Herald.

The poll is based on responses received Oct. 5-7 from 300 randomly selected city residents who were contacted on land lines and cell phones. The results are considered accurate to within 5.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20.