My previous letters got me praise and criticism from people that know me, so I feel I must clarify my intentions. I am not opposed to watching what our elected officials do. I know they are intelligent and conscientious and have access to considerable research and facts, but sometimes they may not see the whole picture. Our view is important.
What I am opposed to is people protesting and creating fear without any checking of the essential facts. Starting rumors to get people fired up which have no basis in reality.
I have heard protesters state or seen in print the following examples which are totally fallacious:
Graves will be dug up and the bones thrown in the dump to build the BMX Park; When the beach walkway is finished we will only have a tiny narrow strip of sand left; 40 trees that people paid $250 to plant and $250 a year to maintain will be chopped down; People will be water skiing off the beach in front of the SS Sicamous; The beach will be an ugly wall running from the casino to the SS Sicamous and people will be partying and sleeping under the pier; The Rotary Water Park will be scrapped and 25 per cent of the green space in Skaha Park will be lost.
I could go on forever listing all the misinformation I have heard or read.
Concerned over changes I have walked the beach with councillors and the mayor discussing the alterations and making suggestions. Some of my ideas have been implemented and I was pleased with the final results, but what I was most pleased with was our official’s approachability. They welcomed my input and made appointments to meet with me at my convenience.
I saw no need to create a protest movement or write letters to the paper full of fibs to agitate people.
I suggest next time you are approached to sign some protest complaining about city hall that you do your due diligence. Go to the city website and see what is planned, don’t endorse a petition because someone has told you the mayor plans to burn down city hall and put up a Tim Hortons!
If you are still concerned call one of the elected officials and discuss it with them. You may have a point of view they hadn’t considered or they may have information for you that will help you understand why things are being done a specific way.
Proud Penticton Citizen