In the interest of not flogging a dead horse and monopolizing the letters to the editor section, I had decided to discontinue writing about the waterslide issue. However, the recent comments by city council members in the Aug. 18 edition of the Penticton Herald bring several thoughts to mind.
The first is that council has decided that change is necessary, and we are going to have change come hell or high water. Whether that change is in fact beneficial is secondary to the fact that change has taken place. In fact, sometimes the best and most profitable decision that one can make is to do nothing at all.
The second theme, and presented in a very condescending manner, is that eventually the misinformed public will come to the realization after the project is up and running that it was wonderful after all. The superior thinking of the decision makers will be vindicated. There is little discussion as to why the general public may be misinformed. Perhaps lack of presentation of the facts and consultation was a factor.
Another theme is that council was elected to make decisions, and they were going to make them, and as quickly as possible. Whether the persons who pay for those decisions were on side or whether the risks and rewards had been properly analyzed were secondary to the fact that a decision was made. Some form of crisis is perceived if we do not increase the flow of tourists to Penticton, and the waterslides are seen as the major draw.
The fact that they could be sited at a location other than Skaha Lake Park does not appear to be relevant. Perhaps the waterslides would not be economic without the taxpayer subsidy on the use of the city land as they were not economic in the past when true land values were factored in.
A couple of the presentations, in true political fashion, said nothing of any significance, certainly nothing to justify council’s position on signing the lease prior to more consultation with the irate electorate.
As there was no presentation by the mayor, we were not subjected to a lecture as to how the taxpayers should conduct themselves.