Decision should rest with the citizens

What does it mean when the police have to be called in to evict citizens from a city council meeting?

Were chambers filled with unruly thugs holding cans of spray paint or rocks?

Hooligans perhaps, or were they occupied by 120 average citizens, of all ages, who were either opposed to, or in favour of, annexing a large section of Skaha Lake Park to build a tourist attraction. Is this an example of elected officials listening to the people who put their trust in  them? People who thought that they would be the best choice as our guardians of the public good.

In light of Tuesday’s deliberations, where mayor and council unanimously decided to proceed with their previous decision to annex a large portion of Skaha Lake Park to make way for a commercial waterslide development, the lyrics, ‘Is anybody out there?’ or ‘Can anybody hear me?’ would have been much more appropriate at the beginning of last Monday’s city council meeting. ‘This land is my land?’ now seems to be a pipe dream, and the term ‘lease’ in this case is just semantics.

Gone is gone, and many of those opposed will be dead before the lease expires.

Are we going to have to endure two years of public unrest?

Will there be people picketing the waterslide during its construction, or perhaps on the day it opens?

Will the police have to be called in to evict protesters?

Will they be forced to use pepper spray? Perhaps a water cannon for crowd control should be included in the plans, just in case.

I do not understand why such an important and divisive issue is not worth the $30,000 it would cost to hold a referendum. Council has spent more than that on a street party.

Let the people who own the park decide its fate and put this issue to rest. If the so called ‘silent majority’ is in favour of this project, then a referendum should prove that.

What is council afraid of? Why are they so determined to ram this through without the input and approval of the people of Penticton?

David Korinetz

Penticton