Environmental study required

Dear Editor:

I, too, wish to write and join the legions of others who have written in opposition to City Council’s regrettable and foolish decision to sacrifice our Skaha Lake parkland to development. More than that, being such a long-term resident of this city, I am compelled to write.

To vote to convert the parkland was a completely irresponsible and wilfully blind outcome, both in decision-making and in process. The entire process leading to council’s decision was full of secrecy and non-transparency, a complete abrogation of each member of council’s duty to their citizenry. To wit: isolation of the devoted Attrill family; the lack of a tendering process; not being forthcoming regarding whether the Trio group can guarantee its financial responsibilities to the development (this notwithstanding many citizens demanding such a guarantee through the media and especially in light of the hockey dormitory fiasco); the slavish pandering and engagement of the Trio group; the apparent myopic and non-open council hearing of  June 29; the fact that the proposal was brought by the City staff; the fact that parking has yet to be addressed; and the fact that there is yet no environmental study conducted (and this in a water-fowl habitat!).

This parkland had been put together with all care for the interests of the residents of this city and achieved by earlier councils. Could one imagine if a portion of Stanley Park was turned into development on the notion that other parkland would be set aside in the future, presumably away from the water? It would never happen with a thoughtful and responsible council making the decision.

To hear that some members of council did not expect such opposition to the decision is troubling, given the groundswell of discontent regarding the proposal in the media for weeks before the council meeting. Their obligation is to be informed.

Given this dereliction of duty I am highly concerned as to how this council will handle the ballpark versus hotel/casino matter on Power Street. Tell us now where the new green space will be for a new ball park.

There is a public rally at the steps of City Hall tonight in advance of the next council meeting. Resignations ought be called for.

Kent Webb

Penticton