First-time writer angered by slides

Dear Editor:

This is the first time I have ever written a letter to the editor.

However, as a Penticton homeowner and taxpayer of more than 30 years, I am sufficiently angered by the mayor and council to write now.

To my knowledge, no one has taken exception to any of the Skaha Lake Park “enhancements”  except the 60-foot waterslides. I  believe that the top of the structure will be higher than the memorial trees that will have to be cut down.

What a disaster!

Multi-coloured, huge, plastic structures that are useless for eight to nine months of the year taking the place of the trees. And then there are the fences that will be required to keep the non-payers out.

Such a lot of space needed.

The mayor and council seem to be unaware of the intrinsic value of urban parks and green spaces — a fact that urban planners have stressed for centuries.

Could  you imagine the uproar in Vancouver that would ensue if someone proposed taking 11 percent of Stanley Park green space for a private development?

A few have suggested there is not enough to do in the park. There are eight volleyball courts, many basketball hoops, a ball hockey enclosure (also used for roller derby training and box lacrosse), two rafts, one kiddie water slide, the existing Rotary Splash Pad, two playgrounds, bike and walking paths, the gazebo and our terrific sundial. All  are free.

Paddle boards can be rented, dragon boat crews can be joined, and boats can be launched. Why do we need a commercial waterslide development in the park?

If this is a commercially-viable venture it can be placed anywhere without being subsidized by using valuable public green space. Furthermore, I wonder what bank will be interested in financing this venture given the broad-based public opposition that seems to be ignored by this mayor and council?

Another concern is that the Rotary Splash Pad will have a to be removed and relocated. Right now it is 100 feet in diameter (I measured it) and that is not counting the 20 – 25 feet more of shaded green space needed for families to spread their blankets, etc.

What guarantee is there that Trio will provide a 150-foot circle for the new splash pad?

Please, City Council, I implore you to correct this terrible mistake and let us believe in democracy again by submitting this to a referendum.

Karen Bartone

Penticton