It’s not good enough

Dear Editor:

I have lived in this city for 21 years and have learned people who live here love the Okanagan Valley, Penticton and Skaha Lake Park.

I am heartsick by recent decisions by Mr. Jakubeit and his council. I appreciate the many letters from residents who are concerned about the waterslide at Skaha Park.

They are intelligent and well-informed and I have learned interesting facts. I learned from a letter writer who previously owned a waterslide that it was not profitable.

I learned from another that all parks were dedicated for public (no price) uses in 2002. I learned that the marina now charges nearly double for mooring.

I do not appreciate Mr. Jakubeit saying the “No” side does not understand the situation. We do understand — that’s why we’re protesting.

We know you’re leasing 25 per cent of Skaha Park to a private company for 29 years — probably it will be forever. We know from the Frequently Asked Questions you don’t need to replace the parkland in the future but use the lease money for amenities. We know you’re leasing out our park with no intention of buying new park land because “it’s too expensive — especially lakeside property.”

Saying the portion of park going to a waterslide is underused is ridiculous. As our population increases, we need every bit of green space and trees that we now have. As a city, it is a fact that we have less park land than most cities our size.

The taxpayers of Penticton deserve better representation. We deserve a mayor and council who appreciate our lakefront park, the trees that were planted a few years ago and the home owners who willingly sold their homes to complete the Skaha Lake Park expansion.

Taxpayers latterly paid millions of dollars. We do not appreciate being told we’re not smart or informed.

Do the right thing, Mayor, and start representing the majority of this wonderful, caring community. Call a referendum and start the healing process now.

Florence Cousens

Penticton