Must display good faith

Dear Editor:

According to an article in the Herald of Dec. 4, Penticton Council wants to involve us in consultations. Called “Engage Penticton” the purpose is to provide feedback and interaction with city residents.

In order to engage the citizens in Penticton in a trustful two-way relationship Council needs to display some good faith and not the mockery we have seen so far.

We had a good method of public consultation with the long-standing committee program.  One member of Council sat on the committee and ordinary citizens studied projects and brought solutions and ideas in a report to council.

Mayor Ashton appointed a Fiscal Review Board to provide oversight on finances. In a fit of pique Mayor Litke disbanded this committee when Fiscal Review wanted access to more financial matters at will instead of what the mayor gave them permission to review.

Public process was further degraded when Council engaged in a secret collaborative process with Trio and developed a plan to disembowel SkahaPark without any proper consultation with the public.

The mayor should tell us exactly how much consultation he and council did with the Parks and Recreation committee before signing this document. Show us a copy of the meetings on the subject held by that committee which proves they studied this. Or were they handed your secret plans and told to approve them?

The mayor tells us we are in desperate financial straits yet he did not reinstate the Fiscal Review Committee when he took the reins. Instead the first action taken by this new council was a raise in pay and groundbreaking gold-plated dental and medical benefits.

City Council’s most definitive action was to break faith with the people of Penticton by refusing to have a referendum on SkahaPark despite hundreds of people rallying at City Hall. Signing the Trio deal on the very day a protest rally was held at City Hall was spiteful; arrogant and showed an inability to listen to  the people they were elected to serve.

Mayor and Council broke trust with the public.

It could have been fixed: Council could have denied a time extension to Trio.

It could have been fixed by having a referendum.

It could have been fixed by being open and transparent.

Council needs to take remedial action and show good faith. It doesn’t work otherwise.

Elvena Slump

Penticton