Despite it being one of the hottest topics in Penticton, Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said he hasn’t changed his mind about not putting the Skaha Lake Park issue back on city council’s agenda.
A July 20 rally that brought hundreds of residents to the steps of City Hall to protest a June 29 decision by city council to enter an agreement with Trio Marine Group that would see a chunk of Skaha Lake Park, including the existing marina, leased to them for 30 years.
Trio plans to upgrade and expand the marina, build amenities like a restaurant as well as construct a waterslide complex on what is now public park land.
The day after the rally, Jakubeit said he wouldn’t be using his mayor’s privilege, which allows him 30 days to return the item to council for reconsideration. Now, with time running out, Jakubeit said he has no reason to change his mind.
“Nothing has changed since last week,” said Jakubeit, who added he hasn’t forgot about the 30-day time limit.
“No one has circled back from council to say I have a change of heart,” he said. “Certainly it is the talk of the town, both pro and con. It is a very difficult predicament for council to be in.”
Though he talked to councillors individually on July 21, Jakubeit said council hasn’t been together as a group since the last council meeting. They are meeting to sign some documents on July 29, and he said he plans to poll council again.
“That might be an opportunity for someone to come forward and say they have changed their mind,” said Jakubeit. “It is pointless if I bring something up, I want to revisit it and no one else does. I will ask again tomorrow. Another week has gone by, the dust has settled a bit more, let’s see if there is any elements of this we want to revisit.”
Jakubeit said he wasn’t sure if Trio has an appetite to revisit any of the elements or take another crack at public engagement to ensure there is better community support or understanding.
“I know Trio wants to come see us to talk about some of the things they have heard from the community and how they want to address some of those things,” said Jakubeit. He said council and the developer could have done a better job with public engagement.
Jakubeit said there is a lot of misinformation circulating, like who Trio Marine Group is.
He explained there is no mystery about who the principals of the Trio Marine Group are, and that Tom Dyas, Tom Headquist and Rob Campbell have all attended council meetings to speak to their proposal.
“Certainly on the May 29 and June 2, for introduction in the public comment section, they were there. Tom Headquist and Tom Dyas were there for sure. It has been the same principals from the start,” said Jakubeit.
“It is good there is a lot of passion out there for what we want to be doing as a community. All I can ask is the community to take some time to look at the proposal from different perspectives.”