ouncil disregards public opinion

I was amazed at how many people turned out for Monday night’s council meeting regarding the proposed development at Skaha.

Both the meeting room and the overflow rooms were full and it was clear from the applause given to the many who voiced their opposition to the development at Skaha Park, that the majority of people present were opposed.

I am disappointed that members of council would entertain the idea in the first place to sacrifice much of the beautiful green park land at Skaha and trade it for pavement and buildings. But, all in the name of tourism and money. Maybe.

Greenery, trees and water are healthy for body, mind and soul.  Skaha Park with its green, grassy areas and walking paths, its magnificent shade trees by the beach and water provides this community and visitors a  relaxing and refreshing retreat — something that is too scarce in this world and much sought after.

City planners for hundreds of years have recognized the benefits of these natural amenities, and have set aside areas to provide greenspace for their people. Why would ours give up what we have, and for something far less beneficial?

Are we so devoid and desperate for tourists and their money that we would do just about anything for them?

We need to stop buying the lie that this is a “stagnant town” and that the older generation are against the younger, and against progress. And, that young people won’t come to this town unless they have something to do.

Naive me.  I thought council would listen to the many people who spoke for keeping our green space, or suggested alternative locations for the waterslide and mini golf, or asked council to consider the people and project in further depth. But no. They just disregarded all the comments and pleas.  Obviously they had already decided for it.

Would they have listened if 5,000 to 10,000 Pentictonites would have been there at the meeting; if they knew how many were really opposed to the proposal? I wonder.

Hannah Hyland

Penticton