Our city needs free enterprise

Dear Editor:

The proposed Skaha Park settlement agreement offers a monopoly to Trio Marine for all business services on the main Skaha Beach for 39 years (two generations) including: Skaha Marina, boat rentals, two food concessions, food and retail vending along the beach, the inflatable waterside, and beach rental services.

None of these businesses were offered in an expression of interest to the public. No opportunity for other local businesses to even bid on these businesses opportunities.

This is not a democratic process, it appears to be very socialistic; when the people in power choose who will operate businesses on public property and for how long.

Why does the Skaha Marina require more than a 10-year lease?

There is no reason why the beach concessions require more than a five-year term. If an operator cannot get a return on his/her investment in equipment in five years they should not be in the business.

Dollars invested in the East Skaha concession building is nonsense. It is an eight-week business operation and the rest of the year the fancy building remains empty. East Skaha concession is more efficient as a food service operation than the Okanagan Peach concession. Use some paint and a little imagination. The building is not falling down.

A 40-year term was given by council to the concession operator at the Lakawanna concession, Okanagan Lake this year. No expression of interest was available to the public. No tendering process was available.

That building looks great. The operator made a major financial investment in the building, but it is only open eight weeks of the year.

Was there an Expression of Interest available for the Peach concession this year? How long is the lease? I understand the vendor is on the Master Parks Committee. Community development, I ask is this not a conflict of interest?

Bring back free enterprise to our city.

Helen Trevors

Penticton