‘Recall’ petitions strike chord with riled Peach City residents

Elvena and Ernie Slump are pictured at Penticton's Community Market, Saturday, collecting signatures for a "recall" petition.

Elvena and Ernie Slump are pictured at Penticton’s Community Market, Saturday, collecting signatures for a “recall” petition.

Penticton ratepayers are tired of their collective voices being ignored, says an outspoken critic of the city’s government.

Apparently, many agree with her.

Elvena Slump and her husband, Ernie, launched a pair of “recall” petitions on Saturday, setting up at the Penticton Community Market. One concerns inadequate consultation on city issues in general, and the other is for voters frustrated with a lack of polling stations in last fall’s municipal election.

Accepting only Penticton residents and property owners, the Slumps collected 315 signatures on their consultation petition and about two-thirds that number from voters unable to cast a ballot on Nov. 15 due to hour-long lineups and a lack of parking.

An estimated 50 others wanted to sign but were denied because they were either tourists or residents of neighbouring areas.

“People are fed up with this council not listening and they feel they’ve been cheated,” Elvena said. “They didn’t elect these people to make decisions that affect every citizen of Penticton without their consent.”

She said her concerns go beyond the current controversy over a commercial waterslide park to be located on public land in Skaha Lake Park. She said other issues include a hotel proposal at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, council members voting themselves extended health and medical benefits, a $1,400 farewell party for the departing chief administrative officer and a BMX track being relocated to agricultural land on Munson Mountain.

“I am pro-business and pro-development, but not in public parks and not without the consent of the majority,” said Slump.

Her goal is 3,000 signatures. She’s uncertain where she will appear next but suggest street corners.

There are no recall laws for municipal politicians in B.C., but should she receive adequate numbers, the petitions will be forwarded to Premier Christy Clark.

“A couple of years ago, we had a recall petition on the HST, and that came about because people demanded it,” Slump said. “If we get a few thousand names, when this petition is presented to the premier it’s something her government can’t ignore. This is a Conservative riding that would elect a (provincial) B.C. Liberal. There are a lot of votes here.”