Refusing to back down to Penticton city council

I attended the rally at Gyro Park on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

There was a good turnout, probably around 400 or so people. The speakers were interesting, and much good came from it, in my opinion. Hopefully people will become more involved and attend more council meetings.

The reason I am writing this letter, however, is because of something I heard earlier in the day that deeply disturbs me. Prior to attending the rally, I was at the Penticton Racquet and Fitness Club doing a workout and I struck up a conversation with another gentleman over on the next bench.

I started speaking about the rally that was to occur later in the day, and the subject inevitably turned to municipal affairs.

I have heard on numerous occasions that Penticton is struggling to attract new businesses to help boost our faltering economy. This particular gentleman tells me his original intention upon returning to Penticton was to open a business in the industrial maintenance field, but when he went to city hall to check out the startup kiosk and ask about starting his business, he was told by the person operating the kiosk that “This is not the type of business Penticton is really looking for; we are looking more for tourist-based businesses. You would be much better off going to Kelowna or Vernon.”

When you consider the rate managers are being hired at city hall, we really could use the added tax revenue. We are the proverbial beggars, desperate for businesses to come here. Can we really afford to be this choosy?

This just makes me throw up my hands in disgust and bewilderment. One thing is for sure, we need to clean house and start over with a new mayor and council that actually listen. This “engagement officer” they are hiring is nothing more than a fancy name for $85,000 spin doctor. This person is only going to inform the public of what is happening, and not to take public input.

As far as Skaha Park is concerned, I have a message for the Magnificent Seven. You are in for one hell of a fight. And for the record, I, for one, refuse to tap out.

Mark Billesberger

Penticton