Respectful dialogue

Dear Editor:

In the recent Mayor’s Minute column, the mayor responded to the July 20 rally called to oppose the building of a water slide in Skaha Lake Park.

That remains the main issue. We are not opposed to a waterslide, we are opposed to its being plunked in a beautiful natural public park.

In “Instruments of Change” (Herald, July 23) the mayor again missed an opportunity to answer questions asked at the rally. He said, “As I would begin to speak to answer a question someone else would demand an answer to something different.”

Fair enough, but if he didn’t have a chance to answer questions why didn’t he answer them now in his column?

Your newspaper has been filled with thoughtful letters in strong opposition to  adding a waterslide on public parkland without first consulting with the electorate.

“I felt democracy took a backseat when we didn’t have civilized or respectful dialogue,” Mr. Jakubeit added.

What is respectful dialogue?

It is when constituents provide useful feedback to their elected representatives. When the mayor and council do not answer the questions asked – that was when democracy took a backseat.

If he and his council think the future generations will be traumatized if they do not get a waterslide, by all means, build them one, but not in our beautiful Skaha Lake Park. Have they not been listening to what the world environmental agencies are saying?

“Create/save the green spaces, plant trees to clean the air.”

Has the beauty of nature been taken over by greed?

“We were elected with a strong mandate from the community,” our mayor says. And now it is that same community which is providing him with what democracy is supposed to be about – feedback.

If the public does not get answers, he will not be carrying out his mandate.

This issue cannot be solved until the mayor begins to answer questions and act in a responsible manner to fulfill the “strong mandate”; that he  says we, the community, entrusted him with in the municipal election.

It is that same community that elected you, Mayor Jakubeit, that is now speaking. If you don’t believe it call a referendum.

Scott Hatfield

Penticton