Skaha Park lease a a total gamble

Dear Editor:

I have to confess I am getting a sore finger from typing letters to the editor in my attempt to try and stop this council from destroying the natural beauty of Skaha Park. You may be tired of reading them, I’m sorry.

Having adopted Penticton as my “Place to Stay Forever” for 50 years of my life I don’t want to see the beautiful Skaha Park destroyed for the sake of the almighty dollar.

I use the term “privatization” of Skaha Park because the lease not only allows the private commercial use of the park, it also allows the lessee complete control of the total Skaha beach for vendors, for the next 30 years. Vendors like what we have now on Okanagan Lake beach.

This council promote that they have adopted a business approach in all their decisions in city hall in trying to increase the city’s finances and economic growth. Leasing of publicly owned property that taxpayers have paid for since this city was incorporated more than 100 years ago is not the way to do it.  There is absolutely no guarantee that this council can provide that this 29-year lease will boost the city’s finances or its economy.

It’s a total gamble.

On behalf of all those opposed to the 29-year lease of Skaha Lake Park, I appeal to members of council to have the courage to put forward a simple motion to cancel this lease.

Suggested motion: “I move council rescind the decision of June 29, 2015 to lease Public property in Skaha Park and that the City reimburse legitimate costs expended by the lessee to date.”

A motion to rescind requires two thirds of members of council to vote in favour of the motion. This motion if passed, would save the taxpayers thousands of tax dollars that this council will now spend to fight a legitimate legal challenge put in front of them by city residents.

Residents who are so strongly opposed to the “privatization” of Skaha Park and beach they are willing to donate and have donated, their personal income and savings to legally challenge this council’s decision.

 Our taxes are paid for services, and maintenance of our city. That’s the No. 1responsibility we gave you as our employees! We did not vote you in to spend taxdollars on a costly legal challenge to justify your controversial and irresponsibledecision.

Jake Kimberley

Penticton