Slow moving train wreck

From a concerned resident with a young family.

Our mayor refers to democracy in his numerous statements yet fails to recognize that the Skaha waterslide project has had inadequate consultation both in scope and duration.

Six weeks (May 19-June 29) from full park encroachment disclosure to a motion and vote from council is not suitable for a project of such magnitude. How can so many people be wrong in feeling bulldozed by this project?

A great number of people have written well-articulated letters detailing their opposition to the Skaha water slides yet these points continue to be ignored and those same individuals are being labeled “anti-development” and/or “ill-informed”. Are we all reading the same letters and/or the same FAQ (even if rather vague) on the City’s website?

Opponents to the Skaha water slides might be just as informed and care about the future of the city. It is rather simplistic to conclude that, given the same information, people not reaching the same conclusions are simply wrong. Could it be however that opponents to the project don’t see parks as “undeveloped” land?

Rather than take a route beyond reproach and consult further, mayor and council are treating their constituents as a kindergarten group.

They know best and there is no further discussion. Mayor and council appear arrogant in their entrenched position and risk their current and future terms (along with coveted dental and medical benefits) hoping that opponents will be swayed with the passage of time.

Isn’t that a huge gamble that has been seen and lost before?

A referendum is incredibly still considered too costly even with the ongoing public discourse, the likelihood of further protests, the foreseeable legal challenge and the huge embarrassment that could result. Frankly, the mishandling of this file goes well beyond water slides at this point, has the characteristics of a “slow moving train wreck” and will only get worst. What will it take for mayor and council to realize that the “status quo” is not an option anymore and start defusing the situation?

In closing, let me just add that “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. One would be well advised to look it up, if unsure of how it relates to the situation at hand.

Benoit Robert

Penticton