I am breaking a promise to myself in offering second (and final) comments on the Skaha Park lease.
First, I do not believe Council is guided by any silent majority. Experience suggests this is more likely the sum of public apathy, a large number of residents who are unaware of what has been approved, and an even larger number who are reluctant to get involved in a futile feud with City Hall.
Second, as someone who has travelled widely I can say that there are few cities in Canada that offer more opportunities for youth engagement than Penticton – nearby skiing and snowboarding, beaches with slides, a great public pool with organized aquatic activities, handy skating rinks, a large skateboard park, active army and air cadet groups, scouting, cycling and downhill biking clubs, hockey and soccer programs, BMX, a large existing children’s playground at Skaha, floats on the canal and numerous other activities sponsored by the City, schools, business and community groups together with an amazing range of festivals and special events. Opportunities for education, entertainment and just plain fun that kids in larger urban centres would envy. If these do not briefly divert attention from computer games and technology gadgets, it is not credible to suggest that the few paid summer visits to a waterpark that the average family might afford will do so.
Finally, people who object to abandoning the dream of past councils and their vision for the Skaha Beach area are not necessarily naysayers or against development. They just don’t agree with using scarce parkland.