Time to rally

Reading the frustration in so many letters to the editor and a three hour public input and debate at the latest council meeting, it’s time to rally against the latest decision by council to sell off, lease, whatever you want to call it, city greenspace.

Skaha Lake Park has been supported and improved by service clubs and donations to the City of Penticton over the years.  Who is Trio Marine Group? Who are the stakeholders for Trio Marine Group? Did Trio put up a bond before the city granted them privilege to claim city owned land? Yes, a waterslide would be a great addition to the city, but there are lots of places to put a waterslide. The new bridge to the Penticton Indian Band opens up a lot of new land use. It would look so attractive as you drive down the bypass to see a big waterslide for tourists and locals to enjoy.

What was the point of that council meeting? Seems like the decision was made before the meeting to give away Skaha Lake Park. That was obvious. There has been a great deal of contributions through legacies and service clubs to improve Skaha Lake Park. Previous mayors worked hard to purchase properties to expand the park.  It’s a sad day when this new council votes to change the face of Skaha Lake Park with so much disapproval.

Where else can you go where there is a beautiful beach on either end of a city with attractive, free amenities for use through tourist season?  I agree the Skaha marina needed improvements and a restaurant is a welcome addition to that beach area.  But to disregard the opinions of residents regarding leasing a public beach and putting in a private-owned waterslide without considering residents input does not speak to democracy. A referendum is needed. It took three hours and 35 minutes to destroy Skaha Lake Park.

Over 1,000 signatures stopped improvements and changes to Lakeshore Drive that would have cost over $7 million. Following a rally and town hall meeting previous council accepted a lesser option of just over $1 million in cost to improve Lakeshore Drive. And leasing land now that holds a ballpark to a new hotel? What’s next? The El Rancho site is for sale and its’ right across from the convention centre and is a perfect place for a hotel. What’s with all this leasing greenspace in our city? It will be impossible to get it back!

One councillor said “we should give them our blessing today.” I really wanted to puke. Time for another rally.  Monday, July 20 in front of city hall at 5 p.m.

Lou Sloboda

Penticton