Unencumbered belongs in report

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit and I have an email conversation going. He claims he’s only the spokesperson who doesn’t set policy or direction without council’s approval. Does he expect me to think he has no influence at all?

He believes I have taken his comments regarding commercialization of parks out of context. Even claims there is no intentions of selling off parkland or commercialization. Jakubeit said “the city needs to be open to new ways to generate revenue including parks and parking, as they face an annul problem of balancing the budget.” How do you generate money from parks without either selling them off or commercializing them? Policies for parks belong in bylaws not in a commercial-use policy.

Further he claims there has never been a push or lobby of the Parks and Recreation Committee to “create” more commercial activity. Yet, the very company the city hired as consultants recommended the word “unencumbered” be left out, as it was too strong.

Does leaving that word out “allow” for commercialization? He has assured me, that whatever the final document, presented by that committee, looks like, the parks will be protected. My question to him was, “What will the parks be protected from?”

Yet another quote from the mayor: “If the community says, ‘my taxes have to go up a few extra dollars,’ but that means you’re not bugging me about parking, you’re not doing any revenue generation in the parks,’ I’m totally good with that.”

By the time all of these committees have made their recommendations and the community has its “say,” you will have already approved projects and plans that will not be able to be stopped. So please don’t give me the, “We’re listening speech.” I’m totally not good with that.

Lynn Crassweller