Dear Editor:

In my estimation, the city of Penticton will be facing severe opposition to the proposal to upgrade the facilities for people to float down the channel.

This opposition is the direct result of the Skaha Lake fiasco where the residents had to fight tooth and nail to stop a project that the majority didn’t want and that should have been evident to anyone.

No one can calculate the cost of this policy, as it continues on today with increased costs and delays to get anything done. This will continue until, and if, the administration regains the trust of the people. Incidentally, that policy of no listening and no resident input extended in other areas like the casino re-location to name one.

As a result of this opposition, and to take the heat off I presume, city administration did two things:

1. Appointed a committee to assess all the future park issues

2. Started an engagement program, and hired an engagement officer, Joanne Kleb.

While committees can have merit, there is problem with selection, representation across all interest groups, etc. The saying that “a camel is a horse designed by a committee” can apply in many cases. Time delays, missed opportunities, and additional costs are frequent.

The best results can be obtained by a properly functioning engagement program. In this situation, city administration has a feeling for residents wants on an ongoing basis and continually updates through regular surveys and input. Properly functioning includes buy in by the decision making group.

As it turns out, the current engagement group has established a very good base for the program, and the people involved are knowledgeable and competent. I believe they have a proposal approved to improve community involvement. The buy-in will be shown as projects are approved in the future, and the results become apparent. The current mayor and council appear to be a group the will respect input from the public until proven otherwise. If the general public buys in as well, I think that civic matters will run smoothly at less cost.

It would be a shame if the Coyote Cruises proposal is denied as I don’t think that it is really situated in an area that can be called a park. The city spends thousands of dollars to promote tourism, and here we are hindering an established and successful attraction.

It doesn’t really make much sense. Incidentally, the city should not increase the lease costs as the dollars involved are basically insignificant.

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