The plethora of billboards and signs along Highway 97 on the west side of Okanagan Lake is a perennial source of frustration, not pride, but now the ringleader of West Kelowna's Hockeyville campaign wants to add another distraction to your commute.
The Kraft Hockeyville program is supposed to be about supporting minor hockey and improving hockey facilities for our kids. It's not about sticking another unsightly, flashing electronic abomination by the side of the highway.
Scores of readers have written letters over the years bashing the Westbank First Nation for the abundance of billboards near the bridge and how they clutter up views of the valley. That is, of course, the right of band members. But for West Kelowna's municipal government to get in on the act shows a remarkable disregard for public opinion.
Hopefully, council will reconsider its initial support for this misguided idea, which may even require the municipality to rewrite its own sign bylaw just to make it happen.
Twenty-five thousand dollars could buy a lot of hockey equipment, pay for extended ice hours or allow a great many less fortunate kids to play Canada's favourite sport. That's where the money should be going.
But that's not all.
Council is considering spending an additional $100,000 to purchase the sign.
Do you really want your own tax dollars spent on making your commute even more annoying?
Hockeyville committee co-chair Adam Less said other options for the 25 grand include upgraded Wi-Fi at Royal LePage Place or adding to the media gondola overlooking the ice. While marginally better ideas, neither of these improves the hockey experience for the people that matter most - the kids.
The Hockeyville committee needs to refocus its priorities.
- Managing Editor