Broughton getting ex-trustee’s vote

Dear editor:

I urge the people of Kelowna to take a serious interest in the current campaign to fill the vacant trustee seat on the Central Okanagan School Board and encourage my fellow citizens to vote on June 26 or at one of the advance polls (June 16 and 23).

As a former school trustee, I am familiar with the important work done by trustees and the challenges they face.

An effective trustee needs to be knowledgeable and passionate about public education. They need to be able to take in a lot of information on complex issues and make fact-based decisions supported by science, economics and experience, not based on hearsay, whims or pre-existing biases.

A trustee also needs to be a good communicator to make connections with other trustees, explain decisions and policy to parents and to make the case with the Minister of Education for adequate funding for education provincewide, as well as the proper allocation of sufficient funds for their school district in particular.

While everyone needs to make their own decision, personally I believe that candidate Wayne Broughton has the right skills set and will make an excellent school trustee.

I worked with Broughton on a voluntary non-partisan project several years ago and I found him to be reliable and hard-working, as well as focused on the task at hand.

He is passionate about things he believes are important and is a clear and effective speaker, both one-to-one and in larger settings.

As an associate professor of mathematics at UBC Okanagan, he also has first-hand knowledge of many education issues and a demonstrated ability to assess complicated problems with an open and scientific mind.

Terry W. Robertson, Kelowna

Yes vote will keep Skaha park green

Dear editor:

On June 19, Penticton voters will be asked whether agreed upon upgrades to the Skaha Lake Marina facilities will be funded by property taxes or covered through a long-term lease agreement with a selected private operator.

I believe that having a carefully selected operator who would pay for both upgrades and operations would relieve financial pressure on the city.

This approach incentivizes the marina operator to succeed while allowing available city funds to be directed to maintenance and improvements elsewhere in Skaha Lake Park.

That proposal is consistent with good economic practice that distinguishes “personal goods” (and services) from “merit goods.” Marina-based services (categorized as “personal goods”) convey direct personal benefits to their clients, which are paid for through various marina and food services fees.

By contrast, Skaha Park, its greenways, beaches, sport facilities, picnic tables, and pathways, etc., and their availability to all citizens provide diverse health and well-being benefits and are supported and maintained using tax revenues. These are classed as “merit goods.”

A supportive vote outcome will help sustain those “merit benefits” which Skaha Park provides without direct cost to Penticton’s residents and visitors. Under this approach marina users fund its upgrades through their direct user fees or purchases. Commercial risks are borne by the operator.

Tax revenues would continue to fund park services which are typically non-commercial in nature.

This approach does not compromise the green spaces in Skaha Park, nor its established recreation facilities. The marina is an established commercial facility and is to be upgraded under the proposed operating management agreement with provision for periodic performance reviews.

Attention to ensuring safe and respectful use of motorized vessels is a growing necessity under any finalized management agreement.

Denis O’Gorman, Penticton

Waste water plant can’t handle condo

Dear editor:

With regard to the proposed development on the Pinnacle Golf Course at Gallagher’s Canyon, there are many problems associated with the proposal but I will focus on one: the waste water treatment plant.

It is not widely known, but the City of Kelowna is not responsible for sewage treatment at Gallagher’s. The Gallagher’s Canyon Property Owners’ Association is, and via strata fees, the residents pay for the management of the sewage treatment plant.

Despite investments and remediation over the last few years, the current sewage management infrastructure is barely able to meet current needs, let alone the increased capacity that another 40 condominium units would demand.

Note that the developer submitted a report as part of their proposal that inaccurately states that sewage treatment capacity is not an issue.

Come by the treatment plant on a hot summer day with the right breeze blowing, and see — or smell — for yourself.

It is unconscionable that the city, which does not have responsibility for sewage at Gallagher’s would, by approving this development, knowingly foist a burden on the existing residents for services typically managed by the city.

If the city wants to assume responsibility for the waste water treatment plant, then the city has a legitimate say in the matter.

That is the only justification for the city to agree to the proposed development — if it assumes responsibility for sewage treatment with the appropriate (and expensive) upgrade.

The waste water treatment plant is only one of many problems with the Pinnacle development proposal. A no vote from council on this development will translate into a yes vote from the majority of 600-plus Gallagher’s households at the next municipal election. We who are opposed to this development trust city council will do the right thing and turn down the developer’s proposal.

MaryJane Slavin, Kelowna

Save Skaha park by voting no

Dear editor:

Skaha Lake Park is a public, specially dedicated park and was not meant to be a place to do business. Many wonderful people have donated land, time, energy and dollars so that others would have a place like this to enjoy and be refreshed from the hustle and bustle of work and life.

But city hall and certain business developers keep wanting to take it from the public for business development!

Instead, let’s vote to love and preserve this park. Treat it kindly, not abusively. Keep it a safe and family friendly place, without the booze, and other unnecessary food or frills. Environmentally protected and cared for. Naturally beautiful. Unencumbered by more fixed buildings and activities that monopolize space. Not occupied by select groups. Kept open for all to enjoy without having to pay to enter that space.

For the sake of our public parks, let’s hope that next after the next municipal election in 2022 we can have people in office who are stronger defenders of our parks.

For now, the best we can do to save Skaha Lake Park is to vote no this election day, Saturday, June 19, to the referendum question asked on the byelection ballot.

Hannah Hyland, Penticton

Keep the current marina manager

Dear editor:

Just over two years ago, the city considered closing the Skaha Marina area for a year because of its disgusting condition and its possible liabilities. However, the city decided to give a “license to use” contract to the present manager, knowing that he must have the management skills and confidence to pull this dark hole in our city’s park back into a viable and attractive facility.

I would like to remind the readers that this space is designated as a park P2. It must reflect the health and wellness for those to enjoy, as all our parks reflect the health and wellness of our city.

Here we are just over two years into the “licence to use” contract. In those two short years, the manager has enhanced this area by painting the building, inside and outside, created shaded patios, a comfortable place to sit and eat, the atmosphere is friendly, inviting and casual.

The cafe is now a destination cafe which I understand is at capacity. Remarkable doing this in a pandemic. The valet parking is super successful. The moorage is also full. The manager has purchased equipment which has brought efficiency to placing watercraft in and taking out of the lake.

In all the words written on a one-page ad, not one word of encouragement or thanks for the present marina manager and the friendly environment he has created.

Vote yes and you could lose him. Vote no and it gives him a hearty thank-you from the citizens. We cannot lose that value he has brought to once was an abandoned site. Vote no. Vote no

Peter Osborne, Penticton

After Kamloops tragedy, trust God

Dear editor:

I am a sinner. I believe in one God, trust Him, follow His ways, and wish to unite with Him after my earthly life.

I do so as a practising member of the Roman Catholic Church.

I believe my God exists as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

I believe in the reality of the Holy Eucharist.

I am in my 80s. I am a white male. And write this letter as an affirmation of my faith.

The recent revelations of the unmarked graves of 215 children on the property of the Kamloops Residential School has stirred active reactions from many of us from around the world.

Cries of misplaced reconciliation; demand for a personal Papal apology; debunking of the political promise again of learning from this tragedy; seeking material compensation from the death of others as a means for healing are being widely promoted.

None of which I as one can achieve. I can be a witness – but my God calls me out to me to do more.

What can I do? I can recall that my God promised that those that suffer in His name — especially the little ones — resides with Him.

I am now aware that there are 215 more saints in heaven residing with my Lord from whom I can seek favour.

I can remind myself that the pope is not the church. The members of the body make up the church. As a member, I must apologize to my Native Canadian friends.

I can admit I was not there. I do not know both sides of the story. Therefore, I can not judge the actions of another.

I can affirm my belief in divine providence and pray that unity of mankind will prevail from our reactions to this event.

To my daily prayer offering I will pray for healing. For the survivors; to all visible minorities, to all strangers and especially for those who seem different than me because I do not know them.

With all my fears, I tread on God’s good Earth seeking His comfort.

Thank you, blessed children of Kamloops, for your sacrifice to help an old white guy like me to reach out to His God and fellow man today.

Dallas Elliott, Kelowna