Society Updates

A new board of Directors was elected at the AGM held November 29 and the former Directors have submitted their resignations effective once the transition is complete.
The five new PPPS Directors are:
  Karen Brownlee
  Hannah Hyland
  Georges Jansen
  Joanie Koch-Kalanj
  Marie Prior
 
The minutes for the AGM will be distributed once they are completed.
 
The outgoing Advisory Committee wishes to thank the many volunteers, donors and Society supporters who contributed to saving Skaha Park from commercial development. Good job everyone!
 
We are pleased that PPPS will continue to play an important role in preserving parks in Penticton and we wish the new board every success.
 
 
The Advisory Committee
Gary Denton, Carolae Donoghue, Gerry Karr, Jake Kimberley, Duane Martin, Lisa Martin, Lenora Robson
 

 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING PACKAGE

PROTECT PENTICTON PARKS SOCIETY

(formerly Save Skaha Park Society)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Registration @ 6:30 p.m.

Meeting Starts  @ 7:00 p.m

PENTICTON LAKESIDE RESORT

*******************

NOTICE of ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

 

Dear Member(s):

 

The Directors of PPPS have determined that the Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held on the date, time and place, set out above. Although it’s not mandatory, we’d appreciate an email RSVP, to better plan attendance.

 

In the attached email package contains the following sections:

  •     Cover Sheet and Notice (this section)
  •     Agenda
  •     Reports – Directors, Treasurer (Financial Statement in separate e-mail), Legal
  •     By-Law Amendment
  •     Election of Directors
  •     Motions
  •     New Business
  •     Ordinary Resolution

Under the B.C. Societies Act, Proxy votes are not acceptable. Please join us on Thursday, November 29, 2018, at 6:30 p.m., Penticton Lakeside Resort.  In order to participate in voting, your name must appear on our membership list.

 

Yours truly,

 

Carolae Donoghue

Secretary

Protect Penticton Parks Society

 

P.S. Please bring these AGM documents with you.

 

 

AGENDA

Protect Penticton Parks Society

 November 29, 2018

1)      Registration of Society Members

a)    Society members in attendance (#    )

b)    Voting will be by a show of hands

c)    The Directors have set the quorum at fifteen (15)

d)    Declare quorum has been met

2)      Call Meeting to Order with Jake Kimberley acting as Chair

3)      Motion to Approve the Notice of Meeting (Notice has been provided via: email,

         website (www.saveskahapark.ca/society-updates-2), Facebook,

         advertisement in local newspapers)

4)      Approve AGM 2017 Minutes of SSPS (www.saveskahapark.ca/test-page)

5)      Approve Agenda 2018 (copies sent via email + handouts at meeting)

6)      Reports

a)    Directors

b)    Treasurer (Financial Statements, end of report, unnumbered),

c)     Legal

7)      By-Law Amendment

8)      Election of Directors

9)      Survey Results for Commemorative Plaque

10)     Motions

11)     New Business

12)     Ordinary Resolution

13)     Termination of Meeting

Meeting conducted under Roberts Rules of Order

 

 

 

REPORTS

 

Directors Report Gary Denton, Carolae Donoghue, Gerry Karr, Jake Kimberley,

Duane Martin, Lisa Martin, Lenora Robson

 

Highlights of the past year:

1.  October 2017 – there was a large turnout for the annual AGM held at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. Guest speaker and City of Penticton CAO Peter Weeber spoke of the City’s efforts to update the Park Dedication Bylaw and responded to questions from the audience. Members ratified the motion to change the name of our society from Save Skaha Park Society to Protect Penticton Parks Society.

 

2.   April 2018 – PPPS volunteers and members of the Advisory Committee staffed our booth at the Spring Market April 21-22 held at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

 

3.    Throughout the Spring, our PPPS lawyer worked closely with the COP’s legal counsel to update the Park Dedication Bylaw 2002-42 to remove a contentious phrase that stated “council may from time to time lease or license all or part of the public park land for uses related to or ancillary to the uses specified herein.”

 

4.    June 19 – Council voted unanimously to accept a new Parks Dedication Bylaw 2018-37 which was a significant improvement over the former bylaw. The new bylaw contains the key phrase, “prior to granting a lease of all or part of the land dedicated as park under this Bylaw, the City shall first obtain the approval of the electors.”

 

5.    At the same June 19 Council meeting, the new Parks and Recreation Master Plan was also approved. This plan is the culmination of over two years effort from the Parks and Recreation Master Plan Advisory Committee and is a comprehensive overview and plan for park usage and recreation planning for the City Of Penticton for the foreseeable future. PPPS AC member Gary Denton was a member of the committee and a key representative of our members’ views on park land usage. PPPS AC members Gerry Karr and Carolae Donoghue also worked on a sub-committee that helped define what is a park.

 

6.    October – the Advisory Committee drafted two parks specific questions and distributed them to all Mayoral and City Council candidates for the civic election whose e-mail contacts were included on their nomination forms. The responses were then sent to all PPPS members prior to the start of advance voting to help them decide which candidates to support.

 

7.  The PPPS website and Facebook page were updated with the questions and all responding candidates’ responses. We also sent a letter to the editor of the Penticton Herald explaining our process and including the two questions and referring readers to the website and Facebook page to see the responses.

 

8.     To date, sixteen communications have been sent to PPPS members since our last AGM in October 2017.

 

9.      Since this is the current directors’ last report, we take this opportunity to thank our amazing volunteers, who’ve been with us throughout the three-and-a-half-year fight. You’ve been unwavering in your support to protect and preserve public park land. You’ve volunteered many hours with fund-raising events. You’ve attended rallies. And, you’ve been part of the team that spent countless hours researching the history of Skaha Park.

 

In the truest sense of the word, this has been a community fight—the citizens of Penticton standing shoulder-to-shoulder—to preserve our priceless Skaha Park. It must never happen again! THANK YOU.

 

 

Treasurer’s Report – Duane Martin

 

The Protect Penticton Parks Society (PPPS) fiscal year runs from September 1 to August 31.  At the beginning of the 2017-2018 fiscal year, we had $9,769 in our legal fund.  As we did not anticipate significant legal or other costs in the upcoming fiscal year, we did not plan for any fund raising activities other than attending the Spring Market at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

 

With respect to expenses, all SSPS expenditures have to be approved in advance by the PPPS Directors.  Expenditures for the 2017-2018 fiscal year were $7,169.  Our largest expenses were for legal fees which were $5,172, the 2016/2017 annual general meeting for $1,118, and office expenses (primarily cost of the web site domain and the mass e-mail system) for $577.

 

 

As we will be putting forward a resolution for voluntary dissolution of the society we must ensure we can meet the requirements of Canada Revenue and the British Columbia Societies Act as per Section 124(1)(a):

  • all of the society’s liabilities must be paid or adequate provision for payment of the liabilities must be made

As such, we have estimated costs for the 2017-2018 AGM at $1,200, costs for continued operation of the society until dissolution, plus final dissolution expenditures at $435 to ensure all of the societies liabilities will be paid before dissolution.

 

Based on these expenditures and funds on deposit as of Aug. 31, 2018 of $2,635 we anticipate that we will have around $1,000 for distribution to a qualified recipient as per Section 124(2)(a) of the British Columbia Societies Act.

 

No form of compensation was made to the Directors for their involvement and work for the society.  The only reimbursement to the Directors were for expenses that were pre-approved by the Directors and were required to meet the mandate of the society.

 

The society is especially thankful to Mr. Bill Waddell, CA, for his considerable voluntary professional work with respect to advice and preparation of the annual financial reports and filing of all Canada Revenue requirements.

 

 

Legal Report–Gary Denton & Gerry Karr

We had a sensitive back-and-forth with our legal counsel about whether the new Parks Dedication By-Law could or should be dedicated under Section 27 of the Community Charter. After consultation with the City’s lawyer, our lawyer reversed his opinion on using Section 27 because it risked unduly fettering future Councils and would not likely stand up to a legal challenge. Ultimately, we (PPPS) realized that the cost of surveying all the parks, or even the two most important ones, would be prohibitive.

 

 

 

BY-LAW AMENDMENT

 

Article 25(2) be amended to read: The number of Directors must be three (3) as per BC Societies Act.

 

 

 

ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

 

 

 

MOTIONS

 

1)  Waive Auditor – be it resolved that Under Part 4, article 15 (b) (vi) of the B.C. Societies Act, PPPS agrees to waive the appointment of an Auditor.

 

2)  Accountant – be it resolved that PPPS appoints William J. Waddell Inc. as the Society’s accountant.

 

 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

 

 

 

ORDINARY RESOLUTION

 

Be it resolved THAT the Directors authorize the voluntary dissolution of Protect Penticton Parks Society (PPPS) as at December 31, 2018, and

THAT all debts and liabilities have been paid to date, and, FURTHER THAT any remaining funds of the Society, be donated to a qualified recipient pursuant to the Societies Act.

 

 

 

 


 

PPPS DIRECTORS TO RESIGN AT AGM

The PPPS Directors who make up the Advisory Committee have decided we will be resigning at the upcoming AGM and will not be standing for re-election.
We have been a team for three and a half years and during that time have logged countless busy hours. It is time for new people with fresh ideas to step forward and take the reins.
The BC Societies Act requires that a society must have a minimum of three Directors (President, Treasurer and Secretary) in place. That said, our current society bylaws state we must have seven Directors. In the event that fewer than seven new Directors come forward, the newly elected Directors can appoint more Directors subject to approval of the members at the next general meeting.
In addition to the responsibilities of President, Treasurer and Secretary, there are a number of additional responsibilities with respect to the daily operation of the society. A summary of those responsibilities is at the end of this e-mail.

 

**Please note that in the event that fewer than three new Director candidates come forward between now and the AGM, it is our intent to present a motion at the AGM to dissolve the PPPS effective December 31, 2018.**

 

Our society has a proud history. To the credit of our 5,100 members and thanks to our many volunteers, Protect Penticton Parks Society (formerly Save Skaha Park Society) played a major role in keeping Skaha Lake Park free of a commercial waterslide that would have forever destroyed the natural beauty of a significant part of our beloved park.
Penticton parks are now better protected as a result of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and the new Parks Dedication Bylaw 2018-37. Going forward, the new Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee will assist with the implementation of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and play an important role in the review of uses of City parks. As well, there is a new Mayor and City Council who understand that Penticton residents place a high value on park land, greenspace and trees.
We think our society is worth preserving and hope our members do too. Please review the following Advisory Committee responsibilities and consider standing for election as a Director at the AGM November 29.
If you have any questions about the role of Director or any of the related responsibilities, please respond to this e-mail and we will do our best to answer.
The PPPS Advisory committee
Gary Denton, Carolae Donoghue, Gerry Karr, Jake Kimberley, Duane Martin, Lisa Martin, Lenora Robson

 

Director positions:
    1. President
    2. Treasurer
    3. Secretary

 

Additional operational responsibilities:
Financial
– Pay invoices, make bank deposits, maintain all financial information, liaise with PPPS accountant on the annual financial report and Canada Revenue requirements
Technical
– maintain and update PPPS membership list, PPPS website, PPPS Facebook page and iContact mass e-mail system 
Secretarial
– prepare meeting agendas and minutes, keep records, prepare AGM package,  liaise with BC Registries & BC Societies Act whennecessary
Communication
–  prepare communications, media contact, draft press releases as required
Volunteers
– coordinate all volunteers

Legal

– liaise with lawyer as required


 

PPPS Questions and Responses from Candidates

  
The Advisory Committee sent two questions to all candidates who provided an e-mail contact on their nomination forms as listed on the City’s website. The questions are: 

1. Was the plan to lease part of Skaha Lake Park for a commercial water park a good idea that was poorly communicated? Or was it a fundamental mistake that represented poor judgement by Council? Explain your reasons.

 

2. The recently accepted Parks and Recreation Master Plan identifies eleven priorities for the City of  Penticton to pursue in order to preserve, protect and enhance public parkland. If elected, what will you do to ensure the city will work to achieve those community identified needs? 

Two candidates did not provide an e-mail address on their nomination form and therefore were not included in the survey. Those candidates are:
  • Isaac Gilbert
  • David O’Brien. 
The following Mayoral candidates did not respond to the questions:
  • Jason Cox
  • Dominic Wheeler
The following City Council candidates did not respond to the questions:
  • Duffy Baker
  • Christopher Evasin
  • Joe Frocklage
  • Christopher Millin
  • Max Picton
  • Marie Prior
  • Connie Sahlmark
 
In the candidates’ responses you will notice a wide range in the level of detail and awareness of parks’ issues, past and present. We urge you to carefully read their answers and evaluate them for depth, sincerity and understanding of park issues. Going forward, we hope this will help you decide which candidates will best preserve, protect and enhance public parkland in Penticton.
For clarity the Mayoral and City Council candidates verbatim responses will be sent in two separate e-mails. The first e-mail contains the Mayoral candidates’ responses, followed by the second which contains responses from the candidates for City Council.
PPPS Advisory Committee

Responses from Mayoral Candidates

********

James  Blake

Hello! Thank you for the questions!

Our parks and beaches are cherished spaces.

We need more of these places scattered throughout the city so no one will be out of walking distance form a park.

We should never pawn off these treasures to developers.  There are plenty of other places for commercial development.

There has been a great deal of work done by the city developing the Recreation Master Plan. All that work can be built upon as the city transitions into a new term.

I have two young girls 9 and 3 years old. They love our parks.

As Mayor I would continue to defend our Parkland and look for opportunities to expand and enhance our beautiful  public spaces into areas we can all be proud of.

Thank you for your time.

********

Andrew Jakubeit

Question 1.

Had the community been involved from the beginning the Skaha Park development proposal would been vastly different. Learning from this experience our community engagement has been expanded to include residents in the decisions that shape the future of parks and our city. Our lack of good judgement in the Skaha Park process is my biggest regret during this past term.

I have worked hard to prove my commitment to protecting our parks by serving on the steering committee that established the new Parks Master plan, the parks protection policy and the new parks dedication bylaw. In addition to strong parks protection policy we are establishing the new Parks and Recreation advisory committee to review and make recommendations on all future ideas related to parks.

I will continue to work with Protect Penticton Parks team as I have to ensure that our parks are managed and protected in a way that represents the values of the community.

Question 2.

My platform references two of the eleven priorities. I would like to see a joint project with the Penticton Indian Band and City to beautify and enhance the Channel walkway. Also working with the Province and the Penticton Indian Band I would like to formalize the maintenance and use of the existing Campbell Mountain recreation area into a formal park.    

In the 2019 budget there will be money dedicated to establish the Skaha Park master plan which will determine the future of the marina. As part of my commitment to protect parks we are establishing the new Parks and Recreation advisory committee to review and make recommendations on all future ideas related to parks. I served on the steering committee that established the new Master plan for Parks and Recreation, the parks protection policy and the new parks dedication bylaw. I will continue to work with Protect Penticton Parks team as I have to ensure that our parks are managed and protected in a way that represents the values of the community.

The City is also looking at creating a plan for the Robinson property (Seniors Drop in Center) for potentially more pickle ball courts or other recreation amenities.

The Esplanade and Marina at Okanagan Lake is also an area that needs to be included in future planning as it currently sits in a state of disrepair. We need to reclaim a very pristine natural area that currently has been overgrown and overrun by transients. 

We have purchased several properties to continue the Penticton Creek restoration and for future recreation opportunities. We have also been working with the Province to connect the KVR trail system at the end of the channel to Skaha Lake.  

In closing I think all of the eleven priorities are important. We have a lot to work to do over the coming years, and with your support I hope to be part of that process.

********

Jukka Laurio

Question 1.

It was a fundamental mistake.  It was designed to fail, with a half a kilometer of available  beach, they want to put it on top of a popular playground.  There is no need for public land or direct involvement in water slides by the city, the city is responsible for policy, zoning and permits.  If a developer wants to open water slides in Penticton and they think they operate them at a profit, let them.  Penticton had water slides before, a private business, on private land, no where near the beach, I am sure it could be done again.

Question 2.           

It is a beautiful documents full of facts and information, but it is not a plan, even though there are suggestions, it is mostly a lot of talk.  Like most things issued by the city, it does not contain any commitments or an actual plan of action.  Myself, I would consult with the people, make a commitment on something, formulate a plan that actually involves taking a brave first step, then do it.  Pick a priority, then DO something about it.

********

John Vassilaki

Question 1.

Initially the scope of the project was for improving the marina.  City staff advertised a call for proposal, and received at least three responses.  City staff then recommended the proposal from Trio.  Unfortunately the new Mayor and Council allowed the scope of the project to expand and this was the fundamental mistake.  As the project scope grew, with Trio’s proposal now encroaching into Skaha Park, the community voiced their concerns.  It was poor judgement on the part of Council to proceed without public support.  It was poor judgement of Council to sign the contract without community support and this poor judgement cost us significant tax dollars to release the City from that contract.

Question 2.

First I would like to congratulate the community and city staff for developing the long awaited Parks & Recreation Master Plan.  I appreciate the priorities that the Steering Committee has recommended and I would support moving forward on all of these recommendations.  These are long-term initiatives that will require on going dedication to communications and partnerships.  I will continue with a Steering Committee, I will lobby the province, and I will incorporate park priorities into the budget.   However, I believe we should first and foremost put priority in the updating of our Parks Dedication Bylaw.  We need to be crystal clear on how we will protect our parkland and on what uses we will allow.

.

.

Responses from City Council Candidates

********

John Archer

Question 1.

I firmly believe that it was a fundamental mistake and that it represented the poor judgment of Council for the following reasons;

1. The citizens of Penticton communicated their voices and concerns regarding the disposition of parkland when a similar issue arose years ago over the possible sale and development of Okanagan Lake Park.  Surely any Council since then should have been aware of, or done their due diligence and made themselves aware of, this hotly debated and divisive issue which engaged so many concerned members of the community and the Council at that time.  Ignorance of this issue, its results, and its resolve is no excuse.  The sheer lack of public consultation demonstrates the ignorance of Council in disregarding the citizens’ previously expressed concerns.

2. The parks of Penticton are an invaluable and natural asset, an asset that is vulnerable to overuse and abuse and that needs to be protected.  Commercialization would only have lead to overuse and loss of or degradation of this most valuable asset.  This again shows Council’s poor judgment in that it did not foresee the inevitable “loss” of control of one of its major assets for a very long time and the potential for irreparable and long-term damage.

3.  The parks of Penticton are for its citizens, firstly and foremost, and something that can be shared with the visiting public all year round.  Penticton parks belong to Penticton citizens.  For this Council to have even considered an outside interest’s proposal to commercial this valuable asset for their gain and, for what I feel would have been, our loss was shockingly ignorant.   I firmly believe the citizens of Penticton know what is best for their park and so should have an informed Council.  

4.  It appears to me that it was greed and sheer negligence that informed the Council at the time of this decision.  It seemed to me that this City Council was willing to “sell off” this asset to avoid its duty and responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the park.  I believe it was a very poorly, short-sighted decision wherein the City underestimated the gain of keeping the park natural and control thereof and respecting the views of the majority of the citizens of the community versus the low return gain (?) of losing control and commercializing the park. 

Question 2.

If elected as a councillor for the City of Penticton, the Parks and Recreation Master Plan (PRMP) will always be considered and given a priority in my decision-making of any issue brought before Council.  To me, this must be essential reading to all incoming Council members to inform themselves of such so they, too, may be guided by the PRMP in their decision making.  Discussion would then follow among Council as to the importance and priorities of the PRMP.   All new Council members must also read the Parks Dedication Bylaw and Park Land Protection and Use Policy and be prepared to discuss such for the shared understanding of all.

Given the number of priorities of the PRMP, there needs to be as full assessment done and prioritization done with respect to the budgetary implications (e.g. funding and human resources) for each and realistic timelines set for their respective implementations.  It would be prudent and responsible for the new Council to monitor the ongoing related costs and be kept up to date regarding all plans for realizing the goals set forth.  Budgeting for these specific priorities must be allocated annually to ensure their viability and sustainability.  I feel a responsible City Council must always monitor the progress of such plans over time to see what has been achieved and take steps to ensure such progress where necessary. 

John Archer, proud member of PPPS for many years

********

Julius Bloomfield

Question 1.

The plan to lease part of Skaha Lake Park is a decision that goes back 2 or 3 councils. At that time they could be forgiven for thinking it was a good idea but if they had been open in their dealings with the Trio Group then they would have quickly found out that it was a bad idea. This was amply demonstrated when a group of local businessmen wanted to do a land swap with the city for Okanagan Lake Park, where they wanted to build a hotel. The fundamental mistake of council was not communicating the idea to the public at the outset of the negotiations, so I have to conclude it was poor judgement.

Question 2.

Firstly, to ensure that there are sufficient funds on hand and in reserve accounts for the maintenance and future acquisition and enhancement of parks. This can be done by identifying parks as an area of need in capital reserve funds. We can also have acquisition of new parks by the city as part of the economic plan of the city.

Then we need to ensure through consultations with various resident advisory groups that the recreational needs on the community are being met.

Finally we need to ensure that the recreational needs of tourists are being met.

********

Karen Brownlee

Question 1.

The Skaha Water Park was a stupid idea on a few levels..firstly, to put a water slide amusement for children next to a huge body of water seemed redundant, why no just buy water toys and install them in the lake…ergo a water park..similar to the whippet’s in Okanagan Lake.

Secondly, the vast amount of dollar resources spent fighting was ridiculous.

Thirdly, the ego, arrogance and total disrespect of the people’s voice.

If elected, the people most definitely will be given back their voice to be genuinely heard as we continue to grow in a healthy manner.

Question 2. 

Again, if elected, I will ensure the people have a say in the step by step design of how our city grows.  We have a very coveted little city that realistically can only properly house X number of people.  Instead of the city bending to everybody’s whim to move here only to realize there is no housing or they can’t afford to live here seems a tad off scale to me.  There are many, many other cities better suited to lower income families with better accomodations.  In a small town Saskatchewan for instance, one can buy a full house with a large lot and detached garage for under 50 thousand.  One can then commute to a larger community to work. Or to developer’s who say they can’t make any money on less than say 10 stories.  I say build in a different city then.  We run the risk of opening the door only to find 10 years later we are surrounded by sky scrapers that have been allowed to grow to 15 feet and perhaps even more.  A very scary thought for our little beautiful city.

I would like to add one more thing though regarding the money spent on our city.  We bring in annually 75 million dollars, a great deal of it spent foolishly and unwisely.  Putting this money back into infrastructure, maintenance, beautification, arts and culture are a few ideas where those extra dollars could benefit us all.

Thank you for taking your time to ask me of your concerns, great idea.

********

Glenn Clark

Question 1.

When a developer comes to council with a proposal of economic development and community amenities, it is the obligation of Council to hear the proposal. Council heard and made a fundamental mistake – they were prepared to “sell out” our parkland to get money desperately needed to maintain our neglected infrastructure. It was an act of desperation.

When I moved here in 1991 I felt there were not enough parks in Penticton, the City showed parking lots as green space as well as school grounds to boost their park percentage.  Now the city claims Crown Land on Campbell Mountain as park space to booster the park percentage. I remember when swimmers lost access to Okanagan Park without any consultation. I remember when the city slashed Marina Park in half and paid $ 2 million to push the street into the park, for a development that recently cost taxpayers another million dollars. These are only some of the examples of mismanagement of past Mayors and Councils. It’s fight after fight, lawsuit after lawsuit, and park issue after park issue. It is illustrative of a troubling governance style at City Hall.  The City gets into so many lawsuits they are actually looking at selling off (or leasing) our beloved parkland. Instead they should be investing in our parks. These are some of the reasons I am running for Council.

Question 2. 

I just went over the Parks and Recreation Plan and the focus on sports is so prevalent I question why recreation was paired with Parks.  Parks and sports fields are different. It makes more sense to tie Parks in with Arts and Culture.   It is filled with hundreds of graphs and images, which is confusing and misleading.  There was not a single map of the city with a clear overview of the existing parks in our community.  Arts and Culture wasn’t even mentioned in this report except as a single word afterthought on a couple pages.  The City has hired a sports and events manager and is putting a greater focus on sports tourism.  This singular focus is not geared enough for a community having the highest rate of pensioners in the province.  Where is the Arts and Culture Officer?

Seeing that the new “Parks” Master plan is so hockey prevalent I will comment further.  We have four arenas where cities our size have usually one, maybe two.  All of them are subsidized by your tax dollar, some more than others. It appears that all of them are on parkland. But we want to build more rinks on parkland.  When the SOEC was being shaped we were told the second rink would be the “community rink”.    If the SOEC is on public parkland then why does minor hockey not get a proper break in fees? The answer is we, the tax payer pay more because corporations can get richer, on our parkland.

People have no idea of the value of Memorial arena. Go see what Kamloops did with their old barn.  We are being misled and at that point where it dedicated a section to gutting Memorial Arena, and McLaren, that this parks policy looked like a dog whistle. Those rinks are fine, one is world famous. In one section titled Role of Penticton, Question 10: What parks and recreation opportunities should Penticton advertise and focus on to attract more residents to the City? Every answer was sports related, not a single cultural activity mentioned.  Tourism isn’t just hockey and soccer, how about our Art programs and shows as well as the school of the arts and performing arts shows. There is plenty of money from the Hotel tax to promote Penticton.

It appears from the many graphs that we have the least staff support for our parks than every other community in the report, yet somehow pay the most in terms of dollars per acre. Like the rinks, the casino is on designated parkland so now we have unionized minimum wage picketers on parkland.  Then the report pats itself on the back claiming that staff has done an exceptional job of maximizing the use of reduced resources.

Between 2009 and 2014, in support of a corporate strategy

to reduce operational costs, the department implemented

cost reductions of approximately $400,000 or 20% of its

operating budget, resulting in a reduction of over 5,000

labour hours.

The new OCP vision and parks vision seem to contrast…”Penticton is a place to stay forever because we cherish our natural setting between two lakes”. This is most interesting seeing that the park policy is using Crown land on Campbell Mountain to boost their park percentages.  The city eyes this mountain for development.  For years the bike community has tried to work with the city to make the single track trail network on Campbell an official park, but have met with nothing but barriers from city and RDOS Administrators. 

Natural Park

– these parks are mostly undeveloped because they have been protected

as natural areas. Most include natural features such as steep slopes, grasslands, forests, watercourses, ravines, or bluffs. The recreational use of natural areas is usually limited to trail uses and nature appreciation. Depending on the size, location and characteristics of the natural open space, it may be used by residents of one neighbourhood or the entire City. Facilities such as parking lots, signs, trails, gathering areas, and washrooms

support public access and use. Examples: Cleland Natural Greenbelt, Esplanade, Munson Mountain Park, Wiltse Nature Park, Three Blind Mice, Water Treatment Plant Natural Area, Ellis Creek Pathway, Penticton Creek Pathway

the City’s OCP supports healthy ecosystems by:

Preserving and enhancing the ecological systems and diversity throughout the City by applying  the Riparian development permit area and the nvironmental Protection development permit area.

(s.6.10-11)

Recognizing the City’s special natural places including the Esplanade, Silt Bluffs, Skaha Climbing  Cliffs, Oxbows, lakes, Munson Mountain, wildlife corridors, creeks and take pride in protecting and enhancing these natural features. (s.3.1)

Recognizing the inextricable links between the long-term health of our natural environment, the economy and community livability. (s.3.1.8

Yet the City continues to support developers constructing on our hills. I recently saw the new vision at the OCP unveiling, brought to us from Vancouver, and what caught my attention is how development in the (fire zones) hills near Campbell Mountain and lower Wiltze is once again part of the “new” vision. We’ve already debated this!  Climate change is real, wild fires are real yet we continue with more urban sprawl.

The Eleven Priorities;

1.

Prepare a Park Master Plan for Esplanade Park, including the marina, using a comprehensive  community engagement process

2.

Prepare a Park Master Plan for Skaha Park, using a comprehensive community engagement process

3.

Increase trail connectivity by coordinating among City departments to plan or connectivity of pedestrian and bicycle networks and extension of key corridors

4.

Work with the Penticton Indian Band on improvements along the River Channel Parkway to establish a lake-to-lake linear connection

5.

Acquire property for park land in key locations as opportunities arise, working with the City’s Planning Department to incorporate criteria for park land within development processes, and working with City experts and a real estate professional to identify potential land for acquisition and to identify funding sources, e.g., DCCs, donations, land trusts, etc.

6.

Collect data and prepare a policy related to encroachments on park land, striving to remove current encroachments

7.

Work with the Province, RDOS, First Nations, and private land owners on a long-term management plan for Campbell Mountain that addresses environmental and recreation opportunities.

8.

Establish protocols and foster partnerships for major park upgrades

9.

Complete the Penticton Creek Pathway to achieve a continuous trail along the creek

10.

Establish a plan for the protection and use of the Munson Mountain property

11.

Continue to foster existing partnerships and develop new partnerships for effective and efficient service delivery in the operations and management of parks and facilities

These things are all the things you would expect in a parks plan that has been ignored; “establish a plan”, “Continue a partnership”, “establish protocols”, “collect data” and other obvious things.  Like the new OCP, things you might have assumed were already prioritized. This policy speaks to the lack of balance in this city.  A city’s social services suffer when it acts like a corporation, as it seems to have.   A city is not a Corporation.  A city has an obligation to the citizens that it governs; a Corporation is only out to make money.  Things on parks shouldn’t have a taste for tax payer money.  We’re seeing the classic tail wagging the dog whenever developers come proposing economic development.  These are some of the reasons I am running for Council. It is city activists like you that inspire me, give me hope to helping make Penticton a better place to live.  So to answer the question, I would do everything I can, to help preserve, promote and expand the existing parks in the community. Thank you for asking my opinion on the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

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Daryl Clarke

Question 1.

Knowing the history of Skaha Lake Park is to know that this decision was fundamentally flawed. The park was not built overnight and represent an important green space at the south end of our town and even though I stand for protecting our industrial area I think our parkland is just as important and needs careful stewardship and protection.

Question 2.

The true way to protect the parkland is to make sure it is not only a priority  at city hall but it has to become part of the mindset to protect  the space we have. With the new master plan and the O.C.P. we must take this opportunity to enshrine our  parks into our future for all to enjoy.

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Lynn Kelsey

Question 1.

It was a fundamental mistake that represented poor judgement by Council  This council did not listen to the citizens and have consequently cost the city hundreds of thousands dollars. 

Question 2.

The new Parks Plan brought forward excellent plans for the city parks. I feel that the council needs to pay careful consideration to these priorities in all decisions around parks. I will listen to the citizens and support the work done by the Parks and Recreation committee.

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Jake Kimberley

Question 1.

Absolutely a very poor judgement by the outgoing council.  Poorly communicated by the outgoing council?  That should even been an issue for them had they done their true diligence on the question of leasing a Public Park for commercial development.  This was not a temporary seasonal use it was presented to be a permanent structure in a park developed and paid for by many years of property tax dollars.  Procedure of council when receiving such a request on the agenda to take away one third of public recreational parkland land for a two month a year private commercial operation should have been rejected by the outgoing council at the very first reading.  Pubic land is and should remain as public land.

Question 2.

If successful in my campaign I would like to be appointed by the mayor to that committee with good reason.  I have worked with a group of the most dedicated group of people over over the last three years that have fought so hard to save Skaha Park from this shameful attempt by the outgoing council to deny public access to this most pristine and well used park land for a privately owned and operated Waterslide.  Anyone who supported the private use of public land should recognize that the land you helped to buy would have gone to support a private profit driven project and denying you and your family access to “your land” for many years.  As stated if appointed to that committee I will do my utmost to ensure the identified needs are met/pursued.   

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Jesse Martin

Question 1.

I am against the idea of developing or leasing any park land for the intention of permanent commercial use.  Greenspace has been proven to provide so many physical, mental, and spiritual health benefits that I feel we need as much of it as possible.  That said, I am not against the development of a waterpark on private property if there is a demand and a business willing to incur all investment costs, provided that a proper hearing is held and all points of view considered.  I believe there is always a solution that can benefit everyone, even if it isn’t immediately visible.  

If elected to council, I will oppose any future commercial plans on park land and ensure stakeholders such as PSDIC have their voices heard long before any decision is made.  I believe this is how a proper council should operate and will ensure that ours is run properly.

Question 2.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for well-researched and discussed documents such as the OCP and Parks and Recreation Master Plan.  I believe that every member of council should have a binder with relevant documents on hand at each meeting to ensure our decisions align with chosen community standards.  The PRMP would be one of those documents.  As such, it would be reviewed anytime a decision is made in relation to Parks and Recreation.  This ensures our accountability to the citizens of Penticton and respect towards documents created by city interest groups and organizations.  

In the PRMP it says that park land should “Provide opportunities for primarily outdoor recreation and nature appreciation while enduring the protection, conservation and preservation of the natural, physical, historical and cultural resources within public park land.”  I agree wholeheartedly with this statement and will do my best to uphold these ideals as a councillor.  

Thank you for the questions, keep up the good work!

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Doug Maxwell

Question 1.

This was a mistake……I was one of the first protesters at city hall the evening we expressed our disappointment with this plan. I was also one of the first  to sign the petition against this…….and got the tshirt!. I was disappointed in the media the next day when they said it was a 50 / 50 mix when it was clear to me it was more of a 85 / 15 mix of protesters against leasing out park space. Our parks need to be natural spaces for the enjoyment of all. Park space needs to be increased and kept as a quiet space for all who want it as we grow in population.

Question 2.
If elected I will use these 11 guidelines, as well as consulting with PPPS, and referencing the master plan to make my vote on issues concerning parks in Penticton.

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Kevin Proteau

Question 1.

The City was absolutely wrong the record shows it cost taxpayers over $200 000 to do nothing. At the end of the day they could have bought $200 in paint from Cloverdale and would have accomplished more.

  • Show the the electorate some respect and send it out to referendum. Our parks are too precious to be dealt with in back rooms.
  • Also for those that don’t remember I was there for the rallies and reported and video taped everything so people could see the the truth of whats going on. Here is just part one of a series from my youtube channel on it https://youtu.be/OYZNVByl198

Question 2.

  • 2nd questions on parks and rec’s committee is it has no teeth and we saw that with Locolanding lease extension to 29 years if not mistaken. It bypassed the process to prevent that from happening  and council yet again skipped voted in favor and not sure where Cambell Watt voted but would like to since he is so adamant  in his apology and wanted to bring it back to the table.
  • If I was on council then I would make it a bylaw to protect the parks

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Frank Regehr

Question 1.

Was the proposed lease for a commercial use in Skaha Park a good idea?

Penticton City Council’s plan to propose and support a lengthy commercial lease for a commercial waterslide park water park facility in Skaha Park was a fundamental mistake that represented poor judgement.  The story of bad judgement became crystal clear due to the diligent work of the Save Skaha Park Society and other concerned citizens.  Through this work it was evident that various Penticton Councils had attempted to commercialize parks and time and again Penticton residents rose up and cried “no way”. 

City Council ought to represent the will of the electorate.  If the current council and the 2012 to 2014 council thought the will of Penticton residents had significantly changed from what was expressed to Council in 2002, they should have asked for confirmation.  It was poor judgement to sign the agreement with Trio for a commercial waterslide park while over a thousand residents were outside City Hall shouting NO.

The policy lesson is that any future proposal for a commercial lease on public parkland must be demonstrably consistent with general park system objectives as well as park-specific objectives.  It must also be subject to public review and consent.

Question 2.

What will I do to achieve the expressed needs for Penticton’s parkland?

The Parks and Recreation Master Plan is a good starting point for protecting and enhancing Penticton parks, natural areas, trails and recreation facilities.  It presents goals that even with a high level of commitment from the City will take many years to achieve due to funding requirements and complex challenges.  What is important is to maintain a focus on the principles and vision that are the basis of the specific goals.

A major challenge will be to identify and budget the funds required. At a time when Penticton is raising taxes and utility fees to deal with infrastructure deficits, allocating new funds for parks will require both analysis and commitment.

In my campaign platform I identify a 75% discount on park-related Development Cost Charges for new construction.  This discount to developers should end, and the funds allocated to parks purposes.  Moreover I expect existing city programs will be reviewed, and funds made available through this process can be reassigned, including to parks.  I will bring my skills, knowledge and extensive experience with financial review and program planning to this critical Council responsibility.

The Parks and Recreation Master Plan has particularly pertinent sections:

S. 10.3 deals with investment prioritization.  I agree that clear and consistent criteria and reference to community identified needs should be used in setting priorities.

S.10.4 sets out other next steps which I endorse, including:

–       pursuing beneficial park-related funding partnerships;

–       identifying which parks need inclusion under the Parks Dedication Bylaw;

–       pursuing opportunities to identify suitable public lands in and near Penticton for park purposes; and

–       pursuing potential joint-venture initiatives with the Penticton Indian Band to upgrade the Channel Parkway and other projects.

All of these actions will require ongoing effort by Council and staff, plus considerable ongoing citizen involvement in advocacy, analysis and applied efforts, to ensure a clear and coordinated action plan is put in place.

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Katie Robinson

Question 1.

I believe this was a fundamental mistake by Council.

Having had the privilege of serving on past Councils for over 10 years, it stuns me that this Council got so horribly off track in not knowing and then not listening to it’s own citizens. I sat on a  previous Council that actually bought back private property to enhance Skaha Park. ( This would be the Coburn property back in the 1990’s ) I have a strong record of trying to protect our parkland. Another example of poor planning ( and ignoring our own OCP- Official City Plan) was in 2013 when Council again missed another opportunity to buy more Parkland on the Kinney Ave property and allowed it to be rezoned into high density residential. I fought hard to prevent that from happening but was out-voted much to my disappointment.

Question 2.

I will fight with every ounce of energy I have to continue protecting and enhancing our green spaces and parklands

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Darryl Sanders

I believe the general idea may have been good the plans in general were not well thought . A major plan as this was has a requirement to be brought to the community for discussion. If it advances to a  stage where the community votes I believe the decision should lay with the people nothing should ever pass by without public approval nor should we have been In a position. Where now we have become liable . To be perfectly honest I thought the water slides would have been a great idea however the community did not so tome if I had been voted in the ast term my vote would have been against because it isn’t my choice nor is it about me . I think sometimes individuals forget you get voted in to be a voice for your constituents   And to answer your second question if the plan has been approved we follow the plan if the plan is challenged with proof that it isn’t sound we revisit and get public opinion and make necessary adjustments 

I hope this answers your questions and hope to get your backing on Election Day 

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Judy Sentes

Question 1.  

The enhancement of Skaha Lake Park had merit that was not shared by everyone in Penticton. Better communication and more opportunities for community engagement are significant outcomes.

Question 2.  

I will look forward to the establishment of a Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee that will partner with City Council to oversee the preservation, protection and enhancement of our public parkland.

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Campbell Watt

Question 1.

This is somewhat of an easy answer for me as I obviously lived through this ordeal from the inside and can honestly say that I believe both are true. The communication was poor but the concept was definitely a fundamental mistake so even with perfect communication it would still not have been appropriate to move forward with it. I have realized and owned up to the mistake made as a new and inexperienced Councilor to vote in favor at the first meeting but I have also shown my ability to listen to the public and to stand up to my colleagues for what I believe in by being the only Councilor to ask for, and vote for the project to be stopped and brought back to Council for reconsideration but unfortunately I did not get a seconder for my motion. I have a much greater appreciation today for our parks and for the Arts and I am excited at the possibility to be a champion for both.

Question 2.

I have learned many valuable lessons over the last 4 years on Council and certainly one of the biggest lessons I learned is to understand and appreciate the true value and of our precious parklands. If I am fortunate enough to be re-elected I will ensure the City will work to achieve, or even exceed the communities needs by being a champion on Council and using my experience to not only fight to preserve our parkland but also to create or enhance our parks whenever there is an opportunity.


 END of PPPS Questions and Responses from Candidates

 


 

August 25, 2017
Hello to all SSPS members!

Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) is confirmed for Tuesday, October 24th at 7:00pm at the Penticton Lakeside Resort (registration starts as 6:00pm). There will be several significant resolutions presented to be voted on, along with the election of directors. More details will be forthcoming in the near future and a complete information package will be e-mailed to everyone October 3. We are anticipating a large turnout and hope to see you there.

In other news, the SSPS Advisory Committee continues to attend all Parks and Recreation Master Plan (PRMP) meetings. In particular we are pleased that Carolae Donoghue and Gerry Karr’s work on the Vision and Values sub-committee has, along with input from other committee members, been accepted initially in the form of a vastly improved vision and values statement for the PRMP.

Over the summer, the SSPS AC has also been working closely with our lawyer to seek a long term effective solution that would prevent future commercial development in our parks and avoid any other fiascos similar to Skaha Park from ever happening again. This is in early planning stages and we will be presenting more details on this very important matter at the AGM.

In the meantime we hope you enjoy the remaining summer, and as always, we thank you for your support. We will be in touch again soon.

 

SSPS Advisory Committee

Gary Denton, Carolae Donoghue, Gerry Karr, Jake Kimberley, Duane Martin, Lisa Martin, Lenora Robson

 


 

Hello to all SSPS members,

It’s a hot and busy summer and it has been some time since our last update. Members of the SSPS Advisory Committee are continuing to attend the Parks and Recreation Master Plan (PRMP) meetings and two of the SSPS Advisory Committee have been selected to participate in a sub-committee of the PRMP.

SSPS Advisory Committee member Gary Denton, who also sits on the PRMP Steering Committee, scored a major win when he successfully introduced a motion to recommend that the Park Dedication Bylaw of 2002 be amended to remove the following clause:

That for the purposes of this Bylaw “public park land” shall mean an area of land set aside to be used by the public as a place of rest, recreation, exhibitions, agriculture,exercise, pleasure, amusement, enjoyment and any other activity or use related or ancillary thereto and without limiting the foregoing, Council may from time to time lease or license all or part of the public park land for uses related to or ancillary to the uses specified herein.
…and to replace it with the following:

“That for the purposes of this Bylaw “public park land” shall mean “an unencumbered tract of land wherein the land title is held by a public entity for the benefit, use, and enjoyment of the people and for the protection, conservation, and preservation of the natural, physical, historical, and cultural resources thereon, and wherein an encumbrance is a burden, obstruction, or impediment to the foundational purpose or purposes for which the park was established.”

The PRMP Steering Committee voted unanimously to pass the motion and it will be a recommendation in the final PRMP.

What this means is if City Council accepts this recommendation when it is presented (and there is no guarantee they will) and amends the bylaw to remove the leasing and licensing statement, they will not be able to use the Park Dedication bylaw as authority to lease park land for commercial use.

Another positive step forward is that two of the SSPS Advisory Committee members (Gerry Karr and Carolae Donoghue) have been selected to join the PRMP Vision and Values  sub-committee. This very important step comes as a result of consistent pressure from the SSPS Advisory Committee to redevelop the current draft Vision and Values statement to one that more accurately reflects what we Penticton residents envision our parks to be and crucially, how we will ensure we achieve the vision. A well thought out Vision and Values statement is vital  to the success of any project and we are pleased that SSPS has an opportunity to help create it.

We will keep you updated as events unfold.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

SSPS Advisory Committee
Gary Denton, Carolae Donoghue, Gerry Karr, Jake Kimberley, Duane Martin, Lisa Martin, Lenora Robson