Letter: Kelowna quietly going about usurping Rutland Park

To the editor:

Re: Rutland Centennial Park Purchase by City o f Kelowna.

The closed door meetings over the past months concerning the City of Kelowna’s acquisition of Rutland Centennial Park remain riddled with questions. The 1973 amalgamation of Rutland did not include this private, community owned prime property along Rutland Road, presently worth millions of dollars.

Many unanswered questions remain: Who initiated the proposal and why? What reason does the City of Kelowna have for its urgency to acquire Rutland Centennial Park property?

What will the Rutland Centennial Park Society do with the extra millions when it no longer has a park to care for? (Everyone knows that the best investment today is land.)

What is ironic is the knowledge that the City of Kelowna has also offered the society a tidy sum to put a road through Rutland Centennial Park for ease of transit operations, giving no thought to environmental fumes and other questionable issues.

Even more ironicis the fact that this comes at a time when Kelowna city council is dangling a $100,000 carrot to enhance downtown Rutland. One hand does not appear to know what the other hand is doing. Is there perhaps a private land development proposal on the horizon or a narcissistic need to control the only asset Rutland has left following the 1973 amalgamation?

Somewhat lost for answers, one member of council angrily called the Rutland Centennial Park grounds ugly, another described the brownish patches of lawn as a mess.

Surely the City of Kelowna and the Rutland Parks Society has heard of government improvement grants as well as irrigation and good old fertilizer?

The 2013 Rutland May Days was the most successful ever with over 10,000 people attending and accolades by the dozen throughout the city. If Rutland Centennial Park becomes city-owned property, say goodbye to Rutland May Days.

If you are at all concerned about the recent developments and this seemingly conspiracy of silence, your opinion matters. Remember a municipal election is not that far off.

Arlene Gaal,



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