Letter: Let’s build a city hall we can be proud of

It is time to move beyond small town parochial attitudes and get on with creating a West Kelowna we can all be proud of.

To the editor:

As I follow the various opinions regarding the proposed new West Kelowna civic centre in Westbank, I have to say I certainly hope voters choose to get out there and vote to go ahead with this development.  The consequences of turning down what appears to be a very well-studied and thought-out civic centre, would mean having to go back to the drawing board to come up with something else, something far more costly I suspect.

We have been aware since incorporation that the current location of our city offices at the Boucherie centre was to be temporary, and now it is time we returned that space to its intended use, as a community recreation facility. This was, after all, the intention from the beginning.

In his Mayor’s Message column in the July 2016 edition of the West Kelowna News leaflet, I thought Mayor Findlater did an admirable job of outlining the process that was undertaken to get to the point of bringing the proposal to the public.  I can understand that some voters were not pleased with the alternative approval process but at the time it was the least costly way to go.  The fact that some people chose to sign the petition against this may be more of an indication of disapproval of that process and not disapproval of the development itself.

Many of those who have spoken against the proposal have stated it is in the wrong place but I have yet to hear any viable suggestion of where these people suggest would be a more suitable location.  I can’t see a city hall sitting out off Hwy. 97 somewhere, or up in Lakeview Heights, or Glenrosa.  The location in Westbank seems like the best choice so we can begin revitalizing what has been our traditional commercial area.

As far as the “us” and “them” attitude lingering from the building of the Johnson-Bentley pool, that was a different time and different governing system.

As for the proposed location not being “central” enough, Kelowna City hall seems to work just fine despite being on the edge of that city.  West Kelowna’s proposed site sits nicely within our population density zone.  It is time to move beyond small town parochial attitudes and get on with creating a West Kelowna we can all be proud of.

I am hopeful that once voters get informed, the majority will vote Yes.

Donna Campbell, West Kelowna

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