To the editor:
Re your publication’s letters to the editor, dated Jan. 24, 2014.
I read with interest the letter from Stan Martindale, chair, Tourism Kelowna board of directors, where, it appears as though he wants the taxpayers of Kelowna to buy him, and Tourism Kelowna employees, a nice new luxury office on the lake.
Martindale quite nicely tries to convince us why this tourist info centre should be on the lake with a multitude of ridiculous reasons, such as lowering crime downtown or keeping visitors here longer than they want to because he has a nice office on the lake.
Geez Stan, give your self a shake. Get with the real world. I am guessing well over 75 per cent of the taxpaying public here in Kelowna do not want your office on the lake.
Many residents have already made their intentions known. They are sick and tired of the way our tax dollars are being spent.
You state the increased RV traffic downtown would be minimal since the current centre services only a modest clientele. Well Stan, clientele has been decreasing over the last few years for a reason.
Travelers don’t need a big travel centre anymore. Most everyone has GPS in their vehicles and have made their plans long before arriving at their destination.
Further, most everyone has a smart phone which, it seems to me, to be by far smarter than the people that are trying to ram this tourist centre down our throats.
Smart phones, tablets and computers are all portable and have the ability to be online anywhere to get up-to-the-minute information that is far more accurate than any information that could be picked up at this proposed centre.
I have a couple of suggestions for you, Stan ,which you can pass onto the three ring circus at city hall. If you and (Mayor Walter) Gray and gang feel that another million dollars has to be spent on a useless building, then I have a couple suggestions for you.
As I have pointed out in other letters, the City of Kelowna owns a large parking lot on the north side of City Hall which would be more than adequate to build on.
It is downtown, it is next to City Hall, it does not take away from public parking which is sadly lacking, it is visible from the lakefront walkway, it would not block any lake front views…well, the list is endless.
The second suggestion would be a small kiosk on the board walk, possibly by The Delta Grand or the new Kelowna Yacht Club. Quite possibly the best location for the kiosk would be next to Kelowna’s $800,000 outhouse. Imagine the increase in clientele. While visiting your kiosk they could be watching each other through the see through outhouse walls. I can see the opportunities are endless.
Let’s face it. The day of the large fancy travel centre is gone. Don’t be telling people, as has been done, that other cities are building big new centres in their downtown.
Who cares what other cities are doing? Just because other cities might be doing it does not make it right for Kelowna.
The taxpayers don’t want to spend $5 million plus on a useless building that few people will use.
Travelers that come here don’t need your expensive building. They know what and where they want to go and for how long they will stay here.
As for Caroline Grover’s, CEO of Kelowna Chamber of commerce, and her follow-up letter dated Jan. 28, it appears as though they all want a nice new luxury office on the lake.
Both letters written to the editor are almost verbatim and echo the same ridiculous suggestion of placing a $5 million plus building on the lake and taking away precious downtown views and parking while city hall staff, tourism staff and chamber of commerce staff, I assume, get free parking.
This mayor and council remind me very much of a Barnum and Bailey three ring circus. If they had their collective brains together, they would put together a list of major projects that affect the taxpayers of Kelowna and introduce a referendum once every year or once every two years.
This could be done simply by voting online and having your vote results go directly to an independent consultant in real time.
This independent consultant/auditor would of course be in another city.
As it stands now, it seems as though these sneaky reverse voting scenarios are in place where by we, the taxpayer, are forced to go down to City Hall to vote.
So, fellow Kelownians, let the clowns at City Hall know we do not want large expensive reckless expenditures such as we have seen in the past couple of years.