Open letter to city fathers and staff:
How many of you remember when the Simpson Sawmill was the most prominent feature of downtown Kelowna? My parents recognized the tall chimney as a sign of hope for employment and future success.
The mill has been moved northwards. It was changed names a few times since Stanley M. Simpson was its owner. Many hundreds of people have worked in various mill jobs. Mr. Simpson had foresight, determination to succeed, and decent ethics overall.
A huge portion of Kelowna’s Cultural District has been constructed on land formerly owned by Mr. Simpson. This land was sold to the City at a discounted price and with a few restrictions. Mr. Simpson wanted this land to be for the public use of the citizens of Kelowna. The legal, technical wording was called the Simpson Covenant.
Everyone who travels downtown on Water Street can see City Hall, the community theatre and Stuart Park. If you search, you can find a small bench and a small plaque dedicated to S.M. Simpson.
What? No Simpson Park?
Our current city council owns a great deal of property well suited to affordable housing. The City has finally started to use Central Green to make such provisions. This could/should have started some 10 or so years ago. Those years of lost taxes are a scandal.
Affordable housing should not go onto Simpson Covenant land. The Covenant set guidelines for all citizens of Kelowna. Simple green space, trees, benches, minimal amenities would truly be a breath of fresh air downtown. Think about it.
M.F. Wort, Kelowna