To the editor:
In the past, our city vied for and received recognition in the Cities in Bloom Competition. The mayor and council were proud of our lovely city.
Now we are ranked in 76th place in another ‘competition’ and our mayor wonders why.
It matters not what other regions or newspapers think of our city, what should matter to the mayor is what our own citizens think of the city’s appearance and safety.
I can tell you there is embarrassment and disgust in certain parts of our city. Several letters have identified areas (e.g., the dilapidated ceiling in the aquatic pool area, and men’s changing room areas at the Parkinson Rec Centre.)
Perhaps our civic leaders could drive around Kelowna a couple of times a year to compile their own checklist of things to remedy so city areas are not such a black eye in the opinion of our own citizens (the ones who are the taxpayers that fill the civic purse).
For example, the mayor and council should walk or cycle along Springfield Road across from Mission Creek Park and view the city’s alternate city dump on the vacant Callaghan property. It’s ideally located as a greeting sign to tourists and residents alike who visit our popular Mission Creek Park green space.
The vacant lot is something to be proud of—Not. It has uprooted fence posts, tangled barbed wire, broken liquor bottles, used baby diapers, chunks of concrete and rebar, metal and plywood, paper coffee cups, piles of stones, sand and other construction materials. On a sunny day you can even see a myriad of plastic materials that glint in the sunlight looking like giant wildflower blossoms in a field.
It’s hard to understand the mayor’s apparent surprise that Kelowna is ranked so low by people outside our city, however the citizens who live here have a good idea why.