Letter: Waterfront not the place for a business

More reaction on Tourism Kelowna's plans for a visitor information centre in Kerry Park

To the editor:

I would like to comment on the proposed Waterfront Visitor Centre, by declaring first that I am not an employee or volunteer of Tourism Kelowna, nor do I know anyone connected with Tourism Kelowna or its volunteers.

Only 30 per cent of eligible voters elected Kelowna’s current mayor and council.

The 70 per cent of eligible voters who, for whatever reason, chose to ignore their civic duty, implicitly gave carte blanche to council’s decisions during their four-year tenure.

Having only 30 per cent of eligible voters’ support, council is naturally interested in appearing to govern for the general good of all Kelowna residents.

That is why, I believe, we have had so many surveys on contentious issues, often enhanced with open houses and even charrettes. Anyone interested may participate in the city’s information-gathering, and once done, the issue can lie dormant for years.

Twenty-first Century information-gathering is often the new opiate of the masses.

People trust their government to act in the best interests of its residents. Is that trust misplaced?

Having read a number of letters to the editor attempting to dissuade the city from allowing Kelowna Tourism to construct the Visitor Centre on the waterfront, I have almost abandoned hope that residents’ concerns will be addressed. I say almost, because if all my hopes were dashed, I would not be writing this letter.

I join others in asking Kelowna Council to direct Tourism Kelowna’s plans away from the waterfront.

I hope their letters will inspire the so far silent residents to write or email council to say the waterfront is not suitable as a business venue.

The staff and volunteers at Tourism Kelowna could surely come up with a better location than Kelowna’s scarce public waterfront.

Helen Schiele, Kelowna

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