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Letters  

Speeding and texting!

I drive in and around the Okanagan professionally.

I drive a minimum of eight hours a day, and I rarely see cops out and about doing speed traps, or stopping the obvious excessive number of people blatantly breaking the law by talking or texting on their phones.

I lived in Alberta for 15 years, and got used to doing no more than nine km/h over the speed limit, to avoid photo radar. I typically do exactly the same thing here.

I spoke with an RCMP officer one day at a gas station. My query was about officers in their cars looking at their computers while driving. I understand that it is allowed, but if they are busy looking at their computer screens while they are driving, they are missing all the obvious infractions and illegal activity that is occurring all around them.

He went on to tell me that city council decides how much time police allocate to speed traps and the such.

Clearly, city council has decided our roads are safe enough with rampant speeders, or the councillors themselves are speeders, and are afraid of getting more tickets.

Our roads are becoming busier and busier, with the growth throughout the Okanagan Valley, yet we have an almost imperceptible police presence on our roads. It is no wonder everyone feels comfortable talking on their phones, while doing 80 km/h through Kelowna along Harvey Avenue.  

There is no one to stop them. This town has become one of the most lawless places I have lived. It seems that in Kelowna and surrounding areas, if you tell people to not do something, they just do it more!

Patrick Bonar, Kelowna



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Oh, fuddle duddle!

A trade deal with the U.S. is in jeopardy because of Canadian dairy tariffs.  

Why are we protecting millionaire dairy farmer families?

A large percentage are in Quebec, a province that enjoys huge payments from Alberta oil, but chooses to import from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuala, etc. instead of allowing a pipeline to cross their province.

I say Trudeau and Quebec can go "fuddle duddle!"

Stan Macruger



Reforming City Hall

We know that one person does not make a reform movement, and simply changing faces at City Hall will not do that either, unless those individuals recognize that the fundamental changes needed are not in personalities, but in the structure that presently erodes our government. Without limiting the control and influence of city management not much will change.

There is an undercurrent of discontent in the electorate in Penticton, but how far from the surface that runs remains to be seen. It is common street talk to want “change,” but what about serious change that will actually hit City Hall and improve the democratic stature and general well being of citizens?

Powerful forces have had a stranglehold for several decades; they are not going to give up the golden goose without a battle. City Hall, the mayor and council have been handmaidens to the chamber of commerce and developers for a long spell, and they like the bed they’ve made.

The only effective way to reform governance in Penticton is to redirect the flow of our money, and put in place simple regulatory “fences” to control the steady stream of schemes trying (and routinely succeeding) to weasel their way through what are now “Swiss cheese” rules. Consider an Official City Plan of 230-plus pages and a city parks plan of an equal volume; any developer, lawyer, or city manager will find a hole large enough to drive a truck through the bafflegab.

The foundation for a progressive, reform-minded slate of councillors and mayor would look like this:

FAIRNESS in TAXATION

  • Almost immediately, eliminate the economic incentive zone that hands taxpayer dollars to special business interests, or simply fails to collect them.
  • Move quickly to bring the business to residential tax ratio/multiplier (now round 1.6), which presently penalizes residential home owners, up to the provincial average (about 2.7).
  • Redirect the room occupancy “tax” now being handed to the Tourism Penticton ($500,000/year) back to taxpayers and dedicate it to parks maintenance and increased management presence on beaches and in parks.

COST OF RUNNING THE CITY

Most taxpayers are concerned with the cost of running this city. Salaries and benefits are a major portion of that cost. With simplification of regulations and planning, we should see a smaller city staff.

City Hall planning department has been subsidizing developers, to the tune of millions of dollars for well over a decade. No more! Fees should not only exceed costs, but help taxpayers with services and maintenance.

Brian L. Horejsi, Penticton



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Could traumatize people

While I think it's good to remind people to be careful, I wonder how many rear-enders this may cause if it startles people and they slam on their brakes.

Also, I wonder if this may traumatize people who have lost a child to a similar accident, is it really necessary?

Why not, a commercial, or public service announcement instead?

Linda Kitty



Don't confuse for oil patch

I have another oilpatch opinion. I have worked 40 years in the oilpatch drilling oil wells all over the world, from Canada to Asia the middle east and the north sea.

In my opinion you can't call it oil if you can't pour it out of a viscosity cup at warm temperature. Fort Mac. is not  an oil patch, it is a polluting mine site that needs chemicals to move the oil. Don't confuse it with "real oil patch".

Don Lundblad
 



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