To the editor:
The residents of Peachland are finally getting the public hearing they have always wanted. When last spring’s flooding paralyzed the entire downtown core, the mayor claimed all municipal business was halted to deal with the emergency situation. All business except for the PeachTree development public hearing.
The June 13 PeachTree open house was a poorly attended event, overlooked by many who live in the area. Only a handful of Rotarians and Chamber of Commerce members attended and this disproportional support swayed council. Today council says the number of supporters at a public hearing has no validity in their final vote, the sole factor is their opinion of what is best for the municipality.
While it appears council’s mind is already made up, Peachlanders still have an opportunity to comment on the process that is encouraging five and six-storey high-rises all along the downtown core. The question remains, can they be heard fairly.
One suggestion would be appointing a neutral chair for the Jan. 30 public hearing.
After the call out for the RCMP at last week’s regular council meeting, it can be anticipated the attendance for next week’s public hearing will swell considerably. Clearly the taxpayers of Peachland have a great deal to say on the issue.
A public hearing is a numbers game, and if the results are not immediately apparent by third and final reading, they become crystal clear come municipal re-election day.
Taryn Skalbania, Peachland