This didn't take long!

southy
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This didn't take long!

Post by southy »

So I see the folks at City Hall have been a busy bunch - downtown revite is right on schedule.

http://www.pentictonwesternnews.com/news/283125321.html

And just whom exactly do we thank for this???
twobits
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by twobits »

southy wrote:So I see the folks at City Hall have been a busy bunch - downtown revite is right on schedule.

http://www.pentictonwesternnews.com/news/283125321.html

And just whom exactly do we thank for this???


I am only speculating here buddy, but look at the stated positions of the elected candidates, and it's not like they are about to change that direction.
What is really sick about this whole process is how THIRTY FOUR PROPERTY OWNERS, can approve an expenditure of this magnitude without more public consultation or justification of infrastructure needs.
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XT225
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by XT225 »

twobits wrote:
I am only speculating here buddy, but look at the stated positions of the elected candidates, and it's not like they are about to change that direction.
What is really sick about this whole process is how THIRTY FOUR PROPERTY OWNERS, can approve an expenditure of this magnitude without more public consultation or justification of infrastructure needs.


I think many of us are now on the same page (who may not have been before) in that we know that the downtown revite plan is badly flawed. No way that thirty four property owners should be able to decide our tax fate. If THEY want to pay for it completely, be our guests but the general public are the financial losers here. Its very sad that the issue wasn't put to a full referendum and let real democracy decide. Most people that I talk to are against it going ahead. I think the city is burying their heads in the sand with the rest of the towns requirements for infrastructure repairs. These should be done first before anymore beautification projects are even started. I still believe that the city runs the council; not the other way around. ETA: what happens after this part of main street is redone? Then what? Another 2 mil for the next block and on and on it goes til there is no money left; not even in reserves.
southy
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by southy »

There is a part of me that just gets really angry with the political bs we encounter on a daily basis. Whether it's federally, provincially or in this case our wonderful city hall. Was very convenient for them to set this revite issue aside leading up to the election, but just a few days after the election .. guess what - everything is as planned and staff will bring forward their ideas on December 15th making this the perfect Christmas gift.

There is also a part of me that keeps saying ... keep your eyes and ears open because you can bet the real infrastructure issues will come to light and money will have to be borrowed and spent and repaid by guess who?
pentona
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by pentona »

southy wrote:There is a part of me that just gets really angry with the political bs we encounter on a daily basis. Whether it's federally, provincially or in this case our wonderful city hall. Was very convenient for them to set this revite issue aside leading up to the election, but just a few days after the election .. guess what - everything is as planned and staff will bring forward their ideas on December 15th making this the perfect Christmas gift.

There is also a part of me that keeps saying ... keep your eyes and ears open because you can bet the real infrastructure issues will come to light and money will have to be borrowed and spent and repaid by guess who?


I believe that I read recently that there is a large water intake pipe coming from Okanagan Lake that has to be replaced asap at the tune of over 1/2 million. Just one of the surprises that may soon crop up that must be fixed. The priorities seem to be mixed up. Essential repairs to all parts of the city should come long before beautifying Main Street.
Simone Blais
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by Simone Blais »

Hi everyone,

I'm not posting this to begin a debate, more just to provide some info to clarify some of the points raised here:
* Council makes the final decision on whether to go ahead with the project, not Downtown business owners. The petition process relates specifically to the contribution from the private landowners (the tax they pay), not the entire project.
* Infrastructure upgrades are needed on Main Street - water, sewer and electrical all needs to be upgraded to accommodate growth and activity in the Downtown, and this is part of the proposed project. Beautification is done after the streets have been dug up to access underground infrastructure.
* The City undertook a significant public consultation process to develop the Downtown Plan in 2012, and held several consultation sessions at the markets asking people to "Tell us about Your Main Street" in 2014. Public input and stakeholder feedback have been a vital component of the revitalization process, as it's shaped project proposals for the better.

We have lots of information on the website, including a Document Centre that includes reports, presentations, concepts, etc over the last few years, and I encourage you to check it out: http://www.penticton.ca/downtown

Best,
Simone
XT225
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by XT225 »

Simone Blais wrote:Hi everyone,

I'm not posting this to begin a debate, more just to provide some info to clarify some of the points raised here:
* Council makes the final decision on whether to go ahead with the project, not Downtown business owners. The petition process relates specifically to the contribution from the private landowners (the tax they pay), not the entire project.
* Infrastructure upgrades are needed on Main Street - water, sewer and electrical all needs to be upgraded to accommodate growth and activity in the Downtown, and this is part of the proposed project. Beautification is done after the streets have been dug up to access underground infrastructure.
* The City undertook a significant public consultation process to develop the Downtown Plan in 2012, and held several consultation sessions at the markets asking people to "Tell us about Your Main Street" in 2014. Public input and stakeholder feedback have been a vital component of the revitalization process, as it's shaped project proposals for the better.

We have lots of information on the website, including a Document Centre that includes reports, presentations, concepts, etc over the last few years, and I encourage you to check it out: http://www.penticton.ca/downtown

Best,
Simone

Thank you for contributing to this thread. A couple of things that need mentioning:

1. Allowing only 34 business owners to be the sole taxpayers and deciders for that reverse petition was unfair. Sure some people could voice their opinion (what is an opinion, however) at the saturday market; big deal. I believe that it was publicly mentioned that Staff did not reccommend that this revite issue to go to Referendum, as they felt that it would fail. What does that say about the MAJORITY of the public wishes? Who will pay the majority of the bill? WE, John Q. Public resident taxpayer; thats who. I think that its fairly obvious that Democracy was not followed here.

2. We know that the downtown needs work on underground infrastructure; nobody is denying this, however so does the rest of the city; possibly even moreso. Look at the condition of a lot of the streets; paving patches, holes everywhere; its a mess. Anyone who thinks that it isn't, has blinders on. Repair what needs repairing EVERYwhere in the city.

3. There is still this push to narrow down Main Street to two lanes in the 200 block; yet even some members of council aren't convinced that this move will help anything and it COULD cause more congestion. More time is needed to decide that fate.

4. It has been stated that the "entrance to the city" is Martin Street, and thats why the Revite was started there. IF that is the case, then why not continue up THAT street? One block of Bollards and bricks may look great to some folks (not many that I've talked to) but to stop at one block there is odd. I would have to say that more people coming in from the North use Eckhardt Avenue (and coming North on Main St) so why wasn't the Revite plan started at the 600 block of Main Street? We all know that eventually it will be done there. Perhaps it was because a reverse petition in those blocks (with no banks) would not likely go in the citys favour?
twobits
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by twobits »

Simone Blais wrote:Hi everyone,

I'm not posting this to begin a debate, more just to provide some info to clarify some of the points raised here:
* Council makes the final decision on whether to go ahead with the project, not Downtown business owners. The petition process relates specifically to the contribution from the private landowners (the tax they pay), not the entire project.
* Infrastructure upgrades are needed on Main Street - water, sewer and electrical all needs to be upgraded to accommodate growth and activity in the Downtown, and this is part of the proposed project. Beautification is done after the streets have been dug up to access underground infrastructure.
* The City undertook a significant public consultation process to develop the Downtown Plan in 2012, and held several consultation sessions at the markets asking people to "Tell us about Your Main Street" in 2014. Public input and stakeholder feedback have been a vital component of the revitalization process, as it's shaped project proposals for the better.

We have lots of information on the website, including a Document Centre that includes reports, presentations, concepts, etc over the last few years, and I encourage you to check it out: http://www.penticton.ca/downtown
Best,
Simone


Simone, thanks for chiming in, but honestly, coming on to the threads and saying you are not posting to begin a debate doesn't sound like someone in communications......it sounds more like a politician telling the crowd from a podium about policy he/she is going to implement, and then walking away refusing to answer any questions.
We are also not ignorant of the fact that infrastructure needs replacement and that there can be economies gained by combining two essentially different projects. One of the things I would like to understand here is what is driving this downtown revite? Is it someones legacy to beautify and sell the project on the back of an immediate need for infrastructure replacement downtown? On the surface it would appear to be so given that I have not seen any portion of downtown dug up in recent memory that would indicate an urgent need. I would humbly suggest that there are many more urgencies within city boundaries for capital budget expenditures than two blocks of Main St. Can you direct us to the engineering studies that suggest failure in the downtown core is iminent?
Further to this, as taxpayers paying the bill, we would be interested in seeing the cost difference between just replacing the infrastructure in the roadway , IF imminently required, and leaving the current sidewalks (that were redone not long ago and look just fine IMO) and the full meal deal that our staff and apparently elected officials want to sell. Many of us are also wondering why the adjacent landowners are also not contributing 100% of the cost of making a "sidewalk mall" and "patio restaurants"? It is after all they who will benefit, not I on my pot hole riddled street. Do you think just perhaps, if these landowners had to pay the full pull for improvements directed solely at them, that the results of even the skewed reverse referendum might have been quite different?
The icing on the cake comes from the civic election discussion. John V, and I quote loosely, "I asked city staff why this project should not go to a referendum for the taxpayers to decide and they replied that there was no point in doing so because it would never be passed". That Simone is the tail wagging the dog at city hall and sending a very clear message that taxpayers should not be given the chance to decide on such a major expenditure of their hard earned income. It is akin to a Strata Corp Council deciding to replace all sidewalks, parking lot and landscaping for 100k without going to a vote of the strata members because it would be voted down if they did. Fortunately for Strata owners there are provincial laws that set a ceiling on non essential, non emergency spending, that must be ratified by a majority of the members (taxpayers).
Perhaps it is time there is some provincial legislation that similarly protects the collective of City of Penticton taxpayers rather than 34 property owners whose obligation for their immediate and direct benefit costs them mere pennies on the dollar.

ETA- Simone, and just to make it clear to others reading here that may not know, it is rather disingenuous for you to bring up electrical upgrades that might be required downtown. I am not disputing that it might be the case, but since the electrical is in the back alley's, and not on Main Street, it is not something that would need to be addressed, or part of the project cost in this proposed 1 1/2 block Main Street revite anyway. It would come from the Capital budget of the City's Electrical department. When you do stuff like that I feel like you are putting cheese on my broccoli in an effort to make it acceptable. Reality is I like my broccoli honest....steamed until still firm.....a little salt and pepper......no window dressing.
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southy
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by southy »

Simone, I really hope senior staff read your post before you sent it, because it does nothing but insult me. You are worried about starting a debate? Seriously. You know what you can do Simone is have your City Manager Annette Antoniak or better yet have your City Manager and newly elected mayor Mr. Jak come on this thread and share their views. I know a couple educated individuals who would love nothing more than an opportunity to respond to them.
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Daspoot
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by Daspoot »

southy wrote:Simone, I really hope senior staff read your post before you sent it, because it does nothing but insult me.


If you're insulted by her post then you should examine your own motivations and slant on this topic as her post was informational, polite, factual and a good contribution to a thread otherwise consisting of nothing but misdirected resentment and rants with no objectivity.

Those two blocks are long overdue for a facelift, and guess what, that isn't going to be cheap. Those most directly effected were petitioned.

Good work Penticton! keep on plowing forward and this town may just reclaim some of it's past glory.
On a different forum
XT225
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by XT225 »

Daspoot wrote:If you're insulted by her post then you should examine your own motivations and slant on this topic as her post was informational, polite, factual and a good contribution to a thread otherwise consisting of nothing but misdirected resentment and rants with no objectivity.

Those two blocks are long overdue for a facelift, and guess what, that isn't going to be cheap. Those most directly effected were petitioned.

Good work Penticton! keep on plowing forward and this town may just reclaim some of it's past glory.


You are incorrect. Those mostly affected were the REST of Penticton who will pay the majority of the bill. A huge majority. Oh, sure..we were allowed verbal comments at the Farmers market but what amount of clout did that have? Very little. No paper trail; no accountability. That reverse petition should've been to ALL Penticton taxpayers; that would have been fair and democratic. Even city staff suggested not going to referendum as they knew that it would not pass. Gee...I wonder why? The process was flawed from the beginning. This comment from a reader of the Herald says it all:

"what a crock....who wouldn't support this when almost 90% of the improvements are being picked up by the taxpayers...both the old council and the city hall staff should be embarrassed to support this total waste of taxpayers money...if this is such a good deal... the affected property owners should pay 50% or more....then see how supportive they are".
NormCheers
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by NormCheers »

I for one appreciate that Simone even addressed this forum knowing very well that the ones with the opinions are again not the majority. If they were Vass would be in and Andrew out as well as the others (Councilors) that clearly stated their position on this matter.
I think that the infrastructure of downtown sorely needs these improvements. As far as the cosmetics, why would you not do this now rather than later. It doesn't make sense to wait as you would have much more expensive process. If any of you would Google how to improve a city economy, the experts and studies all agree that improving your downtown is a major step.

Just my thoughts!
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Daspoot
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by Daspoot »

Daspoot wrote:If you're insulted by her post then you should examine your own motivations and slant on this topic as her post was informational, polite, factual and a good contribution to a thread otherwise consisting of nothing but misdirected resentment and rants with no objectivity.

Those two blocks are long overdue for a facelift, and guess what, that isn't going to be cheap. Those most directly effected were petitioned.

Good work Penticton! keep on plowing forward and this town may just reclaim some of it's past glory.


XT225 wrote:You are incorrect. Those mostly affected were the REST of Penticton who will pay the majority of the bill. A huge majority. Oh, sure..we were allowed verbal comments at the Farmers market but what amount of clout did that have? Very little. No paper trail; no accountability. That reverse petition should've been to ALL Penticton taxpayers; that would have been fair and democratic. Even city staff suggested not going to referendum as they knew that it would not pass. Gee...I wonder why? The process was flawed from the beginning. This comment from a reader of the Herald says it all:



I get a kick out of people who want a full on referendum for everything, that's what councils job is. That's the very definition of their job, to make the decisions. They are democratically elected to do just that job by you and all of us.

You want a say, vote for someone who believes in what you believe. Want more of a say? run for council. If you are so sure such a huge majority believe as you do you'll get in easily and be part of a "referendum" for every decision that comes to a vote before council.

It's narcissistic to think you should be consulted on everything in the comfort of your home because you don't like the decisions council has made.

I can only hope this trend of revitalization continues across Penticton and even onto the PIB lands as they develop across the channel.
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XT225
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by XT225 »

Daspoot wrote:


I get a kick out of people who want a full on referendum for everything, that's what councils job is. That's the very definition of their job, to make the decisions. They are democratically elected to do just that job by you and all of us.

You want a say, vote for someone who believes in what you believe. Want more of a say? run for council. If you are so sure such a huge majority believe as you do you'll get in easily and be part of a "referendum" for every decision that comes to a vote before council.

It's narcissistic to think you should be consulted on everything in the comfort of your home because you don't like the decisions council has made.

I can only hope this trend of revitalization continues across Penticton and even onto the PIB lands as they develop across the channel.[/quote]

Ok, perhaps it didn't warrant a full Referendum but why not a Reverse Petition process to ALL taxpayers in this city? Why just give that petition to 34 businesses. Its NOT like they are the only ones paying the bill; quite the opposite. It wouldn't cost much and its not a bad way of finding out what the general public really wants.
twobits
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Re: This didn't take long!

Post by twobits »

Daspoot wrote:
It's narcissistic to think you should be consulted on everything in the comfort of your home because you don't like the decisions council has made.



Lol, who is the narcissist here? Look up the definition. I don't see self important opinions being conveyed here. Quite the contrary actually. I see people promoting inclusion in a decision that directly benefits a few at the expense of the collective. And the collective picking up a tab is not a bad thing....as you say, that is why we elect a council....to make decisions. How I personally differentiate this topic of revite VS the "business of running the city", is that this revite has not been proven to be an immediate need or priority. Until I am presented with verifiable evidence that there is an impending failure of downtown infrastructure, or dire lack of capacity, then these capital funds are then being used as a discretionary slush fund. I am also of the opinion that when we are looking at spending discretionary funds, this spending should be presented with complete transparency including options and outcomes for each option. I have seen none and have even asked for a link to an engineering report that would support an immediate need. To date I have seen nothing except a sales job to the taxpayer.
When one can publically state like Simone has that the reason is that the infrastructure is in dire need, yet provide no evidence, and include electrical....which is not even on Main St.....do no red flags go up for you? They do for me and many others.
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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