Wayne Danbrook states that “one man should not have his dream come true until the people of Oliver have their choice by referendum.” His justification for a referendum is: There was a petition in 2008 of approximately 800 people opposed to making Centennial Park a Wine Village.
A referendum requires verification before results are released and is a costly process; a petition of 800 people, who may or may not be taxpayers, does not justify the process.
One has to assume that besides the desire to protect the area, there was a belief amongst the 800 that the money the site generates seasonally would benefit our community and keep businesses thriving on Main Street. Judging by the empty storefronts and business struggling to survive, that concept fell flat on its face.
Danbrook further states that Centennial RV Park is host to seniors and family members getting together for sports and special occasions. Centennial RV Park is an RV parking lot with trees and grass and no space for Oliver residents to do anything.
So, let me get this straight: 800 people, who may or may not be taxpayers, compared to 2286 actual tax-paying residents is a majority vote and justification for a referendum in the eyes of opponents who want the RV park to remain because of the unverified revenue it generates? At best, this is a very flawed argument and can hardly be considered democracy in action.
I suggest that these 800 people oppose change, and/or are allowing an emotional tie to this site trump the survival of local businesses and deny residents the opportunity to live in a community that can move forward and thrive.
The alternative is to stagnate, wither and become an ‘also ran’ while Osoyoos garners the revenue created by its vision of how a community can prosper.
The Coast Hotel chain performed an analysis which justified their decision to choose Oliver. This hotel will advertise its product, our historical sites, our wineries and beautiful valley throughout BC in a manner that Oliver could never afford. In so doing this will bring in a much greater volume of hotel visitors and revenue than all the rental spaces in Centennial RV Park.
Pat Hampson, Oliver