Opinion

Complex comments misguided

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I would like to respond to the letter from Denice Berlinski. I am also a resident of Coldstream and attended the same debate.

I take offence to the statement that the council stood up for what the residents of Coldstream value. The statistics for that meeting, as reported in The Morning Star, stated that a majority of the speakers (58 per cent) were in favour of the proposal.

Councillor Mary Mallerby also stated that she was following the wishes of her voters. The no side was obviously a little more persistent and organized regarding rallying the troops to phone their councillors, and had the Coldstream Ratepayers Association to help them as well.

I forget who the Coldstream Ratepayers endorsed in the last election but I wouldn't be surprised if it was their endorsed councillors who voted no to this proposal. As far as those in attendance at this debate, it looked like a clear majority of the people were wearing "Yes To Parks" stickers.

I am also a horse lover but find it odd that Mrs. Berlinski would compare the needs of a small number of equine sports enthusiasts to the thousands of people both young and old who would have benefited from this sports complex.

As far as her arguments regarding traffic, it would be busier but the bulk of the traffic would be accessing the park from Highway 6 and residents of Coldstream would be using Aberdeen Road which could be improved.

This may have been an inconvenience to the small number of homes in that area (of which I live) but they would also benefit from having a useable park to enjoy in their neighborhood.

I only hope that the individuals that campaigned for the preservation of this valuable agriculture land are around and as organized when a developer buys the land and wants to build more houses on it.

I fear by that time it will be too late and too valuable of a property to keep it as a park or farm land. I can only guess that the majority of the no vote came from people who may have felt that they themselves would never use the park without much thought to the thousands of people who would have benefited as well as the contribution that Coldstream would have made to the children and athletes of the whole North Okanagan.

I hope that we all can work together in the future and try to come up with a solution to our lack of facilities but I am highly skeptical that a legacy such as the proposed sports complex can be achieved elsewhere in this area. I am glad that Mrs. Berlinski is willing to help out and volunteer some of her time to come up with a better solution to the problem and I encourage both sides to look into this matter further.

Maybe down the road we may find that the Aberdeen complex is the most viable solution and revisit the proposal with a referendum that truly speaks for the majority of the residents.

As it stands now, the children and adults of Coldstream will continue to travel to Vernon to pursue their future in the highly beneficial field of sports.

  Lorne Pearson

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