Monday, March 12, 2007

Update: Some progress!

There was a very small story on page A5 of the Okanagan Saturday newspaper (10 March 07) titled: "Facilities' fate not sealed just yet".

"[...] Penticton city council has ordered a detailed look into saving the Pen-Hi auditorium and gymnasium. At a special in-camera meeting on Friday, council ordered city staff to investigate costs and other issues related to taking over the 730-seat auditorium as a stand-alone facility, as well as the adjacent gymnasium.

Mayor Jake Kimberley emphasized council has not decided whether or not the city will take over the two school facilities, but recognizes the community need for both performing arts and recreational space. 'At this stage, we are not even sure if these facilities will meet those needs and we must do due diligence first,' he said. Previously, Kimberley has said the city has no interest in preserving the gymnasium, but would only consider taking over the auditorium."

What a difference a couple of days and a show of public support make... Speaking of public support, there were several new letters to the editor published this week:
  • Marylin Cleland Barnay provided some historical background on community involvement in the auditorium (letter from the Western News Advertiser reprinted here)
  • David Snyder encouraged the city to "avert a disgraceful loss" in the Herald.
  • Jeanne Lamb took issue with the Herald's stance against city involvement ("Yes, council is responsible"). In discussing the chasm between the school board and city government, she points out that, "A majority of the taxpayers served by these two elected groups are one and the same."

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