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EDITORIAL: City council blew it by springing Riverside Park plan on public

(Image: Riverside Park)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

PUBLIC CONSULTATION is a great aspiration for public bodies but Kamloops City council failed the test yesterday on the issue of commercializing Riverside Park.

With only Denis Walsh and Arjun Singh opposed, the council approved a pilot giving Tourism Kamloops rights to manage contracting sporting equipment rentals and food and beverage services at the park.

A couple of weeks ago, in response to requests from the fitness industry to use the park for outdoor classes during COVID (which, by the way, was also approved yesterday), I wrote that allowing some private recreational and service opportunities in the park isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Certainly, mega projects aren’t welcome there and never should be, and anybody who intends to turn the place into a carnival should get the bum’s rush, but a limited number of small-footprint activity-oriented opportunities could enhance the park for everyone’s enjoyment.

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Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8243 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL: City council blew it by springing Riverside Park plan on public

  1. John Noakes // May 21, 2021 at 9:04 PM // Reply

    This might be a case of realizing ‘not all commercial ventures are created as equals’. In the spirit of keeping a park a park, it would seem that yoga classes would have very little impact on others who are there to enjoy the peace and quiet offered by Riverside Park. Are some of these other types of commercial ventures going to take over?
    It kind of sounds like the decision was made before it was put to a vote.
    Only two might have been the voices of reason on this one.

  2. Jennie Stadnichuk // May 21, 2021 at 3:15 PM // Reply

    How many ways can I say “sneaky, underhanded, and lacking in ethical integrity?” That’s Kamloops’ City Hall. There wasnt enough time to properly inform all ==interested pat=rties!

  3. Garry Davies // May 19, 2021 at 7:52 AM // Reply

    It seems that this was sprung on Kamloops Council with some elected councillors not properly informed. Looks like there were more SECRET meeting ahead of forced vote.

  4. It could turn into a carnival, the impetus is there for sure. The commercialization of every “nook and cranny” of public spaces under the false pretense it somehow aids “greater enjoyment” under the not-so-watchful eye of populist-type politicians is misguided and totally wrong in my opinion.

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