An erroneous “information sheet” was mailed out Monday morning in an obvious attempt to dissuade voters from voting “YES” for the aquatic centre in the upcoming referendum. The sheet titled “Princeton and Area H aquatic centre proposal – informed decision-making for the upcoming referendum on September 14 and September 24, 2011” angered many local residents.
At the bottom of the sheet it stated, “the enclosed public notice is the official publication of the RDOS on this referendum.” This play on words confused readers into thinking that the document itself was endorsed by the Regional District office. Cathy Cowan, Chief Election Officer at the RDOS office in Penticton stated, “This document did not come out of our office. It does not include our logo and is not from us. It was not endorsed by the RDOS office.”
Enclosed with the bogus document was however, a repeat mail-out residents did receive some days ago with the referendum voting information on it. This document was endorsed by both RDOS and the town of Princeton. A call to town office verified the erroneous nature of the new sheet. The sheet contained misleading information with regard to the town’s financial abilities.
24/7 emergency room availability was inferred as a municipal issue. All medical services funding is distributed through the Ministry of Health at the provincial level. Sewage and water requirements were referred to as important future projects which would be compromised by the proposed aquatic centre. Sewage and water are administered through self-liquidating funds which fall under utilities. For instance; in East Princeton the water extension was paid for out of grants and the municipal water fund. The same system applies for sewage.
Neither the municipality or RDOS had knowledge of the mail out.