PENTICTON, BC — The war of words continues between the City of Penticton and the Penticton Hospitality Association (PHA).
“It’s unacceptable and it should be unacceptable to the community,” says Tim Hodgkinson, PHA’s Operations Director.
The city launched a lawsuit against the association in October, accusing it of mishandling marketing funds.
But two weeks ago, a supreme court judge ruled the association was not at fault.
The decision means the city is now on the hook for paying some of the PHA’s legal costs, as well as its own.
“I personally think it’s going to be more than $150,000 because this has been going on for more than a year and a half,” says Rob Appelman, PHA’s President.
Now the PHA is accusing the city of recklessness and wasting taxpayers’ money.
Some members of city council agree the situation is regrettable.
“We made a mistake by bringing them to court thinking that we could win this court case, and they weren’t able to do their job in the meantime. City council is the only one responsible for this,” says Deputy Mayor Helena Konanz.
While Councillor Jakubeit doesn’t believe it is entirely council’s fault.
“People in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks,” he says. “It takes two to tango, and although the judge ruled that the PHA’s conduct wasn’t a fundamental breach, he did highlight some points that brought us here.”
Both sides agree it is time to mend the rift, and work together to promote Penticton as a vibrant destination.