Editorial: Public process appears flawed

When decisions are made prior to public input it seems undemocratic

Sometimes one has to wonder why public input sessions are ever held. In many cases, the decisions have already been made and it seems the public part of the process is just for show. It won’t change any minds.

Three examples come to mind. An off-leash dog park which will run through a residential area, and a bike skills park and horseshoe pitch in John Phillips Memorial Park.

Each of these are things we could use in Sooke, but why is it the taxpayers (through the District of Sooke) are all of a sudden responsible for the maintenance, upkeep and associated costs? The district paid $3,600 for a plan for the bike park which we haven’t seen yet, the district will pay for fencing for the off-leash park and the district is “giving” the horseshoe club about half an acre for use by the private club and thinking about building them some parking.

If this were truly a democratic process then decisions would be reserved to the end of the public process. Council appears so eager to please everyone that they say ‘yes’ to them all.

Of course there is need. Of course people need recreational opportunities. Of course it is all of us who pay for others to play.

The district and council needs to seriously consider where they are spending the taxpayers money. Much of the present council ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility and now it seems that was just the right thing to say, because it doesn’t appear to be the right thing to do. Everything costs money, except the promises. Our priorities should be to infrastructure, not fun structures.