Editorial: Reality check needed

Spending taxpayer dollars on advertising may not be best idea

Does the District of Sooke need to advertise itself more? Do we need to spend $28,400 on some more video footage of the wonders of our area?

A call came into the district office from the handlers of ex-football player and show host Terry Bradshaw and Mayor Milne jumped on the possibility of spending money on promotion and brought the idea before council. Insights with Terry Bradshaw is a relatively obscure program airing mostly in the U.S. (which is in a deep recession). We can’t let the slick salesmen promise us tourists, commercial business and fame. What if they come here and couldn’t find anything much to do. Let’s beautify our downtown first and then showcase our town. It’s too early, let’s be realistic.

We have spent probably close to $50,000 or more to promote Sooke through the Olympics and we have no way of knowing if this was beneficial or not. Too hard to track.

If the district wanted to look at partnerships with local businesses, because that is what would be highlighted, then go for it. But do not spend the taxpayers money on a colourful frill with no known benefit. We have better places to spend “discretionary” funds. When we tighten our belts for everything else, this seems too much like a loss leader.

The mayor should be sticking to his election platform by being realistic and tough with the budget. Beautify the downtown core first, get some new commercial/tourist activity and then promote Sooke. We just aren’t ready, there will be many more opportunities, you can bet on that.