In the recreation referendum, vote ‘Yes’

We say: Saturday’s referendum vote is a step forward for Sooke region

On Saturday, residents in Sooke and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area will head to the polls to vote in a referendum to buy the former DeMamiel Creek golf course for future recreation lands.

The Sooke News Mirror backs the Yes side of the referendum, and asks voters to follow suit.

This is not a vote that is asking a lot of taxpayers: there will be no tax increase to acquire the land and it opens up more greenspace in our community. A side benefit for golfers is that SEAPARC intends to open up the golf course by June 15, if the referendum passes.

But the true intent of the referendum is to acquire the land for future fields for the children of Sooke.

The Greater Sooke Area (yes, the GSA) is at a point where it is quickly running out of play fields for its youth, while at the same time our area continues to grow with young families moving here en masse.

And as our community grows, so will the demand grow for more and more recreational amenities. It’s better to be well prepared for that call instead of waiting and having the prospect that no land will be available when needed.

Let’s not adopt the Chicken Little Effect of the sky is falling. This land is a good deal for $1 million – and the price will only increase as the years pass.

The ballot question has the virtue of simplicity. It is not posed as a complex plan.

Instead, the voters are asked whether they approve the idea of purchasing the land. It isn’t a plan to start building playing fields tomorrow or the next day, but only when needed. And it sets the groundwork for what this area wants – and needs – for recreation services in the short and long term.

The referendum is a real opportunity to improve recreation in the Sooke region. The proposal is a far better option than doing nothing. On balance, a Yes vote is the way forward.

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