Letters: JPMP is everyopne’s park

John Phillips Memorial Park should be for everyone's enjoyment

In response to   the letter writer, (Another View, April 3), who thinks a bike race track in John Phillips Memorial Park (JPMP) will enhance the community image of Sooke and attract masses of tourists from all over the world. Do you mean like the skateboard park on Throup Road does right now? Impressive and amusing comparison.

And, as far as the claim that neither the Sooke Bike Club or any of its supporters ever asked for any money from Sooke taxpayers, the fact is $3,600 (plus GST) was given to the club to cover their planning costs. An amount the club was not able to raise from its members.

To question another point: Why would “naysayers” demand that tax money be given to a project they do not endorse? That statement is complete nonsense.

The president of the Sooke Bike Club graciously took this money from Sooke taxpayers and actually described it as a “paltry amount.’

Why should district staff work at getting grant money for the Sooke Bike Club, a private organization? Let the club do their own leg work if they want grant money.

As for the reference to numerous businesses, school boards, service groups and various committed individuals, who back this project, it is very strange indeed that none of these supporters have actually ever gone public in their overwhelming and generous endorsements. Perhaps in the grand scheme of things, it all comes down to the financial commitments they must make. Not only construction and maintenance costs, but also to very real possibilities of any future legal and public liability issues.

Think long and hard about this foolish endeavour Sooke taxpayers, because there will, be very serious financial consequences for all concerned.

If the district’s park planning department is anxious to create awareness and increase usage of the JPMP green space, how about a sign saying, ‘Welcome to JPMP. This park is for everyone’s use and enjoyment. Your suggestions for potential future development would be most appreciated.’ A few parking spaces wouldn’t go amiss either.

Significant public consultation and input have been sadly absent from the get-go. To Sooke mayor, council and staffer, let’s apply some serious logic, good common sense, and fiscal responsibility to this proposed bike park before it gets really out of hand.

Stuart and Carolyn Katorsky

Sooke