Letters: Process is not flawed

Responding to editorial and comments on 'flawed' public process

While I sometimes agree that the ‘public process appears flawed’ and that democracy is meeting challenges in Sooke, it seems wrong to me to use, as an example, the highly visible and transparent efforts of local clubs and causes which benefit the foundations of our community — youth and physical activity for people of all ages.

However, that’s not why I’m writing this.

You made a serious error in your May 29 editorial, and I can only hope that you will take steps to address it. Your words, “The district paid $3,600 for a plan for the bike park which we haven’t seen yet” are simply untrue and misleading.

Sooke council opted at an open meeting, and at Councillor Kasper’s suggestion, to pay $3600 plus HST for Alpine Bike Parks’ ‘ParkStart’ package: http://www.alpinebikeparks.com/services_detail.php?id=park_start.

Alpine delivered on every aspect of this program, and provided it without receiving a deposit, or a signature on a contract. Alpine is arguably the world leader at what it does.  Alpine has proven to be an excellent and trustworthy partner, and we are extremely fortunate that their team have agreed to work with Sooke in developing this amenity for our citizens.

 

The results of the ParkStart program can be easily found by clicking the ‘Bike Skills Park’ button on the District of Sooke’s homepage, which you can find here; http://www.sooke.ca/.

 

The graphic on the Bike Skills Park information resource page is part of the ParkStart package, as is the preliminary design, which required Alpine to come to Sooke to conduct a physical site inspection and meet with staff. You can view the preliminary plan here:

http://sooke.ca/EN/main/government/devservices/parks/documents/12-06-29SookeSitePlan.pdf.

The preliminary design has been used as a tool to build a general understanding of the project. Anyone with a computer and an interest in the bike skills area need only reference the district’s website to get an idea of what is going to happen and the process behind it all. It is as transparent as can be. More developed plans are currently in the works and will be made available within the next month in preparation for the open house in June.

The John Phillips Park conceptual plan was put together in 2006 after almost two years of truly democratic process, through volunteer citizen committees. The result of that process lead to this:  http://www.sookenewsmirror.com/news/174421621.html.

The bike skills area is nothing new, and nothing deceptive occurred to get people to accept it as part of the conceptual plan for the park. I would point to the efforts of the Sooke Bike Club and the young people petitioning council to consider their interests as real democracy in action.

You have written somewhere in the neighbourhood of half a dozen articles regarding the bike skills area of John Phillips Park, and I frankly am perplexed by the nature of your allegations.

I’m not here to tell you how to do your job. All I can do is give feedback on what I see.

Lorien Arnold

Sooke