Letters: Questioning the triathlon benefits

Letter write wonders how much the triathlon really brings into Sooke

I question why, the District is contributing $25,000 towards the production cost of $75,000 for TSN to televise the Sooke Subaru Triathalon for the second year in a row, and why this new council has not held this event to the same scrutiny as other items in their budget where they are insisting on value for the taxpayer dollar?

Where is the benefit to the taxpayers of Sooke?

Do the merchants benefit enough to justify a $25,000 expenditure? Where are the measures of return? Who is paying the $8,000 in policing overtime and fuel for the fire department vehicles that are used for this event? Who is paying for lost sales to local retailers due to road closures? Who is tracking the inconvenience to local residents vs. the benefit? Do merchants benefit at all? Perhaps some hotels or campgrounds or B&Bs may benefit but are they all in Sooke or maybe in Victoria or Langford? If local companies are to benefit, then let those who benefit be the co-sponsors.

We have been in the restaurant, hotel and B&B business and have always paid for our own advertising and sponsoring of events we thought may benefit us or as a community effort.

Lifesport is a for profit organization, which stands to profit from this event and spinoffs for training from it (up to $695.00 per month x 12 months per person for training). Just based on basic registration fees alone for this race, they will gross about $112,000 (700 entrants with fees from $90.00-$215) all while the District of Sooke and volunteers help them run this event at minimal cost.

I support the free enterprise , but not with my tax dollars subsidizing a business.

Forming a society to support the Triathalon is great, but don’t come to council looking for money to support the society. For those who like to volunteer to support the business effort, I say good on you. Volunteering on it’s own is an excellent support for this effort and if you feel so inclined, it is a good event to support this way. I feel the same way about the Juno awards. If it is a profitable situation and you have a business plan, go for it, but not with subsidized tax dollars.

How many small businesses are subsidized? Ask the merchants out here how the taxes and utilities they pay, how they impact their businesses?

For those who stand to profit directly, stand up to the plate and quit taking the path of least resistance by seeking handouts from us taxpayers. Regards from a taxpayer.

Ellen Lewers

Sooke