Letters: Taxpayers should decide

Sooke bike skills park proposal continues to draw comments from the public

I disagree with Mike Linehan’s position that Sooke school principals should be invited to support a bike skills park in our John Phillips Memorial Park. This is purely a decision for the taxpayers on a simple mandate. School principals have no particular expertise in this issue other than generally supporting a local bike park for use by their pupils. Even elementary students have figured out that bike use and training is an enjoyable and healthy occupation.

However, I believe there continues to be a mixing of two questions in most of the comments on this topic: a)  Do we need a bike skills park in Sooke? and b)  Should it be built in our natural public park? It appears most correspondents support the provision of a bike-skills park in our community, as I do.  The contentious issue is placing it in our only large, undeveloped and popular public open space.  I do not support the use of John Phillips park for this development, attractive as it is in its central and accessible location. I believe it will reduce the enjoyment of the park by all who visit and savour the quiet, natural beauty of this area.  We do not need to “improve” i.e. develop this unique piece of real estate or hand over parts of it to a special interest group, to enjoy it. Let’s keep something worthwhile for our grandkids too!

I appreciate that our district council is working hard to come to some community consensus on this contentious issue, however, I believe its action in tacitly supporting the use of this park by drafting a leasing agreement with the  proponents and financially assisting the drafting of development plans, without taxpayer input, precipitated this problem. Holding public input sessions prior to firm decision making on a local project is far more productive and effective rather than holding such sessions afterwards, effectively requesting public endorsement

Mr. Errol A.

Anderson

Sooke