Letters to the Editor – Feb. 24

Transparency at municipal hall; cleaning up Wiffin Spit; feeding the needy

‘Jeff’ clears up a few points

“Jeff” – a four-letter word – appearing in Lorne Christensen’s Feb. 10 editorial. A few points in reply (if indeed he’s referring to yours truly):

1. I’m not sure which “blog” he refers to, but I don’t post under pseudonyms and never have.

2. Like many, I’m curious about the political ties linking Coun. Kerry Reay (former Conservative Party riding association president) and CAO Teresa Sullivan (campaign manager for CPC candidate Shari Lukens). As one of the 82.3 percent of Esquimalt Saanich Sooke voters who cast ballots for other parties, I never imagined a rising Conservative tide might conceivably be lapping on our shores.

3. I’d also have been compelled to seek clarity if a hiring scenario like this was conjured by senior campaigners affiliated with any federal party.

4. As is their right under the Community Charter, the hiring committee has revealed nothing about the CAO recruitment process.

I’m relieved, however, to hear Coun. Reay announce that she has kept Mayor Maja Tait apprised of all developments. If indeed it’s OK by the individual we overwhelmingly elected to lead Sooke forward, then that’s a vote of confidence I accept and celebrate. Viva Sooke/T’Sou-ke – ancient, old, new, emergent.

5. I’m actually pretty chilled these days by this subject. Done deal, case closed, let’s move on. I wish the knowledgeable and skilled (from all reports I’ve heard) Ms. Sullivan the best in working with council and our returning mayor as they tackle the minutiae of municipal business.

6. Not paradoxically, I agree with Harrison Lansing’s Feb. 10 letter calling for transparency in public hiring processes.

Jeff Bateman, Sooke

 

Donation of food was appreciated

On Feb. 11, local Lions clubs and the Sooke Food Bank came together to provide a public service to people in the Port Renfrew area.

The groups teamed up to coordinate an initial meeting to define needs, then they gathered, sorted, transported, and distributed food: fruit, vegetables, soups, bread, and other items to help people nourish themselves for additional days until the next time they are able to purchase these items again.

I’d like to thank the people involved with this selfless project, as this takes time and has some costs associated with the endeavor, both financial and personal.

I hope to see more people get involved with local communities and their needs.

Bob Croteau, Port Renfrew

Council needs to bring us up to date

Re: District of Sooke hires director of corporate services (Online, Feb. 3)

When you have a three people leaving at the same time, it sounds like something is changing within our municipal services.

If we are having a change in direction, then I think that council should bring us up to date about it.

Also those are pretty good jobs, wasn’t there anyone in Sooke who we could have hired to fill those positions?

Laurel Lee Mayo, Sooke

 

Transparency means answering questions

Re: Kudos to District of Sooke council and its new CAO (Guest Comment, Feb. 10)

“Cronyism is the practice of partiality in awarding jobs and other advantages to friends or trusted colleagues, especially in politics and between politicians and supportive organizations.” Thanks to Wikipedia for this definition.

Lorne Christensen’s comments on staffing for the District of Sooke clarified nothing. He implies wrong doing or incompetence in previous staff because he provides only his opinions. He makes disparaging comments about local media.

The community could do without people disparaging other people’s values and interests with personal attacks.

Politics is all about public goals and personal interests.  Most of us know that the B.C. Liberal party is not the same as the federal Liberal party.  Most of us know that the last time Coun. Rick Kasper ran for MLA he ran as an independent.

Transparency in any government means the citizens can ask questions and expect answers.

It is distressing for the public not to know what happened with district staff turnover.

It is a fact that new director of corporate services, Gabryel Joseph and Teresa Sullivan, the chief administrative officer, were associates in the past.

It is a fact that Ms. Sullivan’s job description says she will promote a positive image for the District of Sooke. What the public sees just now won’t look better if we shake our heads.

Heather Phillips, Otter Point

 

We need to improve our greatest asset

I could talk about doggie bags full of crap left behind, garbage, lack of washroom facilities or an ugly C-Can eyesore at Whiffin Spit, but I won’t.

My main concern is making one of Sooke’s best attractions more accessible and friendly for residents and tourists alike.

With ever increasing use by kayakers, surfers, RVs and small vessels and our increasing population and tourism, the parking, maintenance and overall upkeep is not sufficient.

We need to address operations and have Sooke council’s support to look at improving our greatest outdoor recreation and widely accessible asset that attract people from all over.

Whiffin Spit must be a priority.

Some suggestions would be to increase parking so the handicapped, no parking zones, grass park area, Sea Lion Way and Sooke Harbour House parking are not being abused.

We need to allow better access for walkers primarily, but Kayakers parking with 12 cars taking up more than six hours or surfers and RVs setting up camp all day need to be addressed.

I would like to see the area used and enjoyed by all, but the growing popularity is affecting the local residents and every day Sookies alike.

We need to improve our greatest asset.

Before spending $750,000 for a grassy area of no use to most of people of Sooke or spending more money on other areas we need to first address keeping our established parks beautiful.

Paul Pudwell, Sooke