Letters to the Editor – July 15

Cat infestation is intolerable; High-wage earners could pick up trash ...

Cat infestation is intolerable

Living in the rural community requires us to be careful to secure our gardens from deer and other wildlife.

However, the main issue on our street is not the deer that roam freely around our neighborhood, but cats.

My beautiful vegetable garden and flower beds continue to be infested with cat poop.

I made several calls for assistance with the problem and have been told it is illegal for any person to have their animals on other people’s property and not be restrained or under control.

All dog owners understand this law. Why is it cat owners are exempt from this?

Cats carry an organism our children are especially vulnerable to.

It’s a growing concern because T. gondii infections have been linked to serious health complications in recent years. Studies have shown a correlation between elevated T. gondii levels and schizophrenia, depression, suicidal behavior, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and brain cancer. In pregnant woman, T. gondii infections have been tied to deafness, retinal damage and mental retardation in fetuses.

For all cat owners in Sunriver, particularly around Poplar Drive, I have taken action and your cats will be removed and taken to the pound.

My family and I can no longer tolerate this infestation.

Fiona Dunn, Sooke

 

High-wage earners could pick up trash

People might have seen me collecting recyclable items thrown away in the community. This is to raise money for books for under privileged children.

On Friday, while returning cans to the liquor store in Westwood Mall, I was alarmed to see a concrete tub overflowing with garbage onto the ground.

As I read in the June 24 Sooke News Mirror: Who makes What – with a total of $2,535,589.90 wages for District of Sooke – why can we not afford an “animal proof “ garbage container for the center of Sooke? If not, why not have some of those high wage earners in Sooke pick up some of the garbage, as I do for free.

Paul Martin, Sooke

 

Don’t accept gifts from strangers

I made the mistake of accepting a load of wood chips to be disposed of on my property that was offered up by a contractor.

After placing a marker and speaking with two of the crew where the load was to be dumped and precautions to take, they still managed to skillfully miss the mark blocking an important turnaround and parking area.

In order to use my lengthy driveway, I was also forced to remove branches and debris that remained from their Hydro brush-clearing operation currently taking place.

The tree service manager refused to accept responsibility for his crew’s actions and fix the problem and did so in a condescending manner.

Moral to the story is don’t accept gifts from these strangers, run. Buy local, know who you are dealing with.

K. Ellinger, Sooke

 

Committee needs help in governance

After sitting through the committee of the whole meeting of July 6, it became obvious that help is required by those who would govern us.

The important thing to remember here is that it was a committee of the whole meeting, where a motion was adopted directing staff to take certain actions regarding the Sooke River Road property. At issue were the horseshoe pitch, parking, agriculture land reserve and multi-use trail. Actions discussed, included a number which will cost taxpayers dollars, such as tree falling compensating the horseshoe club if its area is moved north, hauling fill, surveying, etc.

It is entirely possible that some of these are now underway, which given the circumstances would be improper.

A definition of committee of the whole meetings is in order here: “a meeting to which all members of council are invited to consider but not to decide on matters of the district’s business.” In short, the committee of the whole exceeded its authority, which clearly nullifies the motion. In attendance, were two staff members each earning more than $100,000 per year, another member close to that amount, and Coun. Rick Kasper, who would have everyone know how close to a quarter of a century of political experience he has garnered. CAO Gord Howie was front and centre as he pointed out the necessity to get things moving, clearly supporting the Motion.

Another “oops” occurred as the chair called for a motion to adjourn. A motion to adjourn is not in order at committee of the whole meetings. Instead a motion to rise and report to council is in order, and must be decided without debate.

This committee of the whole is a continuing body from January to December. One cannot help but wonder if the motion to adjourn wiped out the committee of the whole. If the last meeting was any example, we can only hope!

All the references to committee of the whole procedure included in this letter are items from the District of Sooke procedural bylaw (No. 422).

Gail Hall, Sooke