Sooke mayoral candidate Mick Rhodes wants to create a waterfront park on the former Mariners Village development site at the corner of Sooke and Goodmear roads. (Jack Most/Sooke News Mirror)

Mayoral candidate concerned about unfettered growth

Mick Rhodes also wants to create new park

It looked like Sooke’s mayoral election was going to be a two horse race this year.

That was until Mick Rhodes, 66, threw his hat into the ring days before nominations closed.

Rhodes said he was motivated to run on what he believes is uncontrolled growth in Sooke.

“What I see happening here is an influx of development. It’s hodge-podge all over the place,” he said in a recent interview.

“Can’t we slow it down? I feel uncomfortable with it, and a lot of people I talk to feel the same way.”

Rhodes returned to Sooke a decade ago, after working and living in Victoria several years.

His resume is long and varied working as a taxi driver, journalist, truck driver videographer, promoter and community advocate.

“My goal in this election is to raise public awareness,” said Rhodes, resigned that he will unlikely beat either of the other two challengers: incumbent Maja Tait and Kevin Pearson.

But if elected, Rhodes first priority would be to create a waterfront park on the former Mariners Village development site at the corner of Sooke and Goodmear roads, which he’s already dubbed T’Sou-ke Harbour Park.

He’s suggesting the town buy the land with the help of the Capital Regional District or offer the owner a land swap for the municipally-owned Lot A on Wadams Way.

“This park offers the best views in Sooke,” Rhodes said. “It’s a community heirloom and we should save it.”

Other issues:

Improvements to Sooke Road – He would like to see more traffic pullout lanes, better signage and high visibility paint for night driving.

Sooke Farmland Trust – Advocate for rejuvenating sustainable agricultural practices and enterprises in the region.

All Sooke Day – The community celebration ended in 2003, but Rhodes said it needs to return to “remind us of the great community we live in.”

Reduce speed limit – Rhodes advocates lowering the speed limit to 40 km/h on all secondary roads. He also wants the province to reduce the speed limit on Sooke Road in the downtown core.

“Before things get further out of whack, we should consider taking a step back rather than a step forward,” Rhodes said.

“Let’s plan our future.”

Election day is Oct. 20.

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