Sooke wants changes to memorial bench program

Council asks committee for suggestions

Sooke councillors have rescinded the district’s memorial dedication policy and will do a “full review” of the program.

The program came under fire late last year when 25 people were told they were going to have to pay more for public memorials honouring their loved ones.

Sooke resident Brandy Rittaler went public with a letter from the municipality indicating she would have to pay an extra $2,000 for a bench and plaque placed 10 years ago at a cost of $1,600.

RELATED: Sooke rescinds bench letters, offers apology

Sooke council adopted a policy in 2014 that puts the price of a memorial bench at $2,000 for 10 years.

The letter to Rittaler said that another $2,000 was due by Jan. 31 or the bench would go to someone else.

Many of the sponsors of the memorial benches said they understood that the plaque placement was for perpetuity.

On Monday, council rescinded the policy and decided to send the issue to its new Sooke Program for the Arts committee and conduct a public survey.

Councillors decided not to endorse a policy proposed by staff.

“I don’t really love any options, but I like bits and pieces of all of them,” Coun. Bev Berger told a committee-of-the-whole on Jan. 22.

The policy proposed by staff would allow the purchase of a memorial plaque on existing park benches or picnic tables throughout district parks and Whiffin Spit.

The dedication would be for five years, with no option for renewal, but if council decides to spend $50,000 for the construction of a memorial wall at Whiffin Spit, after five years plaques would be returned to the family or be moved to the memorial wall.

Councillors agreed more time is needed to develop a policy.

“It’s reasonable we spend some time with this, and I like the idea of the wall,” said Mayor Maja Tait.

Coun. Kevin Pearson said a more workable solution is needed.

”I don’t know the answer, and I don’t think we can sit here and say we have the perfect solution. Again, it’s that open public dialogue that will help guide an appropriate course of action.”



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sooke council renews animal control contract with CRD

If your dog vanishes into thin air on a stormy night in… Continue reading

Saanich wants bunkers to be off limits for cannabis growing

Saanich looks to block cement bunkers on ALR farmland

Heat and smoke raises health risks

Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror Health risks arising from heat and… Continue reading

Victoria police seize over one kilo of fentanyl, guns and cars

Andrew Ritch is facing charges of drug trafficking and firearm offences

UPDATE: Missing Langford teen found safe

The 13-year-old Langford boy reported missing Wednesday has been found

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

UPDATED: Vancouver Island community under evacuation alert due to wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says steep terrain near Zeballos poses challenge as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Most Read