I am writing in response to Mr. Shortt’s letter last week.
I was invited by the organizers of the event to provide an update on the progress that the Fair Sewer Services Committee was making in relation to the alternative review process on the 21-year sewer deal. That is what I did. I take no pleasure in having to go through a process like this, rather am disappointed it has to get to this stage.
The Fair Sewer Services committee has always used the figures provided by the District of Sooke in the proposed contract and in their financial statements, as well as their long term projections, to evaluate the contract. The District of Sooke has been unable to explain adequately, in our opinion, the reason for a 21-year contract. They also have in our opinion not been able to explain the massive increase between what the new contract states and the cost projections provided prior to 2006. It is unfortunate that Mr. Shortt chooses to describe legitimate questioning of the figures provided as “fear-mongering.”
I don’t see the numerous people involved in the alternative review process and the 2,000 plus people who signed petitions as a “black water coalition” out of touch with the community of Sooke, as described by Mr. Shortt. I see a group of concerned citizens, trying to do what is best for families who struggle to pay rising taxes and rising sewer fees. The Fair Sewer Committee estimates that only approximately 40 per cent of the households in Sooke were contacted so when compared to the number of voters, 3,500 or so in the last election this response was overwhelming, and clearly representative of the community.
I am not nor do I intend to be involved in any coalition for the upcoming election. I believe it important for a mayoralty candidate to remain independent in order to be in a position to foster a positive non-partisan atmosphere, with all councillors, if elected.
I agree with Mr. Shortt that “fear- mongering U.S. style campaigning” is not what people want to see or hear. We need to state our platforms clearly without the traditional bad mouthing of our fellow candidates, so the public can make a decision at election time based on the issues, not the personalities. So please remember Mr. Shortt, the road goes both ways.