A corrected version of this column is below:
Wednesday morning musings and meditations.
If you think taxpayers got dinged in the recent SEAPARC land purchase referendum, you may not want to read this.
The cost to hold the referendum was $22,000 and just 9.6 per cent of 12,307 eligible voters cast a ballot.
If you break down the expenses, each Yes vote cost you $22.49.
And there’s still the issue that the land purchase won’t cost taxpayers a dime. That’s sort of correct.
SEAPARC will make the payments from its existing pool requisition, which was retired last year, but taxpayers never got that money back.
So what’s the first thing a politician wants to do? Keep the money and push it into another program, of course.
Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director Mike Hicks said SEAPARC never needed to hold the referendum and could have paid for the property outright, but decided instead to “let the people” decide if that’s what they wanted.
Obviously, we voted with our wallets.
We live in one of the most beautiful spots of the world, yet we don’t treat it kindly.
You have to laud the efforts of people like Shirley’s Jan and Meg Toom, who got tired of finding illegal dumps along trailways and wooded areas and set out a plan to clean up the mess left by others. In one day, the Tooms and other volunteers collected more than 5.5 tons of garbage.
It makes you understand then why some Capital Regional District directors are so reluctant to open up the Leech River watershed to full public access.
The political jargon reads that they want to keep the water pure and safe from fire. (It is estimated that water from the Leech River watershed will be needed to supplement the water in the Sooke Lake Reservoir sometime in the next 50 years).
The cold, hard reality is that we don’t treat our natural spaces very well.
Take a trip to any wilderness area and you will find human mess. It can be as small as a cigarette butt or as large as an old truck.
I’ve trekked through most of the provincial and regional parks in Greater Victoria and always amazed what I find in the deep wilderness.
Once, we came across an old car about 1940s’ vintage. Over towards Mount Work there is a trail fondly called Bubble Wrap trail for the amount of garbage found on it.
It’s nice for all of us to call this the greatest place to live in the world, but we should all make a big effort to at least keep it clean.
Kevin Laird can be reached at email@example.com.