Sitting in the council chambers gives one the opportunity to see our councillors and mayor at work. They are there to do the business of the corporation we call Sooke. It’s a complicated and intense scenario played out almost every two weeks.
What is noticeable though is when there are delegations speaking to issues on the agenda, council rarely looks at them. They fiddle with their papers, make notes and generally look anywhere except at the speaker. It’s not done with the invited delegations but with the local taxpayers. It is all in the perception, but what it looks like from a viewer’s standpoint is that they are dis-interested and their papers in front of them deserve more attention.
It takes a lot for the public to come forward and express their views and it would be courteous if it looked like council gave a damn. Yes, there are those consistent voices that speak up at almost every meeting, but they deserve council’s undivided attention just as much as the councillor who speaks to the issues in front of them when the video camera is rolling.
The decision by council to allow transfer stations in all M2 zones was a poor one. To allow someone to operate illegally is one thing, but to condone it is another. Transfer stations have been a controversial issue in Sooke over the past few years and to have it look like council is playing favourites, could blow up in their face. The voters have longer memories than one might imagine and such a hot button issue could alter the public’s perceptions of individual councillors. It isn’t that council shouldn’t vote the way they feel inclined, but to go through the process backwards may end up having a detrimental effect.