Just recently council had to consider whether we, the taxpayers, should spend close to $25,000 on another television spot to promote Sooke and the region. Upon further reflection, the mayor decided to forgo the idea. Good for him for saying “no thanks” to the high-pressure sales team trying to get Sooke to commit.
What really needs to be done is to beautify our town, get all those plans into place, create an environment anyone would want to live in and do business in. That should proceed any plan of showcasing Sooke.
We badly need some design standards for Sooke. What style of new buildings do we want to see? What do we envision our town to be? Quaint fishing village? Seaside artisan community? Environmentally forward town? Eco-tourist haven? Whatever we become we need to set strict guidelines into place so we can accomplish that, rather than have a developer dictate what they want. Developers do not generally have a bigger picture in mind than their own vision in their own build. Let’s get that roundabout in, fix the sidewalks, initiate green policies and affordable housing criteria, spruce up the town and get moving with the bigger picture. The seaside commercial may have to wait until the district can afford to purchase waterfront property, but the current core could use a big upgrade. Fix what we already have and make it a viable commercial centre with interesting shops to draw people from elsewhere. Other towns on the Island have done this so we don’t have to travel far to get a good example or two.
Build it and they will come – guaranteed.