Better sit down for this one. Grab a sandwich, too, while you’re at it.
Sooke got its first breakthrough in its endless chase after the Vancouver Island Regional Library board to settle for a new library here.
“Bottom line is, the library has to be built by Dec. 31, 2018, 21 months from right now… period,” said Juan de Fuca Area director Mike Hicks, in what sounded more like an ultimatum rather than a suggestion.
Yes, an ultimatum – because that’s what it took to lift Sooke and VIRL out of cobwebs accumulated over a course of seven years, as all sides involved squabbled almost endlessly of who got the piece of the sandbox and what they can do with it.
It’s a miracle the library made it this far. Even after the land was bought, critics and self-imposed specialists came out of the woodwork, screaming collectively that the land was too rough, wild and too poor a match for a modern facility to stand on.Common sense and the Sooke community’s true feelings of what and where the new library should be got lost in a deafening noise of finger pointing and blind denial.
This time, there was none of that. Sooke simply put its best foot forward and demanded exactly what it wanted. No tossing the dead cat around, no decisions in the dark and no personal agendas. Mayor and council made a decision on what the Sooke community wanted, then sent that message straight to VIRL’s heart: you do this now, because we need you to.
And why stop here? Why not deal with all of Sooke’s shelved projects and issues the same way? We’ve clearly demonstrated our ability to not only be transparent, but deadly efficient. A home run for Sooke’s new library could be one of many if we keep the knife just above the jugular.
Board members, politicians, city planners, they can all go home and forget anything took place; but the community doesn’t forget. It will never stop from agonizing over the lack of a new library, or a new health care facility, or safer roads, because it can’t afford to.
So while VIRL can go wash their hands of the whole thing tomorrow, just remember: Sooke is watching, and will continue to do so until that shiny new library pierces our eyes with its gleaming, lustrous beauty.