Departed Chief Administrative Officer Evan Parliament and ex-Mayor Janet Evans left quite a trail of controversy at the municipal hall.
Local residents are wanting to launch their boats for free, bus stop benches and garbage containers are costing the municipality a small fortune and no one is happy with the parking situation at the Prestige Hotel. It seems contracts were signed, promises made and deals struck without the apparent knowledge of all of council. Now council and staff have the unpleasant task of trying to unravel the mess and see where the district actually stands. Taxpayers will have to bear the brunt of the legal fees until things are sorted out.
Quite the legacy left by the newly departed. This is edifice building at its ultimate. Egos were stroked and deals struck with little thought as to the outcome for the tax paying public. Perhaps they thought they were doing us all a favour, and some may think so, but it is costing us a bundle to ensure the hotel succeeds. A hotel is definitely important to Sooke, there’s no doubt about that, but as has been stated in these pages many times, at what cost? The boat launch is important as well but it appears the district is hog tied into some easement agreements and contracts which favour the hotel and not the municipality.
Unravelling the mess won’t be easy and it will be costly, but once we are on firm ground, we can move forward and let the past go. The district did the right thing by severing the employment relationship with Mr. Parliament, and the voters did the right thing in electing a mayor and council who care about the bottom line.