Letters: Park should not be for small group

Intended John Phillips Memorial Park use is criticized

I applaud the two writers of last week’s letters addressing the outstanding issues of amenities for John Phillips Memorial Park and the fact that members of council are even considering spending money on a special interest group of six members for a horseshoe club designating one acre with parking and washroom.

Nine months ago a decision was made to retain the park as a park for passive enjoyment versus altering the landscape to accommodate tracks and dirt jumps for bikes. The bike club got what they wanted but not in that location. Now the horseshoe  club wants civic dollars for their activity. I can only imagine the response of youth of Sooke when they heard of this.

It was hoped that council would see fit to direct funds from the $100,000 park fund toward making JPMP more of a destination by introducing basic park comforts. Since the horseshoe pitch players are first out of the gate to approach council, it may be strategic as an election is a few months away and one member of the club was a previous council member.

Current council may be in a cautionary frame of mind or a pleasing one, given the short term memory of the voting public. But the bottom line is the horseshoe pitch is portable and does not meet the basic needs of park goers. They cannot reject one location ie: Sooke flats and prefer one requiring public monies. Sooke residents and tourists would appreciate some practical amenities such as a bench or two, signs, a sun shelter and a washroom.

The issue was raised about some people requesting a  designated dog area in the park. Dog designated areas without fences could be in parks where baseball and other activities occur on a seasonal basis. Provide pick up bags and garbage bins with the expectation that the humans are capable to supervise for safety. Lighting comes from many choices like  lighting up your dog and yourself.

So, before a new council and mayor get involved with the seemingly necessary dance and delays in decision making, there is $100,000 waiting to be put to good use which would enhance the options for enjoyment of central Sooke’s most amazing gem during these warm months.

Carmen Neumann

Sooke