Letters: Save John Phillips Memorial Park

Land for small group inappropriate use for Sooke park

I cannot believe that this council is still dithering over the absurd proposals to use tax payer money to carve up John Phillips Memorial Park with a private interest group’s horseshoe club and an off-leash dog pen. Councillor Rick Kasper is eager to spend $19,000 of your dollars so that this six-member club can play horseshoes in a fenced off area (one-half acre) complete with bathrooms and a private parking lot. Are you kidding me! Give me $200 dollars and sledge hammer and I could build these guys a horseshoe pitch. Keep in mind that Rick Kasper is the same councillor who so fervently opposed forgiving or at least delaying The Land Conservancy’s (TLC) debt to the municipality from their property at the Sooke Potholes in the name of fiscal responsibility (as an aside, I wonder how much money is not being spent in Sooke this summer by tourists as a result of the closure of the TLC campground at the Potholes?). Why is he all the sudden so eager to spend?

John Phillips Memorial Park is an amazing place in the heart of Sooke that everyone is currently able to enjoy. I take my dogs there almost every day and we have no problem sharing the park with the dozens of other park goers we run into while there. Sooke is not an urban metropolis with inadequate green space and we do not need a fenced off dog park. If there is a $100,000 fund for “park improvement” just sitting around, why not spend it on beautifying this area? Put in some park benches, better drainage, new trail systems, lighting and at least a park sign so residents know there is a public park there. Don’t carve up this incredible area with fencing for the sake of private interest groups like the Sooke Horseshoe Club. It just isn’t right.

I’ll end with a question for the mayor: If you couldn’t justify spending taxpayer money on a bike park for today’s youth and generations more youth to come, how can you possibly even entertain spending $19,000 on a horseshoe pitch for a six-member club?

Trevor Paul

Sooke