Let’s face it. We have dishevelled, mismatched sidewalks that range from brightly painted construction dividers squished on the edge of the road, to lovely meandering sidewalks that begin and end with a storefront. Yes, Sooke can really benefit from some beautification.
Using the sidewalks as a metaphor, there have been sporadic attempts peppered throughout the town in an attempt to make it more attractive. A nice wood sign here, a lovely and very functional bike rack there, and a smattering of hanging plants here and there.
Nature also does her bit, especially in the summer. The trees (the ones that we have not chopped down) are full and plush. The glorious view of the ocean … well, okay, that can use a bit of work too.
Other towns have done it. Langford, for instance, has gone from a neighbourhood where broken cars were stored on front lawns to being a desirable destination for tourists, families and seniors.
Clearly, a total revamp of our town is needed. The problem with that is the cost. We need big dollars to fix this mess. Taxes in Sooke have sky-rocketed over the past decade, due to the big tax trickle-down. The Feds balance budgets by transferring costs to the provinces. The provinces in turn have passed along many expenses to the Municipalities. And so what minuscule “savings” we see in our taxes, we pay massively out of pocket instead.
And I for one am feeling taxed to death.
So my modest proposal is this. Let’s contribute to picking up the growing bits of garbage on the ground. Let’s continue being kind and polite to each other. Filling our hands (with litter) and warming our hearts (with kindness) is a great starting point.