Opinion: Open letter to council

Opinion letter

fter reading in the June 29, 2011, Sooke News Mirror newspaper that just two artists won the boardwalk signage project contest, I request a public explanation to the following questions, please.

Where in your Community Charter is described that council had the right to alter the Municipal Arts Program 2009 Policy as they did without going through the legal voting process?

Where on the district charter is it stated that council had the right to re-appoint members who are directors of a beneficiary group as members for the Sooke Program of the Arts Committee (SPA)?

Therefore, according to the Municipal Arts Program 2009 Policy – adopted on January 26, 2009, and to the Committee Structure and Function Policy, 2006, adopted on November 28, 2006, and amended on January 12, 2009, council did not have such rights.

First, you could not have modified/split the $7,000 boardwalk signage project in two portions of $3,500 to avoid appointing a public jury? The boardwalk project’s cost was $7,000, as you personally described to me on April 26, 2011, during the financial plan meeting. This number is also stated on the 2011 budget as “transfer out” to the SPA and it as well appears on the SPA’s March 2011 minutes. The municipal arts program 2009 policy – clause 3.0 clearly indicates: “temporary Public Arts Juries, […] will select art for larger public art commissions where the project is equal or greater than $5,000 in project value.”

Second, council could not have re-appointed during consecutive years three Sooke Fine Arts’ directors perfectly knowing they were in conflict of interest. The Sooke Community Charter clearly states that a committee member cannot be “[…] a director, member or employee of an organization seeking a benefit from the District of Sooke upon which the committee will make a recommendation.”

Last, due to council and to the SPA’s blatant circumvention 12 artists saw their chance for some recognition, exposure and monetary help disappearing from their hands. The “Call to Artists” was placed on the newspapers only 13 days prior to the contest deadline date, June 8, 2011, and only those artists knowing about the contest from other sources had time to present their portfolios, such as one of the winners and a member’s husband.

Conclusion, in the name of art and justice, I request two things from council: a) for the competition to be re-opened and a public jury to be appointed, b) for the directors of the Sooke Fine Arts Society to be dis-appointed from the SPA’s committee.

P.S. The Sooke Fine Arts Society is the group which will be soon presenting to council their new and extremely expensive project for final approval, the Cultural Mapping Project. However, because facts indicate that this project is apparently very dear to council, $397,684 have been already put aside as a reserve fund for the SPA to use in the next four years, members of this organization cannot be entitled to act as SPA members.

Last, I would like to recommend council to consider taxpayers’ money by joining other municipalities on the Cultural Mapping project. The City of Victoria is also creating their plan and it has the same population rate than the mapping project’s model, the City of Hamilton.

Margarita Dominguez

Sooke

Just Posted

MISSING:Victoria police seek 42-year-old Craig Hughes

Hughes was last seen on May 20 at 5:45 a.m.

Some showers, high of 18 C for Tuesday

Plus a look ahead at your weekly forecast

Peninsula crews extinguish early morning boat fire in Central Saanich

Firefighters saved nearby home from further damage

Bay Street Bridge construction begins today

Point Ellice Bridge will be closed to eastbound vehicle traffic until October

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Meals on Wheels needs volunteers

Cooks, meal planners desperately required

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Mother of accused charged in death of Surrey teen girl found in torched SUV

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Surrey teen

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Most Read