There’s a fundamental truth that Sooke District Council needs to recognize.
Decisions, real decisions, are measured by the fact that you’ve taken some action.
If there’s no action, you haven’t really decided anything.
That fact was thrown into sharp relief when Council was recently confronted, for the umpteenth time, with the question of whether Brailsford Place should be opened up for through traffic.
It’s an issue that dates back eight years, when residents of Brailsford appeared at Council to block a plan to open up their street to through traffic.
They understandably wanted to preserve the character of their street but, from a traffic engineering point of view, there was an equally valid argument by some that connecting the road to the burgeoning populations of View Pointe Estates made sense.
Council’s reaction back then was to adopt a halfway measure that saw bollards installed, ostensibly to allow emergency traffic to the new development. But no real decision was made on what would happen to the roadway in the future.
Not surprisingly, Council has once again punted on the issue, deferring any decision on Brailsford until the Transportation Master Plan is completed.
Eight years of discussion on the issue, it seems, hadn’t provided Council with enough information.
Seriously. Eight years.
But Council’s move wasn’t unusual, and perhaps that’s what’s most distressing.
This Council, building on an unfortunate tradition established by past councils, has perfected the nasty habit of lurching from one moment of indecision to another, constantly deferring decisions and calling for more studies and staff reports until, sometimes, the matter completely fades from the public’s attention.
It’s a modus operandi that has allowed some issues to drag on for so long that it would be comical except that they are real issues that deserve some action.
The Firearm and Bow bylaw, for example, has seen more curtain calls than the cast of Cats.
Oh, and while we’re speaking of Cats, can anybody recall how the issue of the Sooke’s Dog Park was resolved?
Hint: it wasn’t.
All kidding aside, it’s time for Council to accept their responsibility and commit to dealing with issues in an expeditious manner.
Whatever they decide on the Brailsford Place issue they know that some part of the population will be unhappy as both sides have valid arguments.
But Council was elected to make that decision and others and live with the consequences.