OUR VIEW: The long and winding trail

Ever wonder why it can sometimes take forever for the wheels of local government to make a single turn?

Ever wonder why it can sometimes take forever for the wheels of local government — or any level of government for that matter — to make a single turn?

Sometimes, those wheels kinda steer themselves through the longest, most convoluted path to reach a destination that others might think was reachable faster by the most direct route. And why the direct route was missed, they’ll never know.

There’s a sample of process gone off the track available now, if anyone cares to listen to it. It’s the more than one-hour-long conversation North Saanich council had this week over whether to spend $120,000 on four new sport courts specifically for pickleball.

Now, North Saanich council regularly enjoys long discussions about a variety of issues. But this one — emphasized by the fact that most, if not all, of council saw value in building those courts — went on longer than it should have.

The problem, it seems, lies in how much pushback they get or even how much the councillors perceive there to be a problem with any particular issue. So, when deciding if a legitimate group of potential park users deserve space of their own in a public area, one would think making up one’s mind would be straightforward.

Yet, throw in a few complaints, and logic and reason seems to fly out the window.

Had council actually valued the new user group (pickleball — and to be fair, it is a growing sport on the Peninsula) from the outset, it should have been a matter of saying: “Yes, we’ll build courts, we’ll do it (here) and we’ll have our staff determine the exact spot and how to mitigate the concerns. Can we afford it? Yes? Done deal.”

Or not, if that was council and the community’s wish.

In the end, the decision itself appears to be the right one, for people who wish to use public spaces should be able to do so and even those with concerns about it are supportive of them getting the outdoor facilities.

Getting to that decision, however, took far too many turns, caused by a lack of specific focus, and steered by too many micro-managers.

It’s one thing to let go of the steering wheel when it’s clearly not appropriate to do so.

It’s quite another to take long drives with no map.

Just Posted

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation looks to grow funding for memory garden

Foundation will start new campaign next month as it wraps up recruitment campaign

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Survey says 27% of Victoria employers look to hire this quarter

Another 13 % of employers anticipate cutbacks

UPDATED: Heavy police presence in Victoria had part of Bay Street blocked off

Bay Street east of Quadra Street was blocked off on Saturday

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Most Read