OUR VIEW: Time to check out

North Saanich and Sidney appear poised to do battle over the future of their shared library building.

Communities on the Saanich Peninsula like to brag that they have got their act together when it comes to the sharing of services and finding those so-called synergies between them to better serve residents.

It’s a leg up on the amalgamation issue in the region, they claim.

However, there’s an example brewing right now, of the classic empire-building attitude that some people might believe led to the creation of 13 municipalities in Greater Victoria.

North Saanich and Sidney appear poised to do battle over the future of their shared library building.

Ok, so it’s a minor battle in the grand scheme of things. North Saanich is suggesting that expanded library services take the form of a small branch office at Panorama Recreation Centre — in their turf. Sidney appears to want to grow the existing building, which is located on their turf.

There are probably good arguments for both sides in this one — and the library-using population certainly won’t lose out no matter which side wins — but they are moving too soon and too fast.

The Vancouver Island Regional Library service is holding a series of public meetings next month, to see what people are thinking.

We hope that the municipal governments take a big step back from them and let library users come up with ideas on what those services should look like.

By taking these positions so early, it sounds as if the powers-that-be have already made their minds up, are digging in and not giving a whit about what anyone else thinks. It’s time they took a back seat on this project (not to mention a few others, but that’s another argument) and let the people carry the day.

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