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LETTER: Public should have say on Braefoot building

We, as longtime residents of Saanich, object to Saanich terminating the lease with the Braefoot Community Association after holding an in-camera session.

Mayor Fred Haynes and his council have made a claim that they are committed to public engagement, yet making a decision of this nature in-camera is simply hypocrisy. If there is compelling evidence that Saanich can both better run and make better use of the building, then it needs to be discussed openly and publicly so that community members can add their voice to the decision making process. The Braefoot Community Association should have the chance to make their case in an open, recorded council meeting. Saanich council should not be hiding their decision-making process behind closed doors with only Saanich staff’s point of view being considered.

As a community, we also need to know what Saanich is committing in taxpayer dollars. Once again, the long-suffering Saanich taxpayer will not be told how much money is involved in this takeover until well into the 2021 budget year. Saanich’s fiscal track record with running such buildings as the Cedar Hill golf clubhouse has been very costly to the taxpayer, to put it kindly.

If this council honestly believes in public engagement, then they need to prove it by providing the opportunity to properly discuss this community issue publicly and openly. Enough of these closed-door, back-room meetings.

Bruce and Laurie Kennedy

Saanich