As you have well reported, the mandate of the Mayor’s Downtown Revitalization Task Force is to take the pulse of Sidney’s business area, gather suggestions for improvement and submit those suggestions to authorities such as the Town of Sidney, the Chamber of Commerce, the Sidney Business Improvement Areas Society and others for action.
You did a good job on reporting the 16 revitalization action items recently submitted to town council for consideration. That, however, was only part of the story.
At the same time as submitting the 16 recommendations to council, the Task Force also submitted 41 ideas to the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society for its consideration and action. Many of these items include working with the Town or another community organization. Also, the Task Force sent three items to the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.
Another 20 or so exist on the Task Force’s books which require more refinement before they are forwarded to the respective community organizations or authorities for action. This list continues to grow as the Task Force receives public input through Sidney Says, by email and by letter.
Additionally, we anticipate dozens and dozens of suggestions to come out of the surveys of shoppers and businesses recently conducted. It will take several weeks to sort and analyze the survey results and then those suggested initiatives will be forwarded to those who we believe should be responsible for their implementation.
Finally, I would like to comment on your editorial piece titled Task Force job not yet done. In it, you note that many of the recommendations outlined in the Task Force report are items the Town has had in the works prior to the task force being formed. You go on to say: “On the surface, then, it appears the task force report is an endorsement of work the Town has already done.”
I’d like to provide clarification. Indeed, many of the items listed in the report were identified by Task Force members, the public or business community without any knowledge that they were already being contemplated or undertaken by the Town. But the Task Force felt it important to include any and all items in their ongoing Recommended Action Items List (RAIL). The bottom line is that they are important and therefore need to be recognized and completed.
Mark Dickinson, Chair
Mayor’s Downtown Revitalization Task Force, Sidney