Regular Council Meeting, March 11, 2019. Present: Major Maja Tait, and Councillors Jeff Bateman,
Al Beddows, Ebony Logins, Megan McMath, Brenda Parkinson, and Tony St-Pierre
Counc. Megan McMath introduced a notice of motion, requesting “that the District of Sooke contribute $7,500 to the Sooke Fastpitch Committee, from Council Contingency.” Earlier this year, Sooke Minor Fastball was approved for a $5,000 community grant, to help with ongoing expenses related to running the association.
McMath noted the original request was about $60K, and she noted that many funds have been raised including from the Juan de Fuca CRD (Director Hicks) and the Sooke Community Association. She added that their donations were contingent on the District donating the requested $7,500. McMath wanted to see the funds come from Council Contingency.
Counc. Parkinson noted that Council should not be showing favouritism, and that all groups should be considered together. Each group is important to themselves, she said. Her statement should be put into context: other groups requesting funding for their individual projects that night, including:
- The Sooke Saltwater Series requested sponsorship for their three annual events, amounting to $3,000.
- Sooke Region Food CHI requested $1,200 of the $2,000 needed to help pay for a coordinator.
It was also suggested that Wounded Warriors and Invictus Games be added to the list of possible grants and sponsorships, all to be added to a growing list of grants and sponsorships to consider during the remaining budget deliberations.
Counc. Logins said she agreed with Counc. Parkinson. She supported the request it in principle, but she would want to see a report backing up the request. Counc. Logins also stated she was not impressed that the other groups were essentially forcing Sooke to fund. Counc. Bateman asked, if they hesitate, will it peril the project? Yes, seemed to be the response from the audience. Counc. St-Pierre agreed with needing to treat everyone the same, and the in-kind contributions were also important.
Counc. McMath noted there should be a line item for sports groups as there is for arts groups. There appears to be no debate, she argued, on what sports groups give to the community, and in light of what their give, the ask was a very small amount.
Counc. Logins countered that statement, saying that significant funds do get donated to sports through SEAPARC (and, Sooke is also currently planning to contribute over $400,000 to a multi-sport sport box). Counc. Logins also noted that the arts groups were funded because they were registered non-profits.
Mayor Tait threw her support behind Counc. McMath’s motion, noting that this was not a new request from Sooke Minor Fastball. She observed that half a year ago, Sooke Minor Fastball first approached the District as a delegation, then went to community grant.
- In June 2018, the Sooke Minor Fastball sought funds in excess of $84,000 to tend to a few structural items that are starting to require attention. At that time, their funding request was declined. Mayor Tait noted that the standard maximum for a community grant was typically $7,000.
- In early February, 2019, Sooke Minor Fastball put together an applied for a community grant for $7,000, which was approved for $5,000.
The mayor stated she was comfortable supporting this separate request for $7,500, noting that if approved it could not be paid out until the budget is adopted.
When Council voted on the motion, all were in favour except for Counc. Parkinson who opposed the motion. The motion carried.
- District will facilitate pickleball and fastball facilities discussions with SEAPARC
- Sooke Council grants $68,320 to community applicants
- Sooke Minor Fastball receives $7,500 from Council
- Sooke Council does a complete about-face on a variance permit
- Sooke Council accepts consideration of another cannabis outlet in Sooke