Highlands mayor elected Parks & Rec chair

Highlands Mayor Mark Cardinal has been elected the new chair of the West Shore Parks and Recreation Society.

Cardinal was the Highlands representative to the society, which oversees the facilities at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, for several years.

His first job will be to get a facilities users’ group committee up and running, Cardinal told Highlands council last week.

The committee will succeed the field users’ group committee. The new advisory committee will allow users of all facilities, not just playing fields, to have a say in what facilities are developed, Cardinal said.

“The hope is that this committee will be able to make recommendations to the board (of the society) that will help us determine what these communities need next.”

Cardinal said the committee could head off disuptes such as the recent controversy over whether there should be an ice arena or soccer field at Hull’s Field.

“At times there’s unneeded conflict over issues that if everybody was at the table, they would know the answers before they go to the public without having the right background,” Cardinal said.

The society is considering a request from Langford to participate in building a new soccer pitch at Hull’s Field.

“Langford’s got the land to do it on, they just don’t have all the capital to do it,” said Cardinal.

The society is waiting for a staff report comparing capital and long-term maintenance costs for artificial and grass fields.

Langford’s proposal is compatible with the society’s decision to consider supporting satellite facilities outside the rec centre hub, provided they are society facilities rather than belonging to a particular municipality, Cardinal said.

He also advised council that adding View Royal to the society will result in a small reduction in the Highlands requisition for this year amounting to less than one per cent.

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