Meet the candidates

Eight candidates are in the running for the 2013 by-election in Central Saanich

There are eight candidates in the April 13 by-election for two seats at the Central Saanich district municipal table.

Ten candidates had announced their intent to run as of the deadline to file their nomination papers, however, two individuals have already dropped out (see sidebar story this page).

Today, the News Review introduces the community to its candidates, via brief profiles of each. The information starts here and continues on page 12. Watch for more coverage in upcoming editions of the Peninsula News Review.

 

Candidate

Alicia Cormier

Occupation

Currently Operational Management at the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Brentwood Bay.

Background

Cormier, a longtime resident of the Saaanich Peninsula and Central Saanich and first time council runner, served on the Advisory Planning Commission for the municipality for one term and has held many volunteer positions within the community including volunteering with the Brentwood Bay Revitalization Committee, Heritage Acres, Girl Guides and Extreme Softball.

She spent a good part of her working life so far in Human Resources, business management and sales. Now that her children are grown, she’s looking forward to dedicating more time to municipal politics.

Why run?

If elected, Cormier says she hopes to reach out into the community and engage more community members in the District’s processes.

Top three issues she’d like to tackle if elected?

• Increase community engagement

• Farmland preservation and economic development for the arigcultural and commercial core

• Look at ways of more carefully planning around infrastructure to ensure the municipality lives within its means.

 

Candidate

Bernie Struck

Occupation

Self-employed.

Background

Struck has lived most of his life on the Sidney and Central Saanich areas. A bachelor of science degree in physics from the University of British Columbia led him to a carreer in the forestry industry. Eighteen years ago he started a residential rental company on the Peninsula.

Why run?

Struck considered running for council in previous elections. Now that his youngest child is 11, he feels he can commit the time that the job requires. He is passionate about the area and wants to ensure it remains a great place to be.

Top three issues he’d like to tackle if elected?

• The town hall project and how to make it feasable and profitable

• The budget and looking at ways to budget more effectively to find cost savings

• The deer issue and how it can be addressed in Central Saanich.

 

Candidate

Christopher Graham

Occupation

Co-owner of Paddle in the Park Kayaking

Partner with Beacon Tax Services.

Background

Graham served on Central Saanich council for 12 years and ran twice for mayor. Graham became a Director with the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and acts as the Chair of the Membership Committee. Graham also runs a small family farm.

Why run?

Graham says in this particular circumstance, where council is seeking to fill two seats midway through an election period, he feels that the district would benefit from having someone with experience.

Top three issues he’d tackle if he was elected?

• Maintaining financial sustainability in the municipality in light of upcoming projects like a new municipal hall

• Promoting agriculture and protecting rural Central Saanich

• Economic development of those infill areas.

 

Candidate

James McNulty

Occupation

Owner/operator at Five Star Paving Co.

Background

McNulty, 25, lives in Central Saanich with his fiancé on ALR land where they run a small farm. He is actively involved with the Boulders Climbing Gym. McNulty served on the Advisory Planning Commission and the Peninsula Recreation Commission through 2012 and into 2013. He ran for council in 2011.

Why run?

McNulty feels with his experience in business and construction and his time spent on the APC and the Recreation Commission that he’d be a good asset to the existing council.

Top three issues he’d like to tackle if elected?

• Keep tax increases capped to inflation

• Working on urban densification according to the District’s Official Community Plan

• Supporting a referendum for the new town hall project.

 

Candidate

John Hannam

Occupation

Retired teacher, hay and horse farmer.

Background

This is the first time Hannam, a Central Saanich resident for the last 13 years, has run for council.

Why run?

Hannam says he feels the biggest challenge facing the municipality of Central Saanich is to find a balance between the rural and urban needs of its citizens.

He feels that with careful consideration in matching these resources to the wants and needs of the whole community, the district can make appropriate priorities and act upon them in a well-considered way.

Top three issues he’d tackle if he was elected?

• Ongoing need to develop strategies to expand the municipality’s revenue base within the guidelines of the Official Community Plan (OCP)

• Through the development of these strategies, the infrastructure of the municipality has to be maintained and improved, while being mindful of the resources available to it

• Ensure farming activities are actively encouraged and practically supported.

 

Candidate

Robert Thompson

Occupation

Agri-food communications and marketing consultant who currently works with Southern Vancouver Island Direct Farm Marketing Association and Small Scale Food Processor Association.

Background

Thompson has previously held seats on council as well as served on the planning and development committee, the Saanich Peninsula Agricultural Commission, the Regional Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Regional District Solid Waste Management Committee. Currently he volunteers with the Saanich Fair, the Saanichton Village Association, the Peninsula Harvest Feast and the Peninsula Country Market.

Why run?

Thompson, a Central Saanich resident since 1991, says he loves living and working in Central Saanich and should he be elected, he hopes to work with other members of Council to make balanced and fiscally-responsible decisions that help maintain a sustainable community. He says he believes his experience will allow him to step seamlessly into the role of a Councillor while having an immediate impact.

Top three issues he’d tackle if he was elected?

• Financial sustainability and taxation – continue to look for long-term solutions for an economically-sustainable municipal government without excessive tax increases.

• Economic development — partner with local businesses to develop a re-vitalization plan for Keating Industrial area as well as support re-development of Saanichton and Brentwood village centres and continue active support for local agriculture.

• Livable neighbourhoods — resolve issues around densification of residential neighbourhoods through hands-on discussions and neighbourhood planning.

 

Candidate

Ryan Windsor

Occupation

Director of Marketing and Operations at de Vine Vineyards

Background

Windsor and his family moved to Central Saanich from Vancouver because they felt the Saanich Peninsula was a unique and special place. The family has now established a new winery in Central Saanich and runs a small farm. Windsor has volunteered with the Peninsula Streams Society and has run for council once before.

Why run?

Windsor says that his regular attendance at council and committee meetings continually reminds him that decisions of municipal councils are usually the ones that have a big impact on people in everything from taxes to planning. If elected, he hopes to look at all aspects of the budget and ensure council processes are more open and detailed than he feels they currently are.

Top three issues he’d tackle if he was elected?

• Referendum on borrowing for a new municipal hall and potential tax increases

• Strengthening of village and commercial cores of Saanichton, Brentwood Bay and Keating Cross Road

• Assisting local farmers in providing regional food security through the Agricultural Area Plan

 

Candidate

Susan Mason

Occupation

Interior Designer, planner and project manager

Background

Mason served on council for three terms from 2002 to 2011. She has been away from council for over a year and says she feels excited and energized at the prospect of once again serving the community.

Why run?

Mason says she feels because the two vacancies come midway through the term, it is vital to elect experienced leaders with historical knowledge to ensure a smooth transition.

Top three issues she’d tackle if she was elected?

• Financial responsibility – planning and sustainability for the municipality

• Support sustainable agriculture in the district

• Thoughtful planning of the Keating industrial area