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 since dropped out.
The council seat became vacant after Adam Olsen resigned after accepting the nomination in the provincial riding of Saanich North and the Islands for the B.C. Green Party, and Terry Siklenka resigned after moving away.
The News Review is publishing a series of candidate profiles to help our readers make informed decisions on by-election day.
The profiles are organized alphabetically by last name and will take place over the next few editions of the News Review, prior to the by-election.
The general vote is scheduled for April 13 and advance voting will be held April 3 and 10.
Third set of profiles:
Born and raised in Victoria, James McNulty spent lots of time visiting his grandparents in Central Saanich when he was young.
“My grandparents bought a house on Tanner Ridge in the 1980s so I have lots of fond memories from visiting them in during my youth.”
A graduate from Mount Douglas Secondary in 2005, McNulty joined his father, uncle and grandfather in the family business, Five Star Paving, in 2002.
The company, which relocated from Esquimalt to the Keating area in 2000, expanded into concrete in 2005, a facet of the company for which McNulty was responsible.
“I was responsible for the (concrete) launch and now that portion of the company generates 10 per cent of our gross revenues,” McNulty said.
In 2011, McNulty purchased a home on agricultural land reserve property in Central Saanich and lives there with his fiancé, Ashley and a menagerie of pets including five recent additions to their small farm.
“We recently got five cows for our property,” said McNulty, who added that they are looking forward to learning about raising livestock.
Along with managing the family company and now running a small farm, McNulty also spends much of his time at the Boulders Climbing Gym at Stelly’s Secondary where he is a member and also training to become a level one certified climbing gym instructor.
McNulty is also certified to judge national level competitions and was involved with the provincials held at Boulders last weekend.
He also plans to be involved with the national and youth world competitions to be held at Boulders later this year.
McNulty’s involvement with the District dates back to 2011 when he ran for council. Since then he has worked on the Peninsula Recreation Commission (2012) and this year he was appointed to the Central Saanich Advisory Planning Commission.
McNulty said with his background in business and construction, he feels that if he were elected, he’d be able to help guide the municipality through some upcoming projects (like a new municipal hall).
“My experience can be put to good use on behalf of the citizens of Central Saanich,” McNulty said, adding he feels being a business owner in the Keating industrial area offers another aspect of insight to his election platform.
McNulty said he also hopes to, if he’s elected, work on linking tax increases to inflation, promote policies that encourage growth within the village centers, promote policies that result in businesses choosing to locate in the Keating industrial area and support a referendum on new city hall.
“I’m excited at the possibility of working with mayor and council in continuing to make sound decisions that are in the best interests of the residents of Central Saanich,” McNulty said.
“I believe that I can bring a unique perspective and knowledge base to the council table to ensure the optimal decisions are made.”
Visit McNulty’s website at www.mcnultyforcouncil.ca for more information on his candidacy in the 2013 Central Saanich by-election.
It was the encouragement and support of his children that led Bernie Struck to run in this year’s by-election.
Struck, a lifelong resident of the Saanich Peninsula who has lived in Central Saanich for the last 10 years, is a single parent of two children, a son and a daughter.
“I had considered running for council previously and now that my youngest is 11, I feel I will able to dedicate the time,” Struck said.
Struck graduated from the University of British Columbia with a bachelor of science degree in physics but for most of his early working years he was employed in the forestry sector.
“I started out as a tree planter on a forestry crew while in university and eventually worked my way up to a supervisor position in three years. I became a partner of the company in my fourth year and bought out the other partner after two,” Struck said.
By the age of 25, as he was finishing his university degree, he was also running a tree planting company with over 120 employees planting between two and three million trees annually. After some more education at Malaspina College in Nanaimo (now Vancouver Island University), Struck moved the company’s direction into logging supervision, environmental assessments and training for higher utilization of harvested timber.
Later in his life, with his father by his side, the two founded a residential rental company on the Saanich Peninsula.
“We began purchasing older, run down homes on the Peninsula and after renovating them, we turned them into affordable rental housing. At our peak we were able to supply nine families with clean, affordable housing,” Struck said, adding that he continues to run the rental business, as well as an international residential rental company he founded four years ago.
If elected, Struck said he looks forward to helping guide the community through challenges like keeping the area workable and livable.
“We live in one of the premiere communities, not only in B.C. but within the western provinces and territories. Within our community we’re faced with the challenges of keeping a rural character, supporting our agricultural community, maintaining and improving our infrastructure while at the same time being fiscally responsible so that our residents are still able to afford to live and work in the area,” Struck said.
“Through community consultation we’ve been given the direction for economic development and protection as outlined in the Official Community Plan. As an elected council member, it would be my duty to stay within the framework of the OCP while being fiscally prudent.”
Struck also said his focus would be keyed in on maintaining or lowering property tax rates.
“The residents of Central Saanich have for too many years faced property tax increases of almost double the rate of inflation. As a council member, it would be one of my primary goals to rein in these tax increases by encouraging growth and stability within the commercial areas, find cost savings within the existing budget and increasing efficiency within the municipality,” Struck said.
Email Struck at email@example.com for more information on his candidacy in the 2013 Central Saanich by-election.