Mixed reaction to term increase

Saanich Peninsula local politicians love - and hate - the idea of four-year council terms

The province is considering B.C. Liberal party legislation proposing an increase of municipal council terms from the current three years to four.

Reaction among Saanich Peninsula politicians is mixed, with some saying they like the idea of more time to get the job done, while others say the time commitment could deter new or younger people from running for their local town councils.

“I think it sucks,” said North Saanich councillor and former mayor Ted Daly.

He said at four years the commitment could mean the loss of potential candidates, especially younger people with families. Four-year terms, he continued, might mean more for larger cities with career politicians. In his own case, Daly said a change to four years will affect his decision to run again in North Saanich come November.

North Saanich Mayor Alice Finall, too, said a change to a longer time commitment is detrimental to public service. She did add, however, this was the same reaction when terms went from two to three years in the early 1990s.

Sidney town councillor Steve Price said he likes the idea.

“This job is tough enough without having to re-prove yourself every three years.”

He said one more year will give people ample time to do the job they want to on council.