Geoff Orr, centre, speaks with members of the community. Orr says he’s running for mayor to put a focus on how North Saanich council interacts with the people it represents. (Steven Heywood/News Staff File)

Another hat in North Saanich mayoral ring

Geoff Orr running for the top chair after one term on council

Geoff Orr wants North Saanich council to communicate better and be more transparent with the community and its neighbours — and so he’s decided to run for mayor in the October civic election.

Orr made the announcement official on Thursday, May 3 at an event at Kildara Farms in North Saanich.

“There’s still energy, I have some value to contribute,” Orr said in an interview.

He said now that he has his wings under him — he spent the last term on council — he not only wishes to continue the public service, but step into the next role in municipal politics.

“It’s a big challenge. It’s a role you cannot take lightly.”

Orr added the challenge to the seat held by current Mayor Alice Finall will not be easy. Finall has been mayor in North Saanich since 2008 and was elected to the job three terms in a row (including one acclamation in 2011). She was first elected to council in 1993 and served in that capacity until 1999. She has not yet announced whether she will seek a fourth term as mayor. Orr said he’s spoken with Finall about his intent to run, and also shared the information with the current mayors of Sidney and Central Saanich.

Part of Orr’s reason to run, he continued, was some uncertainty over how the political landscape might unfold during this fall’s civic

election. Only one other person has declared for the mayor’s seat: local businessman Stephen Weller.

RELATED: Challenger to North Saanich mayor’s seat emerges.

Orr said he’s ready for the job after navigating many issues over the four-year term — many of which will continue into the next council’s mandate. but one of the areas he said he wants to focus on, and take a different approach with, is how North Saanich interacts with its community and its neighbours. Orr said the job they do as a council is a public service and they have a responsibility to residents, industry and business owners to improve dialogue and be as transparent in their decision-making as possible. That includes with how North Saanich works with the Pauquachin and Tseycum First Nations and fostering better relationships with all of ther neighbours.

“That builds trust,” he said.

Hot-button issues like housing, agricultural land at the Sandown race track, a proposed library near the Panorama Recreation Centre and others, will continue past the October 20 election date.

“I don’t expect that my role will be to deviate significantly from the path council is already on, but there would be a focus of our attention on some different areas.”

Orr is a retired owner of a software firm and has a degree in mechanical engineering from UBC. He works, or has worked, with a variety of local organizations, in addition to his council duties, such as Peninsula Streams, Property Responsibility on the Waterfront (PROW), the North Saanich Residents Association, Peninsula Minor Hockey and the Saanich Peninsula Water and Wastewater Commission.



editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Plans for pot shop in Sidney spark back to life

Changing provincial regulations could clear the way for Sidney’s first ever pot shop

Saanich police identify suspect in Brydon Park assault

No charges sworn, no arrest made as of July 9

Bacteria levels lead to swimming advisory at Saanich park

Craigflower-Kosapsum Park among regional beaches with swim advisories

West Shore RCMP arrests five suspects in multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking investigation

Cocaine, prohibited loaded handgun, weapons, stolen vehicles seized

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Time to protect B.C.’s unique glass sponge reefs, conservation group says

Climate change is a “serious and immediate threat” to the 9,000-year old sponges: study

Time to protect B.C.’s unique glass sponge reefs, conservation group says

Climate change is a “serious and immediate threat” to the 9,000-year old sponges: study

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

Most Read