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

Just Posted

Province launches lawsuit over Esquimalt sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after being dropped from marine lift

North Saanich Fire Department wins national Movember challenge

Team raises more than urban Edmonton, Toronto firefighters

Saanich police first in B.C. to offer mental health resiliency training

Departments from Oak Bay, Saanich, Central Saanich complete trauma training class

Peninsula Panthers jump into first place with win over arch-rivals Victoria Cougars

Cougars beat the Panthers in all three previous games before Sunday’s 2-1 victory

Crash backs up northbound lanes of Pat Bay Highway

Drive BC warns of heavy congestion along busy route

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

Most Read