Community vision needs updating

Town of Sidney: McNeil-Smith, Cliff - Mayor Candidate. Cliff McNeil-Smith seeks mayor’s chair in Town of Sidney

Cliff McNeil-Smith is making a run for the mayor’s chair after last holding a council seat in Sidney in 2009 to 2011.

Sidney needs to renew its vision, says mayoral candidate Cliff McNeil-Smith.

The owner of Tanner’s Books on Beacon Avenue has thrown his hat into the ring in the Nov. 15 civic election and is calling for a review of the Town’s official community plan, if he is elected.

“The Town needs to engage the community and have an implementation plan,” he said. “Then, it’s important to report back on our successes.”

He notes preserving Sidney’s small-town character is important as the population increases and development pressure continues.

“We have tremendous community spirit and we need to consult with (people and groups) to ensure effective support to keep Sidney vibrant.”

McNeil-Smith said his first priority is prudent fiscal accountability “and a sound business approach to managing Sidney’s $19 million annual budget.” He has served on council before — McNeil-Smith was a councillor from 2009 to 2011.

He said he left politics at the time to focus on his business and his family, but remained involved in the community.

McNeil-Smith was, until he declared for the election, the chair of the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society (SBIAS). Asked is that involvement led his back into the political arena, he said it was one of the ingredients.

“The BIA is a business organization at its heart but is community-minded and involved with so many groups. It has an important role.”

While he is, as a business owner, still a member of the SBIAS, McNeil-Smith noted he’s stepped back from direct activity during the election. However, he said groups like the SBIAS and mayor’s task force on downtown revitalization need to engage the community at large on local priorities. Each has a role, he continued, on a number of Sidney issues.

McNeil-Smith said he jumped back into local politics this time because he sees the challenges faced by Sidney as opportunities.

Issues such as the Seaport East waterfront land and even Beacon Avenue’s traffic configuration need community involvement, he said, on what residents feel is important. Issues like that can’t be dealt with in isolation, he continued.

“We have an opportunity for this community, for local government, to take the initiative to engage all sectors on local issues. It ensures people are sharing how they think the Town needs to move forward.”

To that end, he also said there must be greater emphasis on municipal accountability. He said staff and council has in the past met the requirements under the Local Government Act in consulting with and informing the public, but suggested the Town can go further.

“There could be a greater exchange of information and input. And at the Capital Regional District level, which represents a significant portion of our tax bill, the mayor has the opportunity for accountability, bringing back more information to Sidney residents.”

While he said nothing necessarily needs to be fixed in Sidney, McNeil-Smith noted he would urge better communication between the Town and its residents.

McNeil-Smith said he will focus on leadership, if elected, bringing with him his wealth of experience in business, community organizations and local government.

 

 

-30-

 

Just Posted

Cycling Without Age raises funds for program

Free rides for seniors coming to Sidney

SidFest raises $1,500 for youth clinic

For the sixth year, SidFest has been an opportunity for talented high… Continue reading

Tanner’s Books owner is running for Sidney mayor

Cliff McNeil-Smith says managing growth is his top priority

Feast of Fields settles in for the summer of 2018

Vancouver Island Feast set for Kildara Farms in North Saanich on Aug. 26

CREST technology goes digital

System handles one call every four seconds

New stage highlight of Brentwood Bay Festival

Peninsula Country Market vendors and music accompany start of summer celebration

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Car Free YYJ, family fishing, Sooke bluegrass, walk for cancer and a mascot’s birthday

Sidney painter also a preacher

Patrick Chu opens new studio; off to China this month

B.C. NHL prospect expected to make ‘full recovery’ after incident in Calgary

Jordy Bellerive was injured in a reported house fire Saturday night

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

Most Read