Councillor candidates — North Saanich

Our final instalment features comments from individuals running for North Saanich council in the Nov. 19 election

Allan Collier

Age: 65

Occupation: Retired

Family status: Married

Political experience: Two years as School District 63 trustee

How long have you lived in the municipality? 18 years

What do you feel is the single biggest issue in this election? Continuance of open and responsible governance.

How do you hope to solve it? By being elected.

What do you think council has done well this term? Opened communication with community, capped tax increases, added youth to commissions.

What would you do on council to improve it? Streamline approval information for residents and businesses.

Celia Stock

Age: Did not provide

Occupation: Consultant

Family status: Married with four children and six grandchildren.

Political experience: I was elected alderman on Yellowknife city council and chaired the finance and legislation committee.

How long have you lived in the municipality? Six years.

What do you feel is the single biggest issue in this election? For now and over the next three years it is dealing with the shortfall between the cost of providing municipal services and the revenue generated. This has an implication for both residential and commercial taxes.

How do you hope to solve it? In these recessionary times, I want to be careful with our tax money and maintain a strong tax base. I will ensure that we receive maximum value for our money, continue the rebuilding of our reserve funds and keep property taxes low.

What do you think council has done well this term? Encouraged development and improved communication with residents. They have been sound financial managers, won an award for their agricultural policy, encouraged the Flavour Trail and farm markets and acted positively to improve cycling infrastructure.

What would you do on council to improve it? Encourage development within the framework of the official community plan, protect our marine habitat, farmland and parks and preserve the integrity of the Agricultural Land Reserve; help complete a comprehensive drainage plan for the District. Community outreach, cycling infrastructure and streamlining the permitting process are also important.

 

Conny McBride

Age: 64

Occupation: Retired insurance broker

Family status: Widow with extended family in Victoria.

Political experience: No publicly elected experience.

How long have you lived in the municipality? Moved here in 1999, but had been a weekender since 1991.

What do you feel is the single biggest issue in this election? Sandown, it’s a complicated issue. Free land is tempting, but the costs could cripple the taxpayers for years to come and make it a white elephant. It is already in the Agricultural Land Reserve, so we are not “saving” it. Dealing with the buildings, drainage, water, electrical environmental studies, and making land farmable would be expensive.

How do you hope to solve it? Come up with a comprehensive business plan, with input from the community, and not just a few people. Not all this land is farmable and our hands should not be tied for years to come. Further, open discussion is needed on the exact use of this property, i.e., what type of agriculture and who will use it.

What do you think council has done well this term? Web cam for council meetings lets the taxpayers see what happens at these meetings.

What would you do on council to improve it: Be more inclusive, appreciate all opinions and decide on the best course of action. Appreciate the diversity of this community, after all, we are not all farmers.

 

Elsie McMurphy

Age: 65

Occupation: Retired

Family status: Married

Political experience: School trustee for nine years

How long have you lived in the municipality? 35 years

What do you feel is the single biggest issue in this election? On the doorstep, North Saanich residents tell me they would like to see a little more development and some more affordable housing, but the single biggest issue is how much they value and want to preserve the nature of our community: “I like it just the way it is.”

How do you hope to solve it? The official community plan gives council a powerful statement of direction: to retain the rural, agricultural and marine character of North Saanich. I look forward to engaging with the community in the five-year review of that document. I support slow, controlled development and the regional housing and growth strategy.

What do you think council has done well this term? Kept taxes low, improved communications with residents, simplified bylaws and expanded land-use regulations. Great bike paths. Excellent potential in the Sandown lands. Award-winning community agriculture strategy.

What would you do on council to improve it? My experience as a school trustee in handling public finances, stretching tax dollars and reconciling conflicting demands, along with my commitment to open, respectful communications will enhance work council is already doing. North Saanich residents should be able to count on clear, complete information from their municipal hall.

Ted Izard

Age: 64

Occupation: Retired

Family status: Married

Political experience: No publicly elected experience

How long have you lived in the municipality? 32 years

What do you feel is the single biggest issue in this election? Permit fee increases. Development and rezoning application fees were greatly increased in October 2010, when council was two members short. The rationale for these increases was to cover some costs. Many of these permits are only required because of restrictions that were written into the official community plan in 2007.

How do you hope to solve it? Get public input through questionnaires.

What do you think council has done well this term? Held reviews of the Marine Task Force report.

What would you do on council to improve it? Act on the recommendations, taking note of the concerns that were voiced from the floor.

 

Jack Thornburgh

Age: 72

Occupation: Semi-retired counsellor and caregiver

Family status: Married

Political experience: Served on Port Alberni city council in the 1990s

How long have you lived in the municipality? Five years.

What do you feel is the single biggest issue in this election? Differing views about the District’s official community plan.

How do you hope to solve it? Helping educate people about the role, purpose and community benefits of the OCP.

What do you think council has done well this term? Council has set a tone of civil discourse; has pursued some good initiatives such as the Sandown proposal, the pilot project on secondary suites, and bike lanes; and has taken care to work within the official community plan.

What would you do on council to improve it? My background includes much experience in mediation and consultation, and I believe I can help improve communication between the District and residents on issues of mutual interest and importance.

Ted Daly

Age: 59

Occupation: Labour relations consultant

Family status: Engaged with two grown children.

Political experience: 18 years municipal experience, including nine years on Sidney council (1990-99) and nine on North Saanich council (1999 to 2002 as councillor, 2002-08 as mayor),  six years as a director on the Capital Regional District board.

How long have you lived in the municipality? 12 years

What is the single biggest issue in this election? The Sandown proposal. There are too many questions and not enough answers. This issue  needs comprehensive public input and consultation.

What you do to solve it? I would ensure  there is  extensive opportunity  for public  review and  input. No decisions  should be  made  until all details have been fleshed out and presented to the public.

What has council done well this term? Improved the sound system in the council chambers and made webcasts of their meetings available.

What would you do on council to improve it? Bring a balanced approach. The council has served the residents who live in the agricultural areas of the district well, but the residents who live in other areas haven’t been given the same attention. I would ensure that we listen to our entire community.

Dunstan Browne

Age: 68

Occupation: Lawyer

Family status: Married

Political experience: 10 years as a councillor in Natal, South Africa; elected to North Saanich council.

How long have you lived in the municipality? 23 years

What do you feel is the single biggest issue in this election? Restraint; unnecessary spending in relation to the over-emphasis on the promotion of agriculture and on useless consultant reports, which also applies to the proposed acquisition of the Sandown lands.

How do you hope to solve it? Change the way council deals with issues, from an emphasis on process to a common-sense approach that results in taking action within our means.

What do you think council has done well this term? The introduction of controlled video/audio of council meetings. That is good communication and good transparency.

What would you do on council to improve it? Review and curtail restrictive legislation, and allow our residents to enjoy their properties without burdensome red-tape regulation and excessive costs. Bad laws make criminals of honest residents.

Craig Mearns

Age: 69

Occupation: Retired

Family status: Did not respond

Political experience: Elected to North Saanich council in 2010

How long have you lived in the municipality: 15 years

What do you feel is the single biggest issue in this election? Control of tax increases, over regulation, and protection of private property rights.

How do you hope to solve it? Reduce regulation, i.e. get rid of wildfire hazard zones and limit tax increases to the rate of inflation.

What do you think council has done well this term? Improved the sound system in the North Saanich hall.

What would you do on council to improve it? Focus on efficiency and costs.

Just Posted

Saanich lifeguards earn Vital Link awards for cardiac arrest response

Awards from BC Emergency Health Services recognize quick and skillful life-saving

High of 21 C for Wednesday

Plus your weekend forecast

Cyclists and drivers take to the streets Wednesday morning in first official Bike to Work Week celebration

The 25th annual Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week kicks off the followingMonday, May 27

Art and fashion collide for a cause at the Union Club of Victoria

May 26 event benefits Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibitions and educational programs

UVic science and engineering research gets $18.8 million federal funding boost

Funding for engineering, science, sustainability research

VIDEO: Fun without sun: Hundreds enjoy Family Fest on Victoria Day

Families enjoy activities in Veterans Memorial Park

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

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

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Thetis housing project clouded by confusion

View Royal mayor clarifies details about Capital Region Housing Corporation project

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Christmas morning burglar sentenced on Vancouver Island

Justin Redmond Feusse, 20, sentenced to 240 days in jail for Dec. 25 break-and-enter

‘Conservation financing’ could stop old-growth logging

Reader says with this type of financing province recognizes the benefit of forests

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Most Read