Destination undecided

Run for mayor not out of the question for former councillor

Central Saanich resident Chris Graham has committed to throwing his hat into the ring for Central Saanich this November, but if he will hang it on the hook marked mayor or councillor is still not firm.

“The important thing for me is that we have a competent and effective mayor in Central Saanich, if we can get that, I would probably be okay with running for council,” said Graham.

Candidates have until Oct. 14 to submit  nomination packages to the district. Graham has 12 years experience on Central Saanich council and ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2008.

“This council was elected to one of only three debt-free municipalities in the province, and is leaving office with a $13 million dollar deficit which will burden tax payers for decades to come, and represents more than one year’s worth of property taxes,” said Graham. “As one example this council authorized spending almost $1 million to build (three) tennis courts. Not only is the cost excessive, but it was easily avoided.  Central Saanich has a partnership with the Panorama Recreation Center. Had we taken advantage of that partnership, those costs could have been split proportionately amongst the three Peninsula municipalities.”

Graham said if he is elected he will focus on stabilizing finances to stop future taxes from “spiraling out of control” and keep municipal government affordable. “I will steer our municipality away from urban sprawl and back to our community plan, and the smart growth principles that have been endorsed by the community,” he said.

“I will work with the province for a Keating fly over and Island View interchange to finally create safe access for the community on and off the highway and to resolve some of our more serious transportation bottle necks,” he said.

Graham noted that Central Saanich has the youngest population on the Peninsula and needs more jobs and a better tax base. “I will commit to helping Keating business park. Industrial and commercial tax rates are already some of the lowest in the region, yet Keating is visibly suffering … When new businesses try to move in, they are going through a lengthy rezoning process, that can tie their money up for over a year before they can even start.  We need to reverse our current bylaws in this business park.”

Contact Graham at www.christophergraham.ca, on facebook or twitter Chris_Graham_11.