Educated for council

A trustee on the Saanich Board of Education for the past nine years, Elsie McMurphy is running for council in North Saanich.

A trustee on the Saanich Board of Education for the past nine years, Elsie McMurphy wants to bring her leadership qualities and extensive experience in communications and financial management to the important work of preserving and enhancing the unique character of North Saanich.

“Like so many who live here, I appreciate and enjoy the qualities that make North Saanich blue, green and clean: our rural areas, green spaces, and marine habitats. Vibrant farms and local businesses are key components of our way of life and deserve council support. I’m determined to respect our heritage and work with neighbours all over the municipality to meet the environmental and economic challenges of the 21st century,” McMurphy said.

“The Sandown racetrack lands have enormous potential. With due diligence and an effective community-based process, we can create a vivid agricultural amenity that future generations will treasure,” McMurphy said.

McMurphy emphasized taxpayers’ dollars must be spent wisely, with transparency and accountability.

“North Saanich must continue to maintain and modernize our infrastructure so that taxpayers aren’t hit with onerous property tax increases. I would work toward a renegotiation of the tax split with senior levels of government so that municipalities receive more than the present eight per cent of revenues.”

Legalizing secondary suites will help to provide affordable housing for people who want to work here or age in place and will help to build an inclusive community, she said.

Open communication and collaborative planning are essential for council decisions to reflect community values, she said. “Well-advertised town hall meetings, an informative website, and a commitment to timely consultation enhance public participation … I promise to be accessible, continually seek input, and listen respectfully to North Saanich residents before taking appropriate action,” said McMurphy.

On the school board, McMurphy dealt with annual budgets of more than $70 million, almost 1,000 full- and part-time employees, and a variety of parent groups and community agencies, honing her abilities to focus on key issues and establish effective communication. Along with her knowledge of financial matters, she has considerable background in community relations, organizational development, management, labour relations and decision-making.

“This experience enables me to make a valuable contribution to the work of North Saanich council and my community,” she said.