ELECTION 2014: Candidate QandA with Cliff McNeil-Smith

Candidate QandA with mayoral candidate Cliff McNeil-Smith in Sidney

  • Nov. 13, 2014 7:00 a.m.
Cliff McNeil-Smith

Cliff McNeil-Smith

Occupation:  Owner – Tanner’s Books.


Resident and 13-year local business owner; previous regional management experience with national companies. A board director for six local community organizations. Served on Sidney council 2008-2011.


1.  Why are you running for Mayor?

There are challenges and opportunities for Sidney’s future. With my wealth of experience in business, community organizations and local government, I want to continue contributing and bring strong new leadership to the next council and our community.


2.  What are your top three issues to tackle, if elected?

1. Prudent management for Sidney’s $19M annual budget and a strong business approach and accountability to control spending and taxes.

2.  Review the OCP with community input to maintain our Town ambience and character, with attention to the impacts on traffic and parking, and to achieve balance for seniors, families and single workers who desire attainable housing.

3.  Lead a more open local government with greater input and communication in general and with significant projects such as fire hall replacement, Seaport Place redevelopment and the highway pedestrian overpass.


3.  Is council’s relationship with the business community adequate and what would you change if elected?

The Town has contracts with the Sidney BIA for enhancing the vibrancy of community events and the Peninsula Chamber for visitor services. These require renewal at the beginning and end of 2015, respectively, and building strong relationships is important. The Town should be more involved in the process regarding the Victoria Airport Authority’s interest in a 10-acre development. The Town needs to significantly enhance the relationship with West Sidney industry regarding their infrastructure needs. The Town needs to lead in the engagement of stakeholders to move forward on the Mayor’s Task Force recommendations for downtown business revitalization.


4.  What sort of balance should Sidney seek to achieve on its waterfront land?

Public waterfront lands need to be managed in the interests of the entire community.

Thus, the community must be given adequate opportunity to provide input and comment on any proposed ideas.  Seaport Place, the Town wharf and the Sidney Ferry Terminal are three particular areas that need attention.


5.  How would you contribute to people’s enjoyment in living, working and playing in Sidney?

Managing the points above will make a difference. More amenities for children and youth to help attract families. Council needs to appreciate the priorities of community organizations that provide so many arts, culture and recreation experiences and events for people to enjoy.