Community News

Councillors Report-out at the One-year Mark

Nov 02, 2015 Editor

by Michele Murphy

During the 2014 municipal election campaign, Saanich Voice Online (SVO) asked all candidates in Saanich, Central Saanich, North Saanich and Sidney to tell us, in 60 words or less, what they would like to have accomplished in their elected post by Nov 15, 2015, June 1, 2017, and October 1, 2018. We received responses from many, but not all, of the candidates.

We’ve opened the time capsule and asked the original respondents – those who were elected – to report back on their accomplishments so far.

Here’s what some of them had to say …

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Alicia Cormier
Councillor, Central Saanich

AliciaDesired accomplishments completed by 2015
By Nov 2015, Council and the community is celebrating a successful first year of the new Economic Development Advisory Committee and approving its mandate as an ongoing committee.  The success includes the Agricultural Area Plan (Agri/Culinary Tourism) and tangible improvements for all businesses in Saanichton, Brentwood Bay, Keating, First Nations, as well as home based businesses.

Reporting back in 2015:
The Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) is underway with a mandate to advise and assist Council in pursuing the formation of an economic development function for the municipality and to concurrently advise and assist Council in carrying out the corporation’s strategic plan.

Membership includes a cross-section of businesses, community associations and residents from all parts of the District.   We are completing a survey to identify local needs and I will be reporting to Council on progress in the near future.

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Christopher Graham
Councillor, Central Saanichchristophergraham-jpg

Desired accomplishments completed by 2015
Implement bylaw changes to foster Keating Revitalization, including a comprehensive bylaw review of Keating Business Park to make redevelopment faster and easier and allowing live work force housing over businesses.  Begin in depth discussion with the Province to find feasible solutions to traffic safety on and off the highway.  Develop infill guidelines to allow infill development that compliments existing neighbourhoods.

Reporting back in 2015:
We are mostly on track.  My biggest accomplishment was the RGS, and council’s change of direction re-affirming the existing urban containment boundary.   Council is moving ahead with a Keating ‘Business Plan’ to update the land-use bylaws.  That is in the strategic plan and going to tender.  Council has a commitment to look at infill guidelines.  Hopefully we will be looking at that this coming year.

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Carl I. Jensen,
Councillor, Central Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by 2015
I will be working with all community groups on the development of a walkability master-plan carlthat will create safe passage between all areas of Central Saanich. By this point I would like to see the plan completed laying out a priority list of roadside trails/paths scheduled for upgrade annually over the next 5-10 years.

 

Reporting back in 2015:

The Multi-Modal Transportation Project list for Central Saanich has been established, and we recently completed the first project: a bicycle lane on Wallace Drive from Prosser to Blossom Park. The second project that the District will be proceeding with in the future is the multi-use train on Stelly’s Cross Road from the Western Terminus (Tsartlip) to West Saanich Road.

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Niall Paltiel
Councillor, Central Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by 2015
I will grow my understanding of the processes and establish a new voice at the Council table. I niallewill investigate the delivery of a more user-friendly municipal website as a measure to improve public outreach. I will also review our infrastructure, sidewalk, and traffic priorities to ensure a common sense and low-cost delivery.

 

Reporting back in 2015:
I am pleased that I have delivered on my November 2015 Goals for Central Saanich Council. I am growing in my role while working with our communications committee to deliver a new website that should be fully launched in 2016. Further, I have successfully advocated that Council add transportation, mobility and infrastructure projects to our strategic priorities over the next four years.

 

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Susan Brice
Councillor, Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by 2015
After an affirmative vote on the ballot question* we are well underway with an open communitybriceconsultation to renew the governance within Saanich and throughout the region.
*Saanich ballot question: Do you support council initiating a community-based review of the governance structure and policies within Saanich and our partnerships within the region?

Reporting back in 2015:
As the first year of this term ends I am pleased to report that I have been appointed to some very important positions. I chair Saanich Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Committee, chair the CRD Parks Committee, serve on CRD Governance and CRD Finance Committee, trustee on the Municipal Finance Authority and chair the Victoria Regional Transit Commission.

I proposed to Saanich Council and received unanimous acceptance of a motion to support enshrining the right to a healthy environment in the Canadian Charter. Also, I proposed and had accepted a motion to Saanich Council that properties held by the municipality be governed by the same processes as private property when being considered for change or disposition. This is a commitment that I made during the last election.

As a council we continue to work on the ballot question relating to governance as approved by the voters in the 2014 election.

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Dean Murdock
Councillor, Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by 2015
A food security task force has been established and has completed the development of a Food

Dean Murdock, Saanich Councillor
Dean Murdock, Saanich Councillor

Security Strategy that will assist the District of Saanich in implementing programs and policies that will ensure Saanich residents have access to health, local, affordable food options.

Reporting back in 2015:
I am pleased to see the Agriculture and Food Security Task Force coming together at last. Saanich is currently taking applications for participation on the Task Force (closing November 6) and seeking an expert consultant to facilitate and assist the Task Force to develop an Agriculture and Food Security Plan, with policies, action items and an implementation strategy. Access to healthy, local, affordable food options is vital for Saanich’s Food Future. I look forward to the Task Force coming together and the development of an Agriculture and Food Security Plan.

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Colin Plant
Councillor, Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by 2015
Working with the newly elected Council, Saanich’s Council Procedure Bylaw has changed to Colin Plantallow for presentations to Council as well as permitting for questions to be posed at the end of meetings. Additionally, Council and Committee of the Whole meetings can be viewed online.

Reporting back in 2015:
I am very pleased to write that Saanich has introduced a new Procedures Bylaw that allows for greater pubic participation at meetings.  This includes delegations, commenting on agenda items as well as the creation of a monthly Open Forum. While we have not yet introduced webcasting, we have budgeted for it to happen this year.

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Heather Gartshore
Councillor, North Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by 2015
Council will be adopting a Local Area Plan, which addresses growth by way of increased housingheather density in the McTavish/East Saanich/Canora Road area, having been informed by a thorough public consultation process in which residents have confidence. Being respectful, I will have enjoyed a first year in office, with plenty of healthy debate, free of acrimony and friction.

 

Reporting back in 2015:
Council unanimously supported a motion to undertake a Goals and Community Values Survey, assessing attitudes related to future growth and density in North Saanich. The results will inform our next steps regarding the need for an OCP review and potential scope.

It is a pleasure to work with my colleagues at North Saanich, and a privilege to serve my community.

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Geoff Orr
Councillor, North Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by 2015
Initiate local area planning for the McTavish and Tsehum housing areas. Contribute positively orrto effective Council dialogue. Participate in the Saanich Peninsula Housing Partnership initiative. Determine whether or to what extent a review of the OCP is warranted. Take appropriate action based on the outcome of the amalgamation question.

Reporting back in 2015:
The council dialogue has been respectful and constructive. Housing discussions took place as part of strategic planning exercise. Council recently endorsed staff recommendation to carry out community survey. Our housing partnerships have been active and the CRD recently completed a housing gap analysis, which will be considered as part of further action by Peninsula municipalities. OCP review decision will follow community survey results. There has been correspondence with the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development regarding amalgamation question results. Future direction is uncertain. Advanced conversations with Victoria Airport Authority and the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations related to a public boat ramp in Pat Bay. (Note from editor – this came in in point form and has been revised to fit SVO’s formatting)

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Celia Stock
Councillor, North Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by 2015
Draft of an Affordable Housing Policy is being written; A Council approved Review of portions stockof the Official Community Plan (OCP) is underway; That property tax can be maintained at reasonable levels, with minimal increase; That there is momentum on the Sandown development agreement for the commercial property.

2015 is the Jubilee celebration for North Saanich.  As a member of the Planning Committee, I would like to look back and say, we have had a wonderful, exciting Jubilee year with many memorable events for all residents; That I will have been able to mentor and assist new Council members with our work, so that Council can be more effective, and these members will have had an easier transition to Councillor.

 

Reporting back in 2015:
Property tax has been maintained at reasonable levels, with only a minimal increase in 2015.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond Council’s control, we have not had much momentum on development of the commercial portion of the Sandown property.

Our North Saanich Jubilee year celebration has been highly successful, with historic story telling, pancake breakfast new Jubilee Park dedication, Aviation Museum commemoration and other events, which have included all residents.  These have been happy and jubilant events for all.

We have an effective, hard working Council, and I have assisted new Council members with the transition to Councillor.

 

sidney_council

SVO has not received any responses from Sidney councillors.

SVO will update this article as additional responses come in.