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Councillors Report-out at Term End

Sep 12, 2018 Editor

During the 2014 municipal election campaigns, 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, by June 1, 2017, and by October 1, 2018. We received responses from many, but not all, of the candidates. You can find the entire article entitled, “ELECTION TIME CAPSULES or political time bombs?” in the October, 2014 edition of SVO.

We’ve opened the time capsule twice now and asked the original respondents – those who were elected – to report back on their accomplishments to date – against what they had hoped would have happened. You can find those articles on-line in our November 2015 edition and our June 2017 edition. As well – we asked Saanich’s by-election candidates what they would like to have accomplished in the year they will be in office – should they be elected. You can see those answers in our September, 2017 edition.

And now, once again, we’re opening the capsule to see how they are doing at the end of their term. Did they get done what they had hoped to do?

They were asked,

“What would you like to have accomplished in your elected post by October 1, 2018?”

Here are the answers of those who responded to our request for an update:

Saanich

Susan Brice

Councillor, Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by Oct 1, 2018:

As a member of the CRD Board, working with the community we will have resolved the solution to the sewage treatment challenge and we will be celebrating the fact that we are on budget and on time to meet the federal and provincial guidelines and be eligible for the two thirds funding.

Reporting back in 2018:

I served as vice chair of the CRD Liquid Wastewater Management Committee and with direction from the Project Committee we are well advanced in construction of a system that will meet all Federal and Provincial requirements for tertiary treatment. We are assured the project is on time and on budget. Meeting all timelines and targets means that it is eligible for maximum grants from senior government.

Karen Harper

Councillor, Saanich
(elected in 2017 by-election)

Desired accomplishments completed by Oct 1, 2018:

Craft a budgeting process aimed at keeping property tax increases in line with or less than cost of living increases.

Rescind the EDPA in its current form and plan to work collaboratively with residents and other stakeholders on a better plan that protects truly sensitive
environmental areas within Saanich.

Reporting back in 2018:

In my first 60 days on council, I moved the motion to rescind the EDPA. I will support initiatives that engage the public and scientific community in developing an
improved environmental bylaw.

I also achieved an agreement with council to invite public input on reviewing budget processes and increases, and consider intertwining budget and strategic planning for greater efficiencies.

Fred Haynes

Councillor, Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by Oct 1, 2018:

Review progress of above committee recommendations. Be working on committee for Integrated Storm Water Management.

At CRD ensure implementation of improved sewage plan to meet Federal time line of 2020. Seek regional solution to McKenzie overpass in partnership with Provincial and Federal Governments.

Reporting back in 2018:

Surpassed my goals: securing $450 million provincial funding for on-campus student housing across BC, Federal Renovation Tax Credits for seniors, and extension of Coop Housing mortgages. Supporting South Island Prosperity Project for economic development.

Short-listed for $10 Million Federal Smart City grant for “smart transport”.

Supporting farmer’s crop protection, recognizing First Nations, Pride week and federal support for refugees and nuclear disarmament.

Dean Murdock

Councillor, Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by Oct 1, 2018:

Saanich Council has adopted an even more open process that encourages residents to participate in the decision-making process. All Council meetings have an opportunity for open public input as a standing agenda item and all Council meeting are webcast and archived on the website.

All significant programs, projects and policies have undergone a thorough community consultative process prior to Council’s approval.

Reporting back in 2018:

I am proud of Saanich’s consultative processes. There are public input opportunities at all meetings, including an Open Forum. All meetings are webcast and archived on the website. There are even more opportunities on the horizon!

Saanich is in the process of consulting on how the public would like to be involved in Council’s strategic and financial planning processes.

Councillor Murdock will not be seeking re-election in 2018.

 

Colin Plant

Councillor, Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by Oct 1, 2018:

After working with the Saanich Community Associations and the related Saanich Advisory Committees, a more transparent sidewalk and traffic strategy is in place and action has occurred at several problem traffic areas (McKenzie/Highway, Wilkinson/Interurban, South Quadra).

Reporting back in 2018:

After significant public input Saanich has created an Active Transportation Strategy to address several components of transportation planning. The new McKenzie interchange will hopefully result in the Wilkinson/Interurban intersection traffic lessening. If not we will need to make improvements there. And finally, McKenzie/Quadra improvements are currently underway. Pleased to note all of these 2014 items are being addressed.

 

Central Saanich

Alicia Holman

(Alicia Cormier at time of election)
Councillor, Central Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by October 2018:

By Oct 2018, Municipal service levels have been aligned to match priorities set by our community as part of the budget process.  New service delivery methods have resulted in further integration with neighbouring municipalities, holding tax increases to the rate of inflation.  Central Saanich and the CRD have made tangible progress in meeting GHG reduction targets for the region.

Reporting back in 2018:

We didn’t hear back from Counc. Holman by press time.

Christopher Graham

Councillor, Central Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by Oct 1, 2018:

Improved highway access that addresses safety issues and neighbourhood concerns and access to Keating, such as a Keating flyover or interchange.  Vacant land and run down buildings in Keating will have been redeveloped.  Maber Flats managed wet land is in place, improving water quality and fish and bird habitat in Graham/Hagan Creek, while more consistent flows improve downstream farming.

Reporting back in 2018:

Keating Business District Implementation Plan is complete; creating a path forward for redevelopment and a case for improved highway access to encourage Ministry of Transportation support. After numerous
high-level discussions we are hopeful. Planning and most design work for the Maber Flats improvements have been completed, as well as some creek enhancements. Cost and implementation continue to be a challenge.

Carl Jensen

Councillor, Central Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by Oct 1, 2018:

I would like to continue with Parks and Rec Committee so that I might continue as Chair of Peninsula Rec Commission which allows me to work with all residents on Saanich Peninsula. By this date I would like to see physical Panorama Rec bricks and mortar facilities in Central Saanich to allow our residents greater access to recreation facilities and programming for increased health as a district.

Reporting back in 2018:

I am no longer Chair of Parks and Recreation, however I still believe this is a priority and as such, as an Alternate on the Peninsula Recreation Commission, I continue to advocate for a physical Panorama location in Central Saanich. Activity and recreation are key drivers for the overall health and vitality of our community.

Niall Paltiel

Councillor, Central Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by Oct 1, 2018:

I want to leave Central Saanich better than when I found it. I will focus on delivering a more vibrant community  — one with opportunities for everybody. My common-sense decision making process will prioritizerespecting your tax dollars, maintaining and growing business and attainable housing, and protecting our farmland.

Reporting back in 2018:

We have respected your tax dollars with the lowest property tax lift in over 20 years; we have provided attainable housing with both market housing for families and over 90 units of below-market housing approved; and we have protected our farmland with absolutely zero development on ALR land or outside of the Urban Containment Boundary.

Bob Thompson

Councillor, Central Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by Oct 1, 2018::

Council has actively engaged the community over time in a meaningful discussion about the costs of running local government.  Citizens now have a better understanding of the “big picture” – what local government does and what it costs to do it.  The community is now in a stronger position to make informed decisions about service levels, taxation and long-term financial sustainability.

Reporting back in 2018:

SVO did not hear back from Counc. Thompson by press time.

 

North Saanich

Heather Gartshore

Councillor, North Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by Oct 1, 2018:

The District will be supporting and encouraging Block Parties in residential neighborhoods, like many municipalities, recognizing that relationships are the foundation of a strong community.   Under the auspices of a new Recreation and Culture Commission, community volunteers supported by online resources will lead these initiatives.

Reporting back in 2018:

North Saanich Council adopted a Block Party Policy in May 2017, enabling residents to host such events on public property while being protected by third party liability. Just in time for neighbours to gather to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.  Alas, no new Commission—things don’t always go as planned when you’re a Councillor. 🙂

Geoff Orr

Councillor, North Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by Oct 1, 2018:

Realize construction of diversified housing as contemplated in the local area plan for McTavish. Ensure that the Saanich Peninsula Housing Partnership is
successful.

Establish a permanent location for a Farm Market

Reporting back in 2018:

Local area planning did not take place and no new diversified housing has been built.  Rezoning application approved in Area 1 with 40% allocated to Habitat for Humanity units.  Affordable Housing Policy and Marine Policy are nearing completion.  Sandown agricultural lands may provide a farmer’s market location.  University of Victoria Dunsmuir property sold to Pauquachin First Nation and Homewood Health.

Celia Stock

Councillor, North Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by Oct 1, 2018:

Just before the mandate ends, I would like to see that: we have kept property tax as low as we possibly could through thoughtful budgeting and careful financial management; we have worked to maintain our rural, ALR, agricultural, marine, and environmental vision in the new OCP; we have provided a diversity of new housing, in a balanced way, adhering to the principles of the new, revised OCP; we have collected the scientific data necessary to be able to plan to protect our shoreline and residents’ waterfront properties in the face of  climate change; we have had a Council which has worked collaboratively, with  Staff and residents, building consensus, while respecting different viewpoints. And, which has made decisions for a better future for all residents.

Reporting back in 2018:

Over four years, North Saanich council has kept property taxes as low as possible.

We have worked to maintain the rural, ALR and environmental vision of our Official Community Plan and now own the Sandown lands.

We have a diversity of new housing, including affordable housing.

We are well advanced on scientific work with respect to rising sea levels and its effect on waterfront properties.

 

Murray Weisenberger

Councillor, North Saanich

Desired accomplishments completed by 2018:

To have been frugal and wise with taxpayer’s money.

To have brought useful information to the public on the costs and benefits of amalgamation.

To seek further guidance via referendum on this issue.

To have vigorous but respectful debate be the norm at Council meetings.

Reporting back in 2018:*

My voting reflected my commitment to be frugal and wise with taxpayer’s money.  My vote was not always with the majority.

I would now favor a Citizens Assembly to investigate amalgamation similar to what Duncan/North Cowichan attempted but there is very little support from Councils to do anything.

For the most part I feel we enjoyed vigorous but respectful debate at council.

(*response was paraphrased to meet space restriction)

Sidney

The councillors who originally submitted to the Time Capsule were not elected into office, and so we have no updates from the Township of Sidney.

Watch for SVO’s October issue where we’ll ask the 2018 mayoral
and council candidates to submit their 2022 time capsule entires.