Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why am I voting for Colin Plant for Saanich Council?

What matters to me is vision, the name of the blog should be a give away about that.   It drives me nuts that in this region people are content to just sort of plod along with the status quo and only Colin Plant is not that sort of person, he has a vision of where he wants Saanich to be in 30 years.
mildly tweaking what is done from time to time.  Councils put more energy into a subdivision proposal than thinking about where they want the city to be in a generation and how to get there.  

I first met with Colin in early July for a coffee because he was recommended to me by someone for whom I have a lot of respect.    I met a smart and capable man that obviously saw Saanich needs change.  He had some serious ideas about what that change needs to be.  The man I met did not live down to his website, he was so much better a candidate than the sunshine and puppy dogs direction the website took.

In local elections almost all the candidates use one of two sets of words to say why they are running.   It is very easy for everyone to sound roughly the same.  There is one set that want to just slightly improve on the current status quo because things are so great - they want to improve livability, deal with affordable housing, talk about sustainability, and etc blah, blah, blah.   All puppy dogs and sunshine but really meaningless.  The second set are there because they are angry about one thing, normally their taxes though it can be a specific development.

Neither approach is a well thought vision for the future and that is where Colin Plant is different than so many others running especially most of the current council.  Thankfully he has changed his website and expresses himself much better.

There is a single line on his home page  that really speaks to me:
"I want to help make Saanich the greatest and greenest place in Canada to live."
That to me is the strongest vision I have heard anyone make in a council race in this region.  He knows where he wants Saanich to go.

The current council are not a bad set of people I just think overall they have become lost in the minutia of the day to day and can not see the bigger picture.   Council meetings seem more like the board meetings of an apolitical not for profit than an energetic government.  This should be obvious, without a clear long term goal there is no way to reach it.   And yes, I have read the OCP and I do not think it is a seriously long term vision for Saanich,

The staff of Saanich are there to run the day to day and make sure things work, it is council that is there to set the clear direction especially for the long term.   I think Colin will be the person that can get council to lift up their heads and think bigger and better.

If you live in Saanich, please cast one of your ballots for Colin.

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Just a reminder, if you have someone you really like in one of the local races, write up why you like them and I will post on the blog

2002 Central Saanich Election Results

Mayor

  1. Allison Habkirk 2817 - sitting councilor
  2. Al MacKey       1668

Council - 6 to be elected

  1. Chris Graham    2803 (+1124)(inc)
  2. Robert Thompson 2596 (+1242)
  3. Michelle Haddon 2584 (+904) (inc)
  4. Rhonda Korol    2410
  5. Susan Mason     2330
  6. Zeb King        2285
  7. Bill Eastgate   1543
  8. Frank Towler    1447
  9. Mark Brittain   1384
  10. Sharon Cormie   1330
  11. Matt Gruber     1258
  12. Greg Ryan        987
  13. Dave Cronk       687
  14. Cher Beattie     542
  15. Linnda Babb      509

Turnout 39.9%

Numbers in brackets are change in vote from 1999 results

Monday, September 15, 2014

2005 Sooke Election Results

Mayor


  1. Janet Evans     1471 incumbent elected in a 2003 by-election
  2. George O'Briain 1243 sitting councilor
  3. Bob Sykes        491


Council 6 to be elected

  1. Rick Kasper      1986
  2. Ron Dumont       1485
  3. Brenda Parkinson 1443
  4. Rick Armour      1203
  5. Sheila Beech     1146
  6. Jen Smith        1101
  7. Herb Haldane     1038
  8. Roger Temple      991
  9. Brian MacNeill    956
  10. Jim Mitchell      824
  11. Rob Eddy          779
  12. Bill Meikle       716
  13. Mitch Mitchell    682
  14. Norm Uptown       587
  15. Mel Dobres        337
  16. Brian Lacroix     153
  17. Wilf Klingsat     117


Referendum Questions
East Boundary Expansion (Gillespie Road)
Yes 2002
No 1137

West Boundary Expansion (Kemp Lake)
Yes 2037
No 1092

2008 Juan de Fuca electoral area election results


  1. Mike Hicks 852
  2. Ute Schnarr 705

2005 Esquimalt Election Results

I am missing some of the first names of the candidates, please drop me a line if you know what they are

Mayor

  1. Chris Clement  1649 (+695)
  2. Ruth Layne      960 sitting councilor
  3. Darwin Robinson 912 (-268) (inc)

Council - 6 to be elected

  1. Jane Sterk      2109
  2. Hy Freedman     2093 (+483)(inc)
  3. Don Linge       1905 (-42) (inc)
  4. Basil Boulton   1824
  5. Barb Desjardins 1736
  6. Lynda Hundleby  1555 (+278)
  7. Bruce McIldoon  1530 (-178) (inc)
  8. Lori King       1118 (-560) (inc)
  9. Wilkins         1029 (+204)
  10. Taylor           849 (+278)
  11. Olson            798

Numbers in brackets are change from 2002 results
Councilor Maurine Karagianis did not run for re-election

2005 View Royal Election Results

All were acclaimed

Mayor
Graham Hill (inc)

Council
Geri Anderson (inc)
Andrew Britton
John Rogers (inc)
David Screech (inc)

2011 Highlands Election Results

Acclamation for all positions

Mayor
Jane Mendum

Council
Allen Dobb
Diane Gill
Sigurd Johannesen
Marcie McLean
Karel Roessingh
Ken Williams

2005 Sidney Election results

Everyone was elected by acclamation

Mayor
Don Amos

Council
Tim Chad
Terry Crispin
Larry Cross
Bob Jones
Marilyn Loveless
Peter Wainright

2008 Sooke Election Results

Sooke

Mayor
  1. Janet Evans  1597 - incumbent
  2. Rick Kasper  1284 - sitting councilor
  3. Randy Welters 413
Council - 6 elected
  1. David Bennett         2559
  2. Maja Tait             1980
  3. Sheila Beech          1835 - incumbent
  4. Herb Haldane          1648
  5. Ron Dumont            1586 - incumbent
  6. Bev Berger            1532
  7. Brenda Parkinson      1523 - incumbent
  8. Rick Armour           1464
  9. Gail Hall             1271
  10. Carmen Montgomery-Gray 573

2008 Metchosin Election Results

Metchosin

Mayor
  1. John Ranns       1156 - incumbent
  2. Kyara Kahakauwila 482 - sitting councilor
  3. Karen Watson      335

Council - 4 elected
  1. Jo Mitchell    1191 - incumbent
  2. Bob Gramigna   1175 - incumbent
  3. Moralea Milne  1015
  4. Larry Tremblay  914
  5. Larry Hildreth  869
  6. Jim MacPherson  644
  7. Ed Cooper       528
  8. Leslie Zinger   430

2008 Langford Election Results

Langford
Stew Young was acclaimed as mayor

Council - 6 elected
  1. Denise Blackwell  2264 - incumbent
  2. Lillian Szpak     2257 - incumbent
  3. Lanny Seaton      2181 - incumbent
  4. Winnie Sifert     2137 - incumbent
  5. Roger Wade        1910
  6. Matt Sahlstrom    1859 - incumbent
  7. Steve Hurdle      1419
  8. Harry Kuiack      1169
  9. Ryan Hinton       1149
  10. Michael Mortimore 1119
  11. Vern Trew         1051
  12. Herman Surkis      986
  13. Vick Siu           352

2008 Colwood Election Results

Colwood

Mayor
  1. David Saunders - 1608
  2. Carol Hamilton - 1309 - sitting councilor
Council - 6 to be elected
  1. Judith Cullington 1775
  2. Gordie Logan      1767 - incumbent
  3. Shaun Wysiecki    1734
  4. Cynthia Day       1701 - incumbent
  5. Ernie Robertson   1696 - incumbent
  6. Brian Tucknott    1365
  7. Connie Harrigan   1309
  8. Sarah Galbraith    983
  9. Paul McCallum      531
  10. Vick Sui           440
Colwood also voted in favour of a referendum to have the provincial and federal governments provide funding to improve Vancouver Island’s E&N railway, as well as having B.C. Transit provide commuter rail service from Langford to Victoria

2008 Highlands Election Results

Highlands

Mayor
  1. Jane Mendum   558 - sitting councilor
  2. Mark Cardinal 470 - incumbent
Council - 6 to be elected
  1. Ken Williams            589 - incumbent
  2. Max (Sigurd) Johannesen 584
  3. Allen Dobb              569
  4. Karel Roesingh          563
  5. Diane Gill              516
  6. Marcie McLean           511
  7. Muriel Sibley           506
  8. Elaine Limbrick         490
  9. Stew Bender             475
  10. Ron Doak                428

2008 Esquimalt Election Results

Esquimalt

Mayor
  1. Barb Dejardins 2131 - sitting councilor
  2. Chris Clement  1278 - incumbent
Council - six elected
  1. Don Linge          1939 - incumbent
  2. Ali Gaul           1913
  3. Lynda Hundleby     1477 - incumbent
  4. Bruce McIldoon     1451 - incumbent
  5. Meagan Brame       1447
  6. Randall Garrison   1381
  7. Bob McKie          1331
  8. Lori King          1031
  9. Tom Morino          933
  10. Brian Gray          898
  11. Chris Zegger-Murphy 792
  12. Sylvia Hammond      671
  13. Norman Swan         647
  14. Jeremy Baker        469
Incumbent councilor Jane Sterk did not run for re-election

2008 Sidney Election Results

Sidney

Mayor
  1. Larry Cross - 1807 - sitting councilor
  2. Mel Couvelier - 839
  3. Peter Wainwright - 641 - sitting councilor
Council - six elected
  1. Kenny Podmore         1989 - incumbent
  2. Marilyn Loveless      1970 - incumbent
  3. Mervyn Lougher-Goodey 1853
  4. Cliff McNeil-Smith    1840
  5. Jeanette Hughes       1785
  6. Steve Price           1762
  7. Tim Chad              1632 - incumbent
  8. Graham Stallard        870
  9. Garry Crispin          746 - incumbent
  10. Duncan Cameron         619

2008 North Saanich Election Results

North Saanich

Mayor
  1. Alice Finall - 2466
  2. Ted Daly - 2036 - incumbent
Council - six elected
  1. Ruby Commandeur 2558
  2. Peter Chandler  2092 - incumbent
  3. Bob Shaw        2068 - incumbent
  4. Anny Scoones    2037 - incumbent
  5. Cairine Green   2024 - incumbent
  6. Sheilah Fea     1989 - incumbent
  7. Janet Rooke     1947
  8. Bob Williamson  1857 - incumbent
  9. Curtis Miles    1666
  10. Brian Dunic     1551
  11. Ross Imrie      1379
  12. Normand Schafer 1269

2002 Esquimalt Election Results

I am missing some first names, if you know them, please let me know

Mayor

  1. Darwin Robinson 1180
  2. Chris Clement    954 - mayor 1990-96 and 2005-08
  3. Connie McCann    886 - sitting councilor
  4. Basil Boulton    624 - councilor 1999-02 and 2005-08

Council - 6 to be elected

  1. Don Linge          1947 (+170) - incumbent
  2. Ruth Layne         1946
  3. Bruce McIldoon     1708
  4. Lori King          1678
  5. Maurine Karagianis 1666 (-170) - incumbent
  6. Hy Freedman        1610
  7. Pyper              1437
  8. Lynda Hundleby     1277 (-332) - incumbent - elected in 2005
  9. Bachop             1127
  10. Blair              1067
  11. Grant               956
  12. Wilkins             825
  13. Taylor              578
Numbers in brackets are change in vote from 1999 results
Incumbent Jim King did not run again


2008 Central Saanich Election Results Central Saanich

Central Saanich

Mayor
  1. Jack Mar     2606 (+507) (inc)
  2. Chris Graham 1437 - sitting councilor
  3. Sean McNulty 1184

Council - six to be elected
  1. John Garrison   3051 (+894)(inc)
  2. Adam Olsen      2744
  3. Alastair Bryson 2624 (-71) (inc)
  4. Rob Kubek       2550
  5. Susan Mason     2546 (+493)(inc)
  6. Terry Siklenka  2379
  7. Zeb King        2321 (+67) (inc)
  8. Carl Jensen     2305
  9. Sue Stroud      1901 (+238)
  10. Ed Owen         1554
  11. Jagmet Grewal   1335
Numbers in brackets are change from 2005 results

Saturday, September 13, 2014

If I were running in 2014, this is what my core platform would be

I had for a long time intended to run in the 2014 local elections but in December I moved from Victoria to Saanich and I am in way ready to seriously run for council this time.   That said, here is what my core campaign platform would be:

Amalgamation 
If I were elected to council I would pushing amalgamation.  As long as we are not amalgamated will continue to be governed badly locally.   One only needs to look to Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina or even Kamloops to see how much better we could be govern ourselves.

In the run up to amalgamation I would make some changes in Saanich.  First, I would look to exactly copy the wording for various by-laws as our neighbours.  As an exmple, there is no reason the animal control bylaw in Saanich should be different than the one in Central Saanich.

I would change the planning process for any place that is within one kilometer of the municipal boundary.   In these areas all planning would seek to be fully in-sync with the neighbours.  Victoria and Saanich have all the same departments.  I would go to Victoria and offer to take over 100% of one of their departments and in return have Victoria take over one from Saanich.   I would also go with Victoria and Langford to the CRD and have it contract out almost all of the CRD functions.  As an example, have Saanich manage all the CRD parks.

When it comes to shared services, I would seek out new partnerships with the neighbours.

Housing cost
 It costs to much to live in this city and there are things local government can do.  The best method to reduce the cost is increase the supply, a high rental vacancy will drive rents down.  The goal should be an average of $800 a month for two bedroom suites and $1000 for three bedroom ones     How do we do this?

  • First, allow secondary suites and even a third suite everywhere without restriction
  • Second, not only make subdivision easier, make it cheaper.   For a typical residential property I would require no fees to go through the subdivision process.  I would also grant a 10 year property tax holiday for one of the two properties.  It might be worth going further and setting annual subdivision targets for the municipality and if it is not reached seeing what could be done to encourage more subdivision
  • Third, offer density bonus for new rental buildings and grant them a ten year property tax holiday.  In return for being allowed to up an extra floor or two the municipality would get a covenant on the property restricting it to being a rental building.
  • Fourth, reduce the street right of ways and given the extra land to the current owners.  Doing this will add enough area to many properties to allow them to be subdivided or make a small granny suite building possible
  • Fifth, change the street front setbacks of houses to 3 meters.   Front yards are normally wasted unused space on a property.  Allowing the house to sited closer to the front allows for more flexibility for houses that could be built
  • Sixth, make the setback for all condos. apartment buildings, and townhouses zero meters.   Once again the space in front of the buildings is a wasted green space.   Allowing this to built on will allow more units to be built

We would be best served by a 20 year flat residential market and increasing housing supply will help ensure that.  

Sidewalks
I would like to see Saanich set a goal of 10 years by which time every residential street in the municipality would have at least one good sidewalk running along it.  You pay for it by adding an extra levy on all properties not currently fronting on a sidewalk

Urbanizing
Saanich is not longer just a residential suburb, it is now a core of the city.   The municipality is not acting as if this is the case.    As a start I would look at everything within two kilometers of Uptown and see what needs to be done to make it a business and commercial hub.   Saanich should a goal of adding most of the regions new Class A office space within this area.  This is a good area to allow for 10 to 15 story buildings.

I would then look at rezoing everything on Mackenzie between Shelbourne and UVic to be high density residential and office space.   UVic is one of the largest concentrations of workers in this city but it is isolated form the private sector infrastructure needed to compliment the university  There are many businesses that are spawned by someone at the university but there is no close place for that business to be located.

We should also look at all the major roads and change the zoning along all of them to commercial and high density residential

Parks and Recreation
Saanich needs to have good park to gather large crowds of people, somewhere you could hold a festival with 25,000 people attending.

On the Gorge I would improve the swimming access.  I would also seek a ban power boats north of the Selkirk Trestle.

I would place invasive species eradication as primary goal of the parks staff.  To many Saanich parks are being lost to invasive species at the moment,  Knockan Hill and Cuthbert Holmes are two examples.

In Mount Doug and Mount Tolmie parks I would seek to reduce the area covered by roads.   In Mount Doug I would remove the road to the top and leave it as a wide gravel walking trail.  In Mount Tolmie I would remove all of to the road descending from the north side of the summit.

I would build a new ice rink at Royal Oak and a new pool at Tillicum.  As it stands, there is not enough ice time at Pearkes to meet the demand from the public.  In general Greater Victoria should have at least 20 ice sheets based on the norm in Canada but we only have 12 of which one is not really available to the public.  Saanich alone should be home to seven ice sheets but only has three.  Burnaby with twice the populations has at least 14.

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I know I am suggesting spending a bunch more money, but in the long term the new property development will bring enough money to cover all the costs.   I have done the math in rough and if I were actually running I would lay out an exact plan over 20 years how it all would be paid for even if Saanich did not amalgamate.   I have run budget numbers for a single amalgamated Victoria and however I jig the numbers it comes back with a 10% to 25% savings over what we have now.  I can not make a single amalgamated Victoria cost as much as the status quo.

So there are my core ideas if I were running.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

David Screech announces candidacy for Mayor Of View Royal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.                     Sept 10/2014.

David Screech announces candidacy for Mayor Of View Royal.



View Royal, BC.- Long time View Royal Councilllor David Screech announces his candidacy for Mayor of View Royal in the upcoming November, 2014 election.

Screech said. “After 12 years on Council I am ready for the next step up and to lead our community as the next mayor. I believe that my experience and leadership, along with my experience as a business owner, provide me with the necessary tools to lead our community in its next chapter. I look forward to working collectively with our Council, staff, residents, and leaders throughout the CRD as we look for solutions and answers to the many issues facing our town and region today”


Background.

Was first elected to View Royal Council in 2002 and is serving his fourth term in office.
View Royal’s alternate CRD director for 12 years.
Currently Chairperson of the CRD Arts Committee.
Director, West Shore parks & Recreation Society.
Screech also served as a board member of the Greater Victoria Public library from 2005-2013.
Owner & operator of a long established Victoria business, Gregg’s Furniture & Upholstery.

For further information please contact David Screech by e-mail at davidscreech@shaw.ca or by telephone, 250-812-2782.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Some interesting races in the 2014 #yyj municipal elections

This is what I see so far, it could change

Victoria Mayor
This is the first seriously competitive race for the mayor's seat since 1999 when Alan Lowe defeated Bob Friedland and Geoff Young to become mayor.  

Alan Lowe was broadly acceptable as mayor though few people were excited by him.  In contrast Dean Fortin has a lot more people out there that do not like how he has been as mayor.

Dean Fortin is facing a very strong challenge from Lisa Helps.  Lisa comes to the race with by far the largest and best organized municipal election campaign I have seen in this region.  It is on the scale and organization of a good campaign to become MP.

The wildcard in this race is Ida Chong, will she run?  I keep hearing that she might and even been told who some of her campaign team is but so far I have seen nothing.  If she does run I do not think she can win but how will she change the vote?  Who benefits from her being in the race?

Esquimalt Council
All six incumbents are running and several strong new comers, in fact four people I could call strong contenders.  2014 is a very different race than 2011 when only 8 people ran for council of which only three were incumbents.   Even thought it is still a month to the close of nominations, 2014 looks like it will be the strongest field for council in a generation.

Normally in our local elections incumbents have a huge advantage because of how the system works.  One impact of having all the incumbents run and four strong contenders is that the electoral math improves for the challengers.  

Our municipal electoral system is about the worst possible voting system you could devise.   When you can choose up to six for Esquimalt Council how people approach this makes for huge impacts on the outcomes.   There are two major tendencies.  The politically active tend to only cast a couple of votes for the people they really like.   The majority of the public will vote all six of their ballots which means they are looking for names to round out their ballot.   It means that each voter a new candidate attracts to the polls will on average give half a vote to each of the incumbents because they do not know any of the other people on the ballot.   With four stronger challengers in Esquimalt this time that is much less likely to happen because the public will know enough challenger names to dilute the benefit to the incumbents

With the improved electoral math I think the ten most serious candidates all have a reasonable chance of being elected.

Sidney Mayor
With Larry Cross not running for re-election which opens the seat up and there are two clear strong challengers for the position.

  • Don Amos - the mayor from 1996 to 2008
  • Steve Price, current councilor backed the existing council and the outgoing mayor

I am very interested to understand what the dynamic is in this election.  Why is Don Amos not getting support of any or the existing councilors?  Why have the existing councilors and outgoing mayor been so quick to endorse Steve Price?  Is Don Amos the Mel Couvelier of 2014?  Mel ran in 2008 and badly lost to Larry Cross.

Yes, there is a third candidate in the race, Steve Duck, but I can not see how he will have any chance at all in the election.  To get elected in Sidney it matters how strong your local networks are and Don Amos and Steve Price both are networked to the hilt

Sooke Mayor
This is the sixth election in Sooke and we will see the town elect their fourth mayor.   Longevity in office does not seem to be a Sooke thing.

Wendal Milne was elected in 2011 but is not running again.  There are three sitting councilors that plan to run to replace him.

  • Herb Haldane
  • Kevin Peason
  • Maja Tait

A three way serious race will make it very interesting

Others

  • The Central Saanich mayor's race may become interesting.  
  • North Saanich is very divided so I would expect there to be some fireworks in the mayor and council race.   The question is does Ted Daly want to be mayor again?
  • I do not expect the Saanich mayor's race to be very competitive and I do not think the council race will see any of the incumbents lose



Tuesday, September 09, 2014

45.5% of the Greater Victoria population will have a chance to vote in an amalgamation referendum

Last night both Esquimalt and Sidney agreed to put an amalgamation referendum on the ballot bringing the total number of local governments holding a referendum up to five.

Here is the list of all the municipalities in the CRD ranked by 2011 census population - green ones are holding a referendum, red are not

  • Saanich        109,752
  • Victoria        80,017 
  • Langford        29,228 
  • Oak Bay         18,015
  • Esquimalt       16,209  
  • Colwood         16,093  
  • Central Saanich 15,936  
  • Sooke           11,435  
  • Sidney          11,178  
  • North Saanich   11,089  
  • View Royal       9,381  
  • Metchosin        4,803   
  • Highlands        2,120
A total of 152,568 people live in the five municipalities that have agreed to hold a referendum on amalgamation, 45.5% of the population in the 13 municipalities of the CRD will get a chance to vote.    182,688 people live in in the municipalities where there is no referendum being offered, yet.  I think there is still a chance that Oak Bay and Colwood will hold amalgamation referendums.  If they do, 55.7% of the population will have a chance to vote on the issue. 

If Oak Bay and Colwood choose to hold referendums six of the seven most populous jurisdictions will be holding referendums,   Saanich sort of sticks out for not holding a referendum 

Monday, September 08, 2014

Interview with Jim Legh of Pro-Amalgamation on CBC Radio One September 8...

Tell the world about who you are supporting in the 2014 local elections and why

In 2008 and 2011 I know a lot of people checked out my blog to find out about the candidates running in the local elections. tens of thousands in the last few days of the election.   People are trying to find out as much as they can about the candidates.

I believe it is important for people to know who their options are at the ballot box.  More information is better and because of that I offer space on my blog for anyone wanting to write a piece on who they are voting for and why.

I will post your submission unedited.

Beyond liable and slander, the only restriction is that I will not post screeds that are simply attacks against someone else.

I will happily sit down over coffee with anyone running and post my take on our meeting online.  

I can be reached at
778-265-1647
snassillahie@gmail.com
BC Iconoclast on twitter

Public Meeting Tuesday Sept 9th 6 pm to 8 pm for Pro-Amalgamation

Pro-Amalgamation will have a public meeting of the party (drop in) on September 9, 2014 from 6 pm to 8 pm, at:

Uptown Shopping Centre, 3440 Saanich Road
The Community Meeting Room
Located on Level 1 Green next to Guest Services,
Near the Walmart store entrance
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 from 6 pm to 8 pm

We will have people with signs to direct you the meeting room

Everyone is welcome to join in to hear how they can help win the referendum and tell our politicians what we want. Now is the time to stand up for what the Capital Region of British Columbia needs.