Thursday, October 18, 2018

Trevor Barry Surprised Me - I am voting for him for Saanich Council

I have to admit when I saw Trevor Barry at the first All Candidates Meeting in Gordon Head, I thought he was not taking the process seriously and was only running as sort of a statement. I basically dismissed him as a serious candidate.  It turns out that I completely misread him.  This is a candidate that we should put on council.

At the all candidates meetings you only get to hear a few minutes from each candidate, so it took me a number of them to see that Trevor comes up with smart, innovative and unique solutions very quickly.  I can see that he is someone different from anyone that has been on Saanich council in the past (or at least as far back I can remember which is about 35 years.)

I had a chance to have a coffee with Trevor one evening this week and I have become a convert and a strong supporter.

Here is why you should consider Trevor Barry for Saanich council:

  • He has the sort of mind that looks for new solutions; he is not wedded to the status quo
  • He is very knowledgeable about infrastructure and planning -- and a very fast learner
  • He contributes smart, useful ideas and has a record of delivering (I found about this from my partner who sat on a committee with him re safe bicycle commuting)
  • He is positive and an optimist --  but also realistic
  • He is running because he believes he can offer something to better our community through the council table
  • He is willing to take risks
  • He walks to a different drum saxophone and has a song in his heart

While I would be thrilled to see Trevor elected on October 20, I am realistic about his chances: he entered the race late and has flown a bit too far under the radar to have strong hope of winning.
However, I believe that we should support him in this election and see if we can make it happen.
If Trevor doesn't win a seat this time around, my hope is that he will run and win a seat in the next election in 2022 because his creative mind and energy would be a huge boost for Saanich.

I support Trevor Barry for Saanich Council.

Saanich needs Susan Brice to be re-elected

There are a host of reasons why I support Susan Brice but today I only want to focus on one of them: her understanding of good governance.

In local government, Susan has been a school district trustee, school board chair, Oak Bay councillor and then mayor, MLA and cabinet minister and is now a Saanich councillor and CRD director.

She has also been the chair of the Greater Victoria Transit Commission, deputy chair of the BC Police Commission, and a director at the Victoria Airport Authority.

The reason for Susan's success in all these roles is that she understands the process of governance very well.   Few people have had a leadership role in so many different governance situations as she has had. In fact, I can not think of another person in this region that has the breadth and depth of governance knowledge and experience that Susan has.

Saanich needs one experienced member of council that understands how good governance works and can exemplify show a positive way to work together to achieve the best for Saanich.  From this election, Saanich will have at least four new councillors that will greatly benefit from having Susan being at the table to learn how to govern.  Without someone with Susan's experience, the next council risks being much less capable, making needless mistakes and thus being less effective and efficient than its potential.

I ask you to cast one of your votes in Saanich for Susan Brice.

Quickly, other reasons I support Susan:
  • She is kind and non-judgemental;
  • She is firm in her beliefs but does not push them on others;
  • She is a cheerful and approachable person;
  • She has a passion for a better world;
  • Her own ego is much less important to her than actually getting things done well;
  • She will happily mentor other elected officials even if they do not agree with her politically.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Colin Plant - he is a role model for positive leadership in local government


In June of 2014, a friend suggested I meet Colin Plant who had decided to run for Saanich council. Over the last 20 years, I have sat down with a lot of people considering running for local government and talked with them about what it takes to win. Some have been good, most alright, a few bad and one actually rather scary. I looked at Colin's website and based on that I was expecting to meet another ok candidate.
I started our coffee with some very blunt comments that pushed him to explain why anyone should care about him being elected. Colin handled it well and quickly showed me that he has some very important virtues for anyone elected to a council. His core character is why he has been one of the best first-term councillors I have ever seen
Colin Listens
He really listens. He takes in what he hears and really considers it. Some people can act like they are listening and do all the right head movements but Colin really listens.
Colin not only listens to advice he also seeks it out. He considers the advice he receives and then decides for himself how to use it. As an example, in this election, I suggested he use his mornings to meet the public at various coffee shops in Saanich. He took this advice as a starting point and then decided he would invite his competition to join him at them. I told him that politically this may not a good idea, he heard what I had to say but trusted his vision would work. He was right.
Being a new councillor, Colin sought out experienced municipal elected officials to ask them about the process of local governance. He knew he needed to listen to learn.
Colin is Positive
Colin is someone that looks for a positive way forward. He has no time for the bad-mouthing of others. He believes a win-win solution something one should always strive for.
Colin wants everyone to be treated with respect and even chides me when I get negative about people.
Colin does not dismiss people because their political views are not his. He does not dismiss people that get emotional and angry; he treats them all with respect.
Colin is a Leader
Saanich has had a council without any leadership but Colin has been able to bring some by finding ways to work with people on the council.
He is the sort of person that can bring a group of people together and get them to cooperatively work on a project. His has a soft leadership style that makes people want to help out. A leadership that is without a lot of ego. A leadership that lets others own their success.
There are two clear actions he took in this election that show this. He livestreamed each of the all-candidate meetings because he knew many people would want to watch from home. Inviting his competition to join him in his morning coffee chat tour of Saanich shows his collaborative leadership style.
Colin makes decisions based on evidence and not ideology.
Colin will show up at the homes of Saanich residents who have issues in order to better understand the issue on the ground. He reads all relevant information before coming to the council chamber and is ready with questions or comments. In fact, he reads it far enough in advance that he can seek his own information or data.
Colin has come up to speed on how local governance works very quickly; this was crucial in order for him to be comfortable making the decisions he was presented with.
Colin Cares
This man is not cynical or blase about the world. His empathy for people and their situations are simply a part of who he is.
Please vote for Colin Plant.
I helped Colin in 2014 and again this time around. I can not think of a better candidate running anywhere in this region.and ask you in his own words "Please vote for Colin Plant"

Video of the Saanich All Candiates Meeting at Claremont Oct 2 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

In Central Saanich I support Carl Jensen and Niall Paltiel

Carl Jensen is not only a genuinely nice guy on every level, but he is also smart open-minded and makes well thought out decisions even when he knows there will be people unhappy with the decision.   He also brings a very keen understanding of finances, every council needs at least one person like this and frankly, both Victoria and Saanich would hugely benefit if he were on those councils.

I have trouble thinking of any more effective young councillors than Niall, not only at the moment but ever in my life.   He is proof of something I have thought for a long time, being an effective councillor is much more about the character of the person than what they have done with their life.   In some ways I think people who have risen high in the public sector or business are often unwilling to accept there is a major learning curve when it comes to being on a local government.  Niall knows he is young and because of that put more energy into understanding good local governance.

Many young people that are elected as councillors come with unrealistic visions of what can be done and quickly burn out.   Niall is not that sort of person. 

Central Saanich benefits from having both these men on the council, please vote for them.

Why I am only voting for Ryan Painter for the Greater Victoria School District

In general, I think school boards are a joke and would love it if the province were to simply abolish them and put all schools directly under the ministry.   I have trouble being interested in the race let alone be excited.  But Ryan Painter is different.

I am voting for Ryan for a number of reasons:
1) He has the right skills and abilities to be a good elected official.   I wish he were running for a council seat because being on the school board will not make use of what he is capable of. 

2) The single most important issue why I do want him elected to the school board is because he will make mental health a major focus.   At the moment our schools utterly fail youth when it comes to anything to do with mental health and I would argue foster a negative environment that causes mental health issues to be worse.

I have known since about 2002 that the public school system is not only incapable of dealing with mental health issues but in fact goes out of its way marginalize youth with mental health issues.   I will not go into the details for a host of reasons, all I will say is that the public school system has made things worse and their only argument is "we do not have the money".   So the kids with mental health issues effectively get kicked out of the public schools.   That is intolerable.

I am convinced Ryan will be the person that will actually do something about this.   He is the only person that has done anything to earn my vote.


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Why I support Damien Kowalewich, Nathan Daisley and Adam Flint for View Royal council

I lived in View Royal for a bit and still live very close by, it also is where I do a lot of my basic grocery shopping.   Here is why I would vote for Damian Kowalewich, Nathan Daisley and Adam Flint.

What all three share:   a passion for View Royal, hard-working people that by nature go the extra mile, and open to new ideas.

Damian Kowalewich was elected to View Royal council in a by-election a year ago.   From what I have seen he has been a very good councillor.   The qualities I like about him are that he is smart, hardworking and sees the bigger picture.   I see him as someone on the council that will push View Royal to be a lot more than what it has been.   Too often the View Royal council has just sort of gone along without a strong voice at the table expressing a real vision.

What is his biggest weakness?   In my opinion, View Royal is not the political stage that will make the best use of his skills because it is such a small municipality.   This is a guy who could be a good mayor for Saanich or Victoria or be an effective MLA or MP. 

Nathan Daisley is an interesting choice for View Royal council not because he is young but because he brings some perspectives that no one has ever had on View Royal council. 

Nathan is only 20 so one can not ignore that he is a young person but he grew up in View Royal he can see what is lacking for the youth.   As an example, he understands the problems of transit on a very personal level.   No one else can speak of View Royal as their hometown.

Nathan would be, as far as I can tell,  the first person elected to the council that is not a homeowner and is not from a family that owns their own home.   Local government is overly dominated by people that are homeowners.   In View Royal, the majority of people do not have their name on any land title.  I believe it is beneficial for every municipality to have at least one non-homeowner on the council and Nathan can be that person in View Royal.

Nathan is smart, personable and never tries to pretend he is something he is not.

In my view, his biggest weakness is that as a young person his life is changing a lot and these changes may take him away from View Royal in less than four years.

Adam Flint is the consummate community person.   He is the sort of guy that knows everyone.   Having a coffee with him is a hard thing to do because so many people know him and say hi. 

I did not back him the by-election last year because only one person could be elected and I thought Nathan or Damian would a better choice for the single seat at that time.   With four people to be elected he is a good choice.

He is the sort of approachable person that will give people in View Royal a very personal connection to council   It is a rare person that can really to that but it is what you should expect from Adam

Adam's strong sense of community brings with it an ability to see how developments and the OCP will benefit (or not) the community.   In 8 to 12 years this man will most likely be the mayor of View Royal.   He is the sort of person that is well suited to being a mayor and could go down as Mr View Royal over time.

I do not see many serious downsides to Adam but I worry he may not speak up loudly enough for what matters to him and I say that because I still do not get a strong sense of what his vision is for View Royal.

If you live in View Royal, please consider these three candidates on October 20th.

Friday, February 23, 2018

2017 View Royal By-election Financial Analysis

These are the figures for money raised and spent by each candidate in 2017 Saanich Council by-election.   Also included is how much was donated by unions, businesses and the candidate themselves.

All amounts rounded to the nearest dollar, candidates are in order of how they finished in the election.

Candidate         raised   spent union business personal
Damian Kowalewich $1,626  $1,626   $0     $0    $1,126
Nathan Daisley    $3,073  $2,743   $0     $0    $1,516
Adam Flint        $1,915  $1,915   $0   $500      $715
Mark Brennan          $0    $200   $0     $0        $0 (1)
Angela Hanes        $600    $597   $0     $0      $600   
Jodi Zwicker        $780    $780   $0     $0      $780   

1) His form shows he spent $200 but raised no money, I assume the $200 is from himself

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 Saanich By-election Financial Analysis

These are the figures for money raised and spent by each candidate in 2017 Saanich Council by-election.   Also included is how much was donated by unions, businesses and the candidate themselves.

All amounts rounded to the nearest dollar, candidates are in order of how they finished in the election.

NOTE:  The disclosure statements will still be altered so these are not the final numbers

Candidate          raised   spent   union business personal
Karen Harper      $33,477  $33,477     $0  $8,700  $9,829 (1)
Rebecca Merserau  $22,804  $22,804     $0  $1,500  $6,192 (2)
Nathalie Chambers $19,830  $19,830   $500      $0      $0 (3) 
Michael Geoghegan $15,550  $16,648 $1,500  $4,100      $0 (4) 
Ned Taylor         $1,895   $1,457     $0      $0    $180 (5)
Rob Wickson        $6,714   $5,877     $0  $1,050  $5,000
Shawn Newby        $1,450   $2,427     $0      $0  $1,000
Marsha Henderson     $873     $872     $0    $693      $0 (6)
Keith Davidoff       $112      $12     $0      $0      $0 (7)
Art Pollard          $360      $53     $0      $0    $100
TOTALS           $103,065 $103,457 $2,000 $16,093 $22,301

(1) $4,615 donated by Harbhajun Sall $3,000, donated by Mike Geric construction, $5,000 donated by a company controlled by Allen Vandekerkhove
(2) $10,200 donated by Naomi Devine $150 from Janet Mersereau
(3) $611 donated by David Chambers, $2,000 donated by Jennifer Whitfield, $200 donated by Sylvia Olsen, $3,000 donated by Ted Newman, $200 donated by former NDP MLA Gary Holman, $100 donated by Central Saanich Councilor Alicia Holman.  The return seems to be missing some details
(4) $100 donated by Irene Geoghegan, $1,500 donated by the Victoria Building Trades Council, $1,000 donated by Farmacy, $5,000 donated by Allen Vandekerkhove, $2,000 donated by Baked Edibles.  The return seems to be missing some details 
(5) $100 each from Matt Taylor and Daphne Taylor
(6) The return seems to be missing some details
(7) $100 donated by Ida Chong, the return seems to be missing some details

Sunday, December 17, 2017

2014 Victoria Council Election Financial Analysis

These are the figures for money raised and spent by each candidate in 2014 municipal election.   Also included is how much was donated by unions, businesses and the candidate themselves.

All amounts rounded to the nearest dollar, candidates are in order of how they finished in the election

Mayor
Candidate       raised    spent    union business personal
Lisa Helps      $88,564  $88,309      $0 $44,875  $2,975 (1)
Dean Fortin    $128,999 $128,552 $38,250 $49,305  $5,355 (2)
Ida Chong      $113,402 $113,402      $0 $88,286    $472 (3)
Stephen Andrew  $76,316  $77,042      $0  $3,474 $28,919 (4)
Robert Duncan      $190     $190      $0      $0    $190      
Jason Ross           $0       $0      $0      $0      $0     
David Shebib         $0       $0      $0      $0      $0    
Riga Godron          $0       $0      $0      $0      $0       

Council - 8 to be elected  
Candidate              raised  spent  union business personal
Benjamin Isitt        $25,821 $26,260 $12,515     $0      $0 (5)   
Charlayne Thornton-Joe $7,598  $7,897      $0 $2,184      $0 (6)
Marianne Alto         $26,550 $25,795  $2,450 $2,978 $12,361 (7)    
Jeremy Loveday        $22,532 $22,321 $10,811 $5,570      $0 (8)    
Pamela Madoff         $11,440 $11,180  $1,150 $3,090      $0 (9)  
Geoff Young            $8,216  $6,992      $0   $992  $5,253   
Margaret Lucas        $13,836 $13,629      $0 $5,857    $500   
Christopher Coleman    $7,643  $8,078      $0 $1,388  $2,515
Erik Kaye             $17,646 $17,700  $5,000   $500    $100 (10)
John Luton            $11,845 $12,368  $3,800 $2,543      $0 (11)
Hilary Groos          $11,143 $10,914      $0 $3,336  $1,080 (12)   
Justin Stephenson     $20,217 $20,218      $0 $5,199  $9,091 (13)
Andrew Reeve           $7,046  $7,046      $0 $1,346    $491 (14)
Steve Filipovic        $1,454  $1,482      $0     $0  $1,154 (15)
Ian Hoar               $1,709  $1,649      $0   $500      $0      
Paul Servos            $1,639  $1,639      $0   $461  $1,639 (16)
Ryan Moen                $183    $183      $0     $0    $183
Sean Murray              $751    $751      $0     $0    $751     
Jonathan Carroll         $648    $643      $0     $0    $148     
Jeffrey Olafson          $150    $150      $0     $0    $150       
Gordon MacKinnon         $847    $604      $0     $0    $822   
Saul Andersen             $80     $80      $0     $0      $0
John Stewart           $1,764  $1,764      $0     $0  $1,764    
James Harasymow           $20     $20      $0     $0      $0

(1) Council candidate Justin Stephenson donated $1,000.  Bob and Judy Skene donated $5,000, ANGO Developments donated $5,000.  Evaluation PR Corp donated $3,000.   Businesses controlled by Chris LeFevre and Steve Naim donated $5,000.  Marianne Unger donated $9,981.  Veronica Vander Heiden donated $2,500.  Businesses controlled by Leigh Large donated $5,000
(2) BCGEU donated $10,600, CLC donated $5,000, CUPE local 50 donated $5,100.  CUPE BC donated $5,000,. Janice Wie Yin Tang donated $2,000.  MLA Lana Popham donated $100.  MP Murray Rankin donated $100. Patricia Mariash donated $5,000.  Townline Homes donated $5,000.  Victoria Labour Council donated $6,650
(3) Bard and Banker/Irish Times/Penny Farthing donated $18,893.  Stephen Clark donated $2,000.  Pacific Beach Investments donated $5,000.  Gustavson Capital Corp donated $5,000. Businesses controlled by Jim and Frank Carson donated $5,000.  Liberal MLA Moira Stilwell donated $100.  Focus Unlimited Partnership donated $10,000
(4) $6,075 donated by Chris Spence
(5) MP Murray Rankin donated $400.  CUPE BC donated $5,400.  CUPE local 50 donated $3,000.  Morgan Stewart $2,200
(6) Council candidate Margaret Lucas donated $100
(7) Lana Popham donated $150.  MPs Randall Garrison and Murray Rankin both donated $100
(8) CUPE BC donated $3,000.  CUPE local 50 donated $4,500.  MLA Lana Popham donated $200.  MP Murray Rankin donated $300.  Matthew Davidson WebSite Design donated $2,000.  Media One Inc donated $2,500
(9) Former MP Denise Savoie donated $100.  $3,086 surplus funds from 2011 campaign.
(10) MP Murray Rankin donated $1,000
(11) Former MLA David Cubberly donated $500.  Liane Luton donated $100.  Vlad Luton donated $100.  Former Colwood councilor Ernest Robertson donated $1,877 though in relation to cost sharing an add with Colwood council candidate Lilja Chong.
(12)Former mayor Peter Pollen donated $382 
(13) Catherine Stephenson donated $100.  Carolyn Stephenson donated $1,000.   A.R. Lobmeier Inc donated $4,902
(14) Former MLA Ida Chong donated $100.   Former Colwood councilor Ernest Robertson donated $1,261 
(15) $200 from Mo Filipovic and $100 from Sherry Filipovic
(16) The $461 business donation was from his own business