I am glad to see that Paul Gerrard will be trying again to get elected to Saanich council this fall. I will not be able to vote for him because I live in the city of Victoria, though 80% of my neighbourhood is in Saanich and Paul Gerrard has been a real mover and shaker in making the whole neighbourhood a better place over the years.
My plans are to give him a donation and also to likely do some volunteering on his campaign.
Paul Gerrard is a prime example of one of the core problems with local politics in Victoria. Our one town is divided into a number of municipalities that have no connection to living, working and playing patterns of those of us who live here. Because we have 13 municipalities, when it comes to election time the regional media (T-C, CFAX, A Channel etc....) do not cover the local elections in any detail. Saanich has about 120 000 people living in it and no effective way for anyone running for council to be known over the whole municipality.
In 2005 Paul Gerrard ran for council and campaigned hard but did not get elected. He lost because his name was not well enough known. Honestly, most people in Saanich could not access enough information about the candidates running to make a decision and therefore stayed home.
If we were to amalgamate the core municipalities, we will see more people engaged in the elections because they will know the people running. It will also mean that the people running will have to all campaign more and the people who work harder campaigning will be more likely to get elected than now.
I wish Paul lots of luck and success, though I wish he was running for mayor because he is the sort of man Saanich needs as mayor now.