Esquimalt mayor seeks re-election
By Rebecca Aldous - Victoria News
Published: July 18, 2008 11:00 AM
Updated: July 18, 2008 11:35 AM
Not only is Esquimalt Mayor Chris Clement putting his name in the hat for the 2008 mayoral race, but if elected he’s also aiming for the Capital Regional District’s top job.
The veteran politician, running in his eighth municipal election, said it’s important for Esquimalt to chair the CRD board, something the municipality has never done.
Last year, Clement lost the race for the CRD chairmanship to Langford councillor Denise Blackwell, but he’s confident he would win the appointment if re-elected to the political arena.
Clement serves on the CRD board, as well as the district’s core area liquid waste management, planning and protective services and finance and corporate services committees.
Back on Clement’s municipal turf, no newcomers have entered the mayoral race set between him and Coun. Barbara Desjardins.
Clement said he is going to stand on his record and the huge leaps forward Esquimalt has made toward becoming environmentally focused and sustainable.
“I think we are moving in the right direction,” he said.
Both candidates agreed major election topics will be how Esquimalt fits into the CRD’s sewage treatment plan and ongoing policing issues around the amalgamated Esquimalt and Victoria forces.
But Desjardins said it’s time for change.
If elected Desjardins promises to address issues in a quicker proactive manner. She wants to continue to ensure the public is included in municipal processes, such as the Esquimalt Village Project.
“All through the term I stood up for public input, public consultation and at times I feel we haven’t done enough of that,” said the first-term councillor.
The municipality relies too heavily on property and business taxes, she said, it needs to research alternative income, such as development cost charges.
Desjardins added she is proud to have voted in favour of keeping the Archie Browning Sport centre during her three-year term.
Both candidates welcome the inevitable shift in council as four seats are slated to be open this election. Anybody who runs for council wants to work for the good of the community, Clement said, the key is to check one’s personal issues at the door.
Desjardins hopes to see some younger people join the municipal race.