Friday, August 29, 2008

Downtown advocate joins city council race

Carolyn Heiman, Times Colonist

Published: Friday, August 29, 2008

The ballot with names of people wanting to be Victoria city councillors is getting crowded.

Robert Randall, the president of the Downtown Residents Association and passionate urbanist, is the 11th person to announce he will run for a council seat. More are expected today.

Randall popped onto the civic scene about five years ago and is among a handful of citizens who regularly attend council and committee of the whole meetings. He is also active on several community committees.

His journey into civic affairs began as an artist interested in urban form and specifically the architecture shaping Victoria's downtown.

"Then I discovered there was a venue to get involved, which was the community association," Randall said.

Born and raised in Victoria, Randall said he fell in love with living downtown after he became the second person to purchase a 357-square-foot apartment in the Mosaic Building on Fort Street.

"As soon as I moved I said 'this is my new home....I have never regretted living downtown."

Randall puts the top issue facing the city as keeping the momentum started by the Greater Victoria Commission to End Homelessness. "We've done so much work to get it going...Unless we have a firm hand on it we will lose it."

His second priority is encouraging development to continue in the downtown.

In particular council has to find way to make it possible for developers to build rental projects in a creative way, he said.

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