Saturday, August 30, 2008

John Farquharson running for Victoria Council

Candidate seeks 'new way of doing business'

Carolyn Heiman, Times Colonist

Published: Saturday, August 30, 2008

An organizational consultant and neighbourhood advocate is the 12th person to say he will seek a seat on Victoria city council.

John Farquharson said he's running because "what is getting done at city hall isn't enough and it takes way too long. We need a new way of doing business."

Farquharson said council members are polarized. Better collaboration is needed to make progress on goals.

With the development boom ebbing, the city has a perfect opportunity to consult with citizens and come up with a vision for Victoria that is three generations out.

That plan should be used to guide every decision at council, Farquharson said.

"It doesn't have to move a mile. Inch by inch, it will collectively add up to make it happen."

Farquharson was chairman of the Gonzales Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee when the area agreed to open the doors to secondary suites, an idea that seemed radical at the time but was supported by residents and ended up being the model for a citywide policy on the issue.

Neighbouring municipalities are now looking at similar policies.

He followed that with a stint as chairman of the Victoria Greenways Plan steering committee, which resulted in a planning document aimed at linking pathways throughout the city to make it more pedestrian friendly.

Farquharson worries that downtown Victoria is in peril. "If we don't do something in the next three years we will lose it. Once you lose something it takes forever to get it back. We need to do a lot more for downtown communities than we are currently doing.

He calls himself an independent candidate.

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