Byelection: Development and governance among key issues
BY KIM WESTAD, TIMES COLONIST OCTOBER 24, 2010
One of the six candidates vying for two North Saanich council seats in the Nov. 20 byelection already has his eyes on the top job come the next full election.
Former councillor Wally Du Temple said he'll run for the mayor's seat come the 2011 municipal election.
"I think it's time for a new mayor," the owner of the Ardmore Golf Course said. "I'm running in the by-election to run again in the full campaign."
Alice Finall is the current mayor.
Two council seats became available for the remainder of the three-year term -- which is over in one year -- after Bob Shaw and Sheilah Fea resigned. The two said they were consistently outvoted by the remainder of council and were also frustrated at how some personnel issues had been dealt with.
Du Temple, a former North Saanich councillor, said he's running for the one-year council seat largely because he's upset that North Saanich does not fund the Mary Winspear Centre the way Sidney does.
"Sidney supports the centre with twice the amount of operational expenses that North Saanich gives," Du Temple said.
Dunstan Browne, 67, a lawyer, and Craig Mearns, a 68-year-old developer and businessman, are the only ones running on a slate. Mearns said, if elected, the two "will be marginalized" on council since they likely wouldn't vote the same as the other five on numerous issues.
"I don't think we'd see eye to eye with a lot of things these guys do," Mearns said. Still, there are "a whole bunch of issues about good governance that aren't being addressed," and being in the minority doesn't stop them from being brought up.
Mearns, who lives on the waterfront, said he's also concerned about municipal legislation that limits how homeowners deal with the waterfront. "It's very restrictive." He also says that private property rights have eroded and that restrictive legislation is making it increasingly expensive to live in North Saanich.
Browne, who ran unsuccessfully for council before, was previously a councillor in Natal, South Africa. "I sense that there's unhappiness within the council. It's time to bring some common sense, some courtesy back into council."
Artist and farmer Heather Goulet, who was previously on council, wants to bring her experience back to the table. Goulet said: "I'm an independent. Council needs independent thinkers."
Jan Fellenius, 47, hasn't held a council seat before but chairs the municipality's environmental advisory commission.
The engineer and environmental scientist said he wouldn't label himself as either pro- or anti-development. "The thing is to do it in a sustainable way," he said.
Robin Herlinveaux, 58, ran in 2005 and "missed the boat." Herlinveaux, a farmer, has lived in North Saanich for 35 years. He is against development on farmland, or "tweaking" of the Agricultural Land Reserve property.
A candidates meeting will be held Nov. 9 at the Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church.
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