Birthday: June 1, 1944
Personal background: I was born and raised in Saanich and have been a resident of the municipality for my entire life. I am married and continues to live in Saanich with my wife and daughter.
Professional background: Prior to being elected to Council, I was a successful school teacher in School District 61 (Greater Victoria). Some of the highlights of my career are having coached for almost 20 years, including several provincial championship teams and individuals. I also started one of the first, if not the very first, computer multimedia labs in B.C.
Political/community experience: I was first elected to Council in 2002 and became a CRD Director in 2005. This term I have been chair of the arts, culture and heritage committee and been a council liaison to the heritage foundation and Saanich purchasing department. At the Capital Region, I am a director on the Hospital Board, and a vice-chair on the environmental committee, water commission and planning, transportation and protective services committee. I am the former presidents and vice-president of the North Quadra Residents Association (1990 to 2002) and I co-founded the Saanich Community Associations Network.
What will be the most pressing issue for Saanich council to deal with in the 2011-2014 term?
There are many, but perhaps the most pressing is to accelerate the process of visionary planning for the future of Saanich and the region. We have made a hesitant start but need to move much more quickly. Without this sort of planning, which “sets the stage” for all of our actions and decision making, we will fail to accomplish many of our goals. We must also put in place processes to insure that existing plans such as the Official Community Plan (OCP) and Climate Change Action Plan actually influence our decisions. To do this, we must “embed” our plans and goals into our decision making process. Finally, we must continually strive to be fiscally sustainable.
What is your proudest accomplishment from this current term on council?
Pushing Council to become greener and more responsive to the community is my proudest achievement. Council now, routinely, takes positions that “weren’t even on the radar a few years ago”. I have also pushed Council towards the kind of visionary planning that has not really been done in Saanich since the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Finally, I am proud of my role at the CRD in insuring that the integrity of the Regional Growth Strategy is protected.
What has been the biggest failure of the current council?
I believe the current Council is the best I have sat on. Nevertheless, Council continues to move far too slowly towards the long range planning we need to do. As a result, many applications come to us as “one-offs” and it is not clear what they fit into. We cannot afford this sort of approach any longer if we are going to build the community citizens want for our future. At times, Council has failed to insure that existing plans and goals consistently influence our day to day decision making.
How do you attract unengaged voters to participate and be interested in municipal politics?
The best way to engage voters is to use every means possible to let them know the importance of municipal issues and the consequences of bad choices. I have tried to do this in a number of ways including frequent appearances on the radio, articles submitted to the media and presentations of The Natural City, an approach to urban sustainability I developed.