The mandate of a City Councillor is laid out in the BC Govt Community Charter – Chapter 26. More importantly, a city councillor’s job is to listen.
Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia and has tremendous potential. We need to capitalize on our strengths and not settle for second-best.
To meet the challenges of the 21st Century, to accommodate the growth of the community and inevitable changes that will occur, I will focus on:
- CURB PROPERTY TAX RISES over the next Council period. In the last six years, property taxes have risen over 34%.
- ENSURING THE PLAN FOR PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION LIMITATIONS for non-profits will not force many in this the sector to close their doors.
- SLOWING THE EXPANSION of the City Hall budget – why does the Communication Team’s budget continue to expand +15% in last year alone?
- REVITALIZING & CLEANING UP our downtown. The near 10% vacancy rate is a sure indication that change needs to happen. Boarded-up storefronts are unacceptable.
- DEVELOPING A YEAR-ROUND TOURISM STRATEGY in cooperation with downtown businesses & the Greater Victoria tourism industry.
- COMPLETION OF VICTORIA’S INNER HARBOUR as our showpiece for both residents and visitors.
- ENSURING that the City’s approach towards caring for the disadvantaged is a socially-responsible one.
- TACKLING the “A” word – amalgamation – and respond to the results of the referendum on election day intelligently. Increased integration between the 13 Greater Victoria municipalities is a logical and efficient way to provide services to our residents.
- The City of Victoria’s expected growth requires planning. Surrounded by water on three sides limits our ability to expand and building outwards is not an option. We want more people and businesses in the City to provide diversity and create a fairer tax base.
- Real transparency in City Council and less retreating into the cloaked-in-secrecy in camera meetings.
And of course
- The Johnson St Bridge replacement where the budget started at $63m and currently stands at around $93m with no end in sight. Jonathan Huggett, the veteran engineer-consultant now hired by the City to review the project, points the finger at City mismanagement, lack of coordination and a lack of leadership. Change needs to happen now.
- “Merde” as our francophone Canadians would say, and the City of Victoria is deep into this with the stalled sewage treatment project. Again, leadership is needed to find an overall solution. Whether we like it or not, the region has to treat its sewage.