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Referendum Question – Amalgamation with North Saanich and Sidney

Provincial, Municipal, Central Saanich Municipality 1 Comment »

Below is an email I sent to Mayor and Council regarding adding Amalgamation with North Saanich and Sidney as a referendum question.

____________________________________

To Mayor and Council,

I am writing to request that you add the question, “Do you support amalgamation with North Saanich and Sidney”, to the referendum questions the voters will be asked this November 15th.

The District of Central Saanich is already spending $20 000 on adding referendum questions to the ballot and I believe it is important to maximize the return on this investment. Amalgamation is an big topic and it would be wise to allow the voters to have a voice on how they would like their municipal government structured.

The additional cost to collect and compile the data for this question is minimal, and by taking this initiative we can move towards bringing the discussion on amalgamation to a close. If the voters are against it, the discussion is settled. If the voters are for it, we can begin moving forward on amalgamation and taking advantage of the grants setup by the Provincial Government.

Either way, knowing the will of the people of Central Saanich regarding amalgamation would be an asset to the incoming Mayor and Council.

Sincerely,

Sean McNulty
Mayoral Candidate in Central Saanich
7081 Central Saanich Rd
Saanichton, BC  V8M 1Y3

Town Hall Speech - July 21st

Central Saanich Municipality 3 Comments »


The Hill Update

Municipal, Central Saanich Municipality 2 Comments »

As a supporter of the Vantreight proposal, I am on the mailing list and receive updates regarding the progress of the proposal.

Below is a copy of the latest email update.

Sean

__________________________________
Hello All,

It has been sometime since my last update for you on the Hill and I’m sad to say I don’t have a lot that is positive to give you.  After the formal rejection of our 264 unit plan for the Hill by Council on January 21st, but being told to maybe come back with something less dense, so we worked towards that goal.

With Daffodil season coming on and all that is entailed there, my Hill Project team worked long and hard to come up with 5 new different layouts for the Planning Department to look at.  On April 16th my team and I met with both the Planner, Hope Burns and her assistant Bruce Gregg, presenting them with the 5 new plans for layout.  These varyed from 125 mixed family units, less than half the January application number, down to as low as 67 single family lots, which is 1/4 the density of our January application.

It took until June 18th to get a formal reply from the Planning Department, that in essence said, “Still too dense.”

So now we have reworked our plans again and to find that with this being July 21st, the earliest that we could get before the Planning Committee and Council with a new plan and application would be September, is disappointing to say the least.  With the OCP Draft 2 taking up the July 28th special Council meeting and the only meeting for Councilors in August is on the 18th and its agenda is already full, and with no committee meetings through the summer that would mean that an application from me would not go before Council until September.  With the September 8th being a special Council meeting and the first Planning Committee that could review the application would not be until Sept 14, so if my understanding is correct an application would not get before Council for some 2 months from now.

I have to say this is disappointing and disheartening to say the least.  One more nail instead of a flower, but upward and onward. We are not down for the count and that’s what it may come down to.  A count in November’s election.

We’ll see and keep you posted.  Don’t loose faith.  I haven’t, yet.

I will send you the plan we finalize for you thoughts and input once we have it finalized.  Stay tuned.

Thank you.

Ian Vantreight 

http://www.daffodil.com/

Town Hall Meeting Tonight

Central Saanich Municipality 1 Comment »

There is a town hall meeting tonight put on by Randy Sewell regarding the future of Central Saanich.

It will be featuring the following speakers followed by a Q & A session:

- Randy Sewell of Raven Metal Products
- Pat Faford of COOP
- Terry Steward of the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
- Sasha Angus of the Greater Victoria Economic Development Agency
- Chris Graham of the Central Saanich Council
- Sean McNulty

The meeting will be held at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Health Unit Meeting Room and will commence at 7pm.

For more information on the meeting check out the ‘facebook event’ at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=18551079110, call Randy at (250) 652-5523, or visit www.afutureforcentralsaanich.com.

Sean

SVA Park Clean Up - Saturday July 12th

Municipal, Central Saanich Municipality 4 Comments »

Last Saturday, July 12th, I had the opportunity to help out with an initiative by the Saanichton Village Association: the clean up of the municipal land at Patterson and East Saanich Road.

BEFORE

AFTER

As you can see from the pictures, this area had been allowed to go wild by the municipality. There were weeds growing everywhere, plants dying due to lack of irrigation, and a few neglected, meek-looking trees.

It looked terrible.

Thanks to the fantastic work done by the Saanichton Village Association and the volunteers it now looks tidy, clean and inviting!

I love seeing initiatives like this because it is the embodiment of bottom up improvement of a municipality and local residents taking action to make a great place even better! Both of which are cornerstones in my campaign.

That being said, it is unfortunate that the municipality hadn’t taken the initiative themselves. This piece of land is a block away from city hall, how you could drive by it on a daily basis and not make an attempt to clean it up is beyond me. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only case of this happening. There is also Adam Kerr park, located at the intersection of Central Saanich and Keating, which appears neglected. This is the entrance to our beautiful municipality and Butchart Gardens, it ought to be a showpiece!

Staying true to our campaigns principals, we at the Sean for Mayor campaign don’t just point fingers, we offer solutions. That’s why, in the coming months, we will be coming forward with our ‘Green for Green Places’ initiative. Stay tuned!

It’s also important to note that if the municipality were to allow land owners to improve upon their property, especially within the Saanichton, Keating and Brentwood Area, we would expand the tax base and therefore avoid the close to 10% tax increases we see on a consistent basis, plus have money left over to beautify our parks. Another ‘Pareto Improvement’!

I applaud the work done by the Saanichton Village Association and am excited to see what fantastic improvements they spearhead next!

Sean

The Silent Majority Tour has now visited over 1000 homes!

World, Federal, Provincial, Municipal, Central Saanich Municipality 4 Comments »

I’m proud to announce that tonight the Tour went over 1000 homes!

It’s amazing to see the diversity within our neighbourhoods in Central Saanich. I’ll knock on one door, and meet a person with a certain political viewpoint. Then right next door, I’ll meet someone else with the exact opposite political point of view. If you locked them in a room together only one would come out alive!

This is the embodiment of what makes Central Saanich, not to mention the Western World, such a fantastic place to live. Our system values individuality over conformity and protects the minority from the majority, which cultivates mutual respect for each others pursuit of happiness.

I’ll be coming to your neighbourhood soon, look forward to meeting you!

Sincerely,

Sean

A Political Approach vs a Business Approach

Municipal, Central Saanich Municipality No Comments »

What is the difference between a politician’s approach and a business person’s approach?

Let’s take a look at the issue of idling. In recent years, increasing attention has been concentrated on the problem of unnecessary idling.  This attention is mainly due to the increased focus on, and awareness of, the potentially harmful environmental effects of air pollution and gas prices. There’s no question that prolonged, unnecessary idling is undesirable, so how would these two different entities - a politician and a capitalist - attack this problem?

In Central Saanich, our politicians have come up with a “Vehicle/Equipment Idle Control Policy”. This policy aims to succeed by  “limiting idle times, reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to healthy work environments and the efficient use of municipal resources”. It outlines to whom the policy applies (all staff), some definitions of words such as “fuel” and some procedures that include limiting idle “warm up time” to five minutes and “engine idle time” to 3 minutes. It contains exceptions such as to omit emergency vehicles and if a staff member feels their safety may be compromised, they’re allowed to keep their engine on past the 3 minute mark. This is clearly an attempt to legislate away a problem, which simply doesn’t work.

The business approach, which is also my approach, would be to use “incentive engineering”.  This would entail designing a cash incentive program around that expense class, using a mutually-agreed upon weighted average of past expenditures, by department, and considering any present conditions that justify minor adjustments. It ends by offering municipal employees cash payments for reducing expenditures in that account.  The payments may only be a couple of extras dollars for some employees, but the message is clear: if you save the municipality money and resources, you make yourself money.

For example, as in this case, I would start by identifying and tracking each of the municipal crews’ consumption of fuel. Once a benchmark for average consumption of fuel was established - and this benchmark was divided out into small enough groups to encourage personal accountability - the next step is to hold each crew foreman accountable for their consumption. The incentives/disincentives could be in either cash bonuses paid out at the end of the year or in praise and accolades. The consumption savings achieved would be a win for the employee, win for the municipality, and most importantly a win for the citizens of Central Saanich; economists call this a “Pareto Improvement”.  I call this “everybody wins”.

There’s a fundamental difference between these two approaches. One relies on the arrogant political notion that because elected representatives make a policy, everyone must or will obey. The other relies on accountability, individual self interest and tangible, measurable results. Which would you prefer?

Both the politician and the businessperson want to achieve a noble goal, clearly communicate their intentions and take decisive action.  These are all important steps, and I give the Council credit for taking them here in Central Saanich. But which of the above processes is going to get the job done? 

It’s obvious that the businessperson’s approach (which could also be called the common sense approach) - though perhaps a little less safe for a delicate political career – offers the best option. This type of program is second nature to anyone who has managed private industry, put the 16 hour days in and been held accountable to real results.

I grew up working on my family company’s paving crews (Five Star Paving) and believe me, company policy wasn’t the first thing on our minds when we were in hour 10 in the 30 degree heat laying out 200 degree asphalt mix. But I can tell you what was on our mind: payday!

This common sense, business approach is the one I’ll use to tackle problems and make Central Saanich an even better place to live and work!

Central Saanich could become “Economic Ghost Town” - CFAX 1070

Municipal, Central Saanich Municipality No Comments »

Below is a copy of a CFAX 1070 Top News Story on Central Saanich.

CENTRAL SAANICH COULD BECOME ‘ECONOMIC GHOST TOWN’
Jul 2, 2008

A LOCAL BUSINESS OWNER SAYS HE’S LOOKING FOR A MORE BUSINESS FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT IN CENTRAL SAANICH.

RANDY SEWELL SAYS BUSINESSES LOOKING TO LOCATE OR EXPAND IN THE KEATING INDUSTRIAL PARK WILL HAVE TO LOOK ELSEWHERE BECAUSE CENTRAL SAANICH WON’T ALLOW FOR NEW LIGHT INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT.
SEWELL, WHO IS LOOKING TO EXPAND HIS BUSINESS RAVEN METAL PRODUCTS, SAYS CENTRAL SAANICH WILL BECOME AN ECONOMIC GHOST TOWN IF THE POLICY DOESN’T CHANGE. “WITH THE RISING PRICE OF LAND AND NO WHERE ELSE TO GO, THE COMPANIES THAT ARE IN HERE THAT ARE BEING FORCED TO GO SUCH AS MYSELF, NOW I NEED TO EXPAND MY BUSINESS, AND WITH NO WHERE TO EXPAND IT TO, I’M GOING TO BE LEFT GOING OUT.”

THE MUNICIPALITY SAYS SEWELL WANTS AN AMENDMENT TO THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY PLAN BECAUSE THE LAND HE WANTS TO EXPAND ON FALLS IN THE URBAN CONTAINMENT BOUNDARY.

SEWELL SAYS IT WON’T BE EASY TO EXPAND AND MOVE ELSEWHERE WITH A 0.1 PERCENT INDUSTRIAL VACANCY RATE IN CENTRAL SAANICH AND A 0.2 PERCENT VACANCY RATE REGIONALLY.

- NIKKI EWANYSHYN

http://www.cfax1070.com/newsstory.php?newsId=5734

Check out the website regarding this proposal at www.afutureforcentralsaanich.com

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