Frequently Asked Questions

In a continued effort of transparency and accountability, below are Sean’s answers to the most frequently asked questions he receives.

Do you have a question for Sean? Email him at sean@seanformayor.com and he’d be happy to answer it for you.

Do you want to develop the ALR?

No, I’m not a proponent of developing on land that is farmable. I recognize that people move out here for the rural appeal of the area and I intend on enhancing Central Saanich by leveraging its authentic cultural assets to make a great place even better.

It’s important that ‘rural’ is properly defined. People often get ‘rural’ confused with ‘run down’ and see the lack of sidewalks, old tired buildings, lack of road infrastructure, lack of potable water to some residents and aging population as part of being a rural community. I disagree with that notion. I define rural as an agricultural based community, which means having the farm markets and the horses and tractors on the road WITH up to date infrastructure, paved roads, new buildings, demographic diversity, clean drinking water to all residents and other amenities. I reject this notion that there is a struggle going on pitting business, agricultural and residential demands against each other. It’s not a fixed pie and with the proper leadership at city hall we can have a thriving business, agricultural and residential community all here in the land of plenty.

In my door to door travels, I’m often asked whether I am ‘pro development’ or not. I believe this is oversimplifying the issue; the question is what areas are you pro development in? Being pro development in Keating is a lot different than being pro development in the Mt Newton Valley.

I am very “Pro Development” in Brentwood Bay, Saanichton and Keating. I believe those areas are underutilized and property owners great ideas for improvement on their own land are often shut down for unjust and irrational reasons. Plus, by allowing those areas to prosper tax revenue is raised that can go to fund road infrastructure improvements and assets to the community such as the Panorama Recreation Centre.

Frankly, I see the whole debate about developing farmable land as a misuse of time. The Agricultural Land Commission has final say on all development and rezoning proposals within the ALR, so even if there was an anti-farm mayor and council any proposals that were against the ALC’s mandate would be rejected. Within the Local Government Act - which governs municipalities - it specifically states that urban sprawl is to be avoided. Plus there is a Regional Growth Strategy and an urban containment boundary that the CRD oversees and a Regional Context Statement and Official Community Plan in Central Saanich that regulate the development of ALR land. Therefore, besides the fact that no one is campaigning on developing the ALR, there is plenty of government regulation to make it virtually impossible to do.

Why are you running for Mayor and not for Council?

There are 3 reasons I’ve decided to go straight for the Mayor position.

First and foremost, it’s about effectiveness in carrying out the objectives laid out in my campaign platform. Below, I’ve copied what tools are available to the Mayor of a Municipality from the Community Charter:

(1) The mayor is the head and chief executive officer of the municipality.

(2) In addition to the mayor’s responsibilities as a member of council, the mayor has the following responsibilities:

     a. to provide leadership to the council, including by recommending bylaws, resolutions and other measures that, in the mayor’s opinion, may assist the peace, order and good government of the municipality;

     b. to communicate information to the council

     c. to preside at council meetings when in attendance

     d. to provide, on behalf of the council, general direction to municipal officers respecting implementation of municipal policies, programs and other directions of the council

     e. to establish standing committees in accordance with section 141

     f. to suspend municipal officers and employees in accordance with section 151

     g. to reflect the will of council and to carry out other duties on behalf of the council

As you can see, the Mayor has significantly more tools at his disposal to influence the direction of a municipality than a councilor does. By having these tools at my disposal, I can effectively be the voice of the silent majority and ensure creativity flourishes in Central Saanich.

Secondly, one of the biggest shortcomings of our current Mayor and Council, in my opinion, has been a lack of leadership on key issues such as the Panorama Recreation Center, the Vantreight Proposal, Woodwynn Farms and the Keating Overpass. Anyone who has worked with me knows I’m a strong leader who is not afraid to make tough decisions, which will fill a big void in our current municipal government.

Thirdly, I want to address some issues with the current Central Saanich municipal staff. I don’t want this to be taken out of context, as there are great, hardworking individuals employed at city hall who I look forward to working with as Mayor. But, there are also individuals employed at city hall who aren’t acting in the best interests of the residents of Central Saanich. The Mayor has the power to suspend municipal employees, which may be necessary to straighten things out. Essentially, these individuals have two options with myself as Mayor, a change in attitude or a change in scenery.

 

If elected, how are you going to get the rest of Council to vote with you and make the positive changes you talk about happen?

I’ve met with many of the current councilors and on a personal level have had a positive relationship with them. My assessment is that they are good people working hard to represent the will of the residents of this community.

The problem is that they are only hearing from a very vocal minority in this municipality that advocates stagnation, which also happens to be the voters (less than 25% of the residents vote in municipal elections).

If I get elected, it will demonstrate the current councilors that indeed there is a silent majority that accepts and wants change. I believe once they see this, they will be willing to vote for change and work with me on the initiatives I bring to the table.

 

Aren’t you a little young to be running for Mayor?

Age is no measure of competence. If this were the case, why even have elections? We would be better off just appointing the oldest people willing to do the job of Mayor and Council. Obviously this proposal would be considered illogical and ridiculous.

Now of course the fact that I am younger means that I posses less of a track record for people to evaluate my competence. That is part of the reason why I have this website. I’m putting out as much information as possible about myself in order for you to make a sound judgment of my ability to fulfill the role of mayor. I strongly believe that if you, the voter, have all the facts,  you will confidently cast a vote in my favor.

This election isn’t about who’s the oldest candidate, it’s about who is the best candidate.