The Sooke that my wife Carolyn and I arrived in 15 years ago is inevitably growing as fresh waves of newcomers discover what we've always recognized to be one of Vancouver Island's best-kept secrets. Yet the pace of development following the lean years of 2008-14 has been just a bit too rapid for our tastes and those of many here in Vancouver Island's second fastest-growing municipality. If elected, I will lobby for a more patient, considered and strategic evolution for our imperfectly perfect-as-it-is-yet-ready-to-blossom seaside village and the District's sections of wilderness, waterfront, ALR and rural property.
With a rewrite of our Official Community Plan as the essential next step, let's stay focused on the town centre, stop mowing down nature for satellite housing developments and retain the character and charm that drew us all here in the first place. In an OCP-certified hashtag: #SookeSmartGrowth.
Time for a Pause that Refreshes and Renews
Since missing out on a council seat by a slim 24 votes in 2014, I've deepened my knowledge of municipal affairs by regularly attending council meetings, chairing the District's Climate Change Action Committee and serving as a member of the Community Centre Advisory Committee. I've led delegations for Transition Sooke, Zero Waste Sooke and Wild Wise Sooke, while also occupying the council mic repeatedly during public comment periods.
I'd now like to continue my apprenticeship by again seeking one of your six (maximum) votes for council. If elected, I pledge to buckle down, do the homework, listen attentively, ask questions and vote responsibly while seeking consensus with my council colleagues. And if I'm again on the sidelines after Oct. 20, well, I intend to continue on the same path: attending meetings, booking presentations, and ensuring that my voice and those I represent is heard.
I trust this website will give you a sense of who I am and where I stand. I post frequently on my campaign Facebook page (partial content displayed at right), so please visit it and scroll back for my thoughts and opinions on all manner of local issues since 2014. For another reflection on my worldview, visit the Transition Sooke Facebook page and website, which I've managed since their inception. (I also produce FB content for Sooke Region Food CHIand the EMCS Society, among others.)
In brief, my vision matches that of the international Transition Town movement and its recognition that our brightest future lies in resilient, self-sufficient, engaged and co-caring communities that value local people, strengths and solutions. Climate change, urban sprawl, financial insecurity and social issues triggered by a rapidly growing population are absolutely, uncontestably real. Transition Towns aspire to turn back the clock to the best, common-sense practices of our forebears while also capitalizing on the miracles and wonders of the 21st century.
The mission: To create happy, healthy, truly localized communities. That may sound naive or idealistic, yet in many ways T'Sou-ke/Sooke has been exactly that for millennia. Issues and opportunities under Transition's big tent include:
* Smart Growth civic planning
* Local jobs, independent business and the circular economy
* Public/private/non-profit collaboration
* Waste reduction, recycling and reuse
* Green energy
* Affordable, alternative and Net Zero housing
* Reskilling education
* Regional food security
* Voluntary simplicity
* Raising our Index of Happiness
I look forward to meeting you in person on the campaign trail and perhaps earning your vote for council on Oct. 20.
Refreshed website launched on Sept. 11, 2018
Original website launched on Sept. 15, 2014