Mayoral candidates speak out

Mayoral candidates speak out

Which candidate deserves your vote

On Oct. 20, three candidates will have their name on the ballot, trying to garner enough votes to win the Mayor’s chair for the next term of Sooke District Council.

Here’s an outline of who the candidates are, their priorities for the community, and why they feel they deserve your vote.

Maya Tait

Maya Tait and her husband relocated to Sooke in 2004, charmed, she said, by the history, wildlife and the diversity of its people.

She was elected to council in 2008 and 2011 and won the mayor’s chair in 2014. She describes herself as energetic and passionate about building a healthy community with access to services and resources for families and seniors

What are your top three priorities if elected?

Sooke is a rapidly growing community that needs to focus on maintaining its infrastructure and natural wild spaces while preparing and planning for the growth we know is coming.

The orientation of our new council is important, including council procedures, forging a strong relationship with staff while understanding their responsibilities and fieldwork. It’s critical that a qualified and competent CAO is hired as well.

As Sooke comes of age, it’s time to revitalize the OCP to guide Sooke with the growth that’s expected over the next 10 years while ensuring the preservation of what is special about our oceanside community.

Why should people vote for you?

I have good rapport with the senior levels of government and strong working relationships with community stakeholders.

I recognize the value of empowering district staff and am a strong consensus builder with councillors and a strong advocate with senior levels of government to bring infrastructure resources and funding dollars to the community.

I have a great deal of enthusiasm and passion to bring to this elected position, and I’m known for my demonstrated practical, commonsense leadership and for having returned civility and fair process to council meetings.

I am passionate about building healthy communities with access to services and resources for families and seniors. I have led municipal operation’s modernization, fiscally responsible management and affordable housing initiatives.

Kevin Pearson

Kevin Pearson was born and raised in Sooke and is married with three grown children and four grandchildren who are the fifth generation of the family born in Sooke. He served an apprenticeship in Sooke Forest Products, moved to Canada Post and is currently the operations manager of Greater Victoria. Pearson’s hobbies include include golf, salmon fishing and hiking in the Sooke Hills.

What are your top three priorities if elected?

Hiring a new CAO is critically important and would be one of my first priorities, if elected.

The official community plan needs to be refreshed to reflect the needs of the community and chart a path to the future.

I would work to establish three standing committees: Finance/Admin, Land use, Program for the Arts. These committees would provide a stronger and more consistent governance model for the District.

Why should people vote for you?

I’m vested in Sooke, I’ll be a full-time mayor who loves the town, and who wants to get something done, improve and maintain the quality of life for the people of Sooke; a quality of life that we all enjoy.

Mick Rhodes (Michael Rhodes)

Mick Rhodes moved to Sooke from Calgary in 1977. He worked primarily as a professional truck driverin Victoria and at various industrial projects scattered across B.C.

In 1992 Rhodes moved to Victoria to pursue a career in journalism and chose to actively participate in public advocacy groups and NGOs. The issues he championed included environmentalism, anti-racism, homelessness, climate change, social and aboriginal justice, and monetary economic reform. Rhodes was involved in a World of Possibilities and collaborated with many very influential leaders.

He moved back to Sooke in 2009 and is now retired.

What are your top three priorities if elected?

It’s my hope to create a waterfront central park and citizen’s plaza.

To that end, I will meet with Rowanwood Capital Corporationand Formula Contractors to negotiate swapping Lot A on Wadams Way for the Mariners Village properties.

I will negotiate a public/private partnership to build a new health centre clinic on Lot A and negotiate a deal where they can build their retail plaza and affordable housing units topped off with higher priced condos.

Under my leadership the District of Sooke will re-evaluate land use and building bylaws in consultation/collaboration with the builders/developers lobby group and review and amend where necessary the OCP to reflect the policy changes with the goal of putting a cap on a yearly basis on the number of new housing starts.

I will move to amend the building code bylaws to allow “tiny homes” or modular homes to be built for first time homebuyers and seniors who want to downsize.

Why should people vote for you?

The simple answer would be because we agree on my priorities.

I am tired of the old “business as usual” model.

I bring a fresh outlook and a new paradigm of how a small community like Sooke can design a culture of contentment and satisfaction and safeguard our environment.