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Sooke mayor candidate experienced in governance

John Knops has extensive background in government and business
John Knops is running for the position of Sooke mayor in the upcoming municipal election. (Courtesy-John Knops)

Here’s a candidate who is candid about his reasons for running for mayor and his chances of winning in the upcoming municipal election.

“This is the first time I’ve run for public office,” said John Knops, a Sooke resident for the past three years. “A couple of people have said in the past that with my background, I’d make a good mayor, and I started thinking about it seriously this year.”

Knops has many years of experience in finance and business at the government level from his work as the director of finance for a public works ministry in the Yukon for more than 20 years, and 14 years in the oil industry in Calgary.

“A lot of what I did in Calgary and Whitehorse involved risk management, insurance and contracts … I have a good understanding of how government and business function.”

He added, “a mayor is like the chamber of the board … They are the administrator who makes everything run smoothly, that’s what a mayor’s supposed to do. Being mayor of a small to medium-size town where everyone knows everyone, including the politicians, is one of the hardest jobs there is.”

Knops, who was born in Montreal, added “I think Maja has done a pretty good job, but there are people who would disagree … I decided to run when I heard a while ago that Mayor Tait would be acclaimed if no one ran against her, and in a democracy there should always be a choice. The number of votes I get isn’t important, but I believe in the importance of voters having a choice.”

Knops said his chances of winning aren’t great because he doesn’t have the name recognition or the money to advertise, and can’t go door to door because of long-term issues with his health.

“It’s free to run in Sooke – and the pay is good and that’s part of the attraction,” he said. “But once again, it’s about providing a choice for the voters.”

One issue he sees as key is the need for another crossing over the Sooke River in case the bridge is closed in an emergency.

“With the growth in Sooke, it’s going to be an absolute necessity,” he stressed. “Another thing I’m passionate about is making sure that every member of council has studied the Municipal Act and the district’s bylaws to the point where they could pass a test. A lot of issues that come up would be handled in a more expeditious way.”

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