Tanner’s Books owner is running for Sidney mayor

Cliff McNeil-Smith says managing growth is his top priority

Cliff McNeil-Smith, owner and general manager of Tanner’s Books, intends to run for Mayor of Sidney in the upcoming municipal election.

McNeil Smith has been involved in local governance for some time, and served as a Sidney councillor from 2008-11. He has been on 7 community boards, including the Memorial Park Society, and was a founding President and board chair of the Sidney Business Improvement Society and the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea.

McNeil-Smith ran for Sidney mayor during the last election and came second to current mayor Steve Price. When asked why he wanted to run again, McNeil-Smith said there are new challenges for the Town, particularly surrounding growth. The Town of Sidney has not done a comprehensive review of the Official Community Plan for a decade, and he believes most of the town’s residents accept more density, but they want to balance that with other needs like green space, height and setback limits, and pedestrian-friendliness. McNeil-Smith said he shares their concerns.

“With growth, which is what we’re experiencing, come many challenges,” he said.

McNeil-Smith said the run corresponds with another life decision: after 17 years at Tanner’s, he thinks it’s time for a change, and so whatever the result, he will “gradually transition” away from the business.

“My wife and I have been meaning to spend more time with family and provide more opportunity to team members.”

McNeil-Smith has no plans to consider an ownership change at this time.

To address high housing costs, McNeil-Smith wanted more co-operation with other local governments, the province, and the federal government as well as the CRD.

“You can participate in a region-wide program, but nothing may happen right in your municipality, so you have to be a voice for the community,” said McNeil-Smith.

As an employer, McNeil-Smith said a problem facing him and other business owners is housing for their workers due to high home prices.

“If you’re single or have a young family, do you have an opportunity to live in the community you work in?”

McNeil-Smith said it was demonstrated in other communities that building more units did not necessarily lower home prices, and was optimistic about new provincial initiatives and non-profit housing societies.

“If you build 35 condos selling for $7-800,000 on Beacon Ave., that’s not solving that challenge.”

On the issue of amalgamation, McNeil-Smith wants to gather more information on the pros and cons, and knows it is controversial.

Often, he said, arguments often centre around how much money could potentially be saved, but he said there could be other topics, like municipal planning (traffic flow, neighbourhood development, etc.) that could be affected. However, he did note that the municipalities might “have a stronger” voice on some issues if they were united.

“I look forward to getting out and meeting and listening to the community,” said McNeil-Smith.

The municipal election is on Oct. 20, 2018.

Correction (June 14, 2018): An earlier version of this article erroneously stated McNeil-Smith may sell Tanner’s Books. Though he intends to reduce his day-to-day duties, he is not considering an ownership change at this time. In addition, McNeil-Smith clarified that the Town has done partial reviews and amendsments, just not a comprehensive one.

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Crash snarles traffic on Highway 17

Traffic southbound is seriously delayed and northbound down to one lane on… Continue reading

Sooke players horsing around

Rick Stiebel – Sooke News Mirror Local players are aiming to put… Continue reading

Local and international artists paint murals across Victoria

Sixteen murals are spread out across downtown Victoria as part of the ‘concrete canvas’ project

Federal government announces over $115 million to Royal Canadian Navy

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was at CFB Esquimalt to announce missile system upgrades

Victoria Police arrest man in relation to indecent act at Beacon Hill Park

The man is known to police, and is facing three charges

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Authorities mull evacuation order for Zeballos

Smoke billowed from the steep hillsides of Zeballos on Friday evening, as… Continue reading

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Most Read