John Ranns is seeking his sixth term as mayor of Metchosin, but he will have to face off against former councillor Ed Cooper.
Cooper, 81, is running on a platform of keeping roads rural and civic fiscal responsibility.
He calls current road upgrades in Metchosin “super highways.”
“Happy Valley and Kangaroo roads are being paved shoulder to shoulder,” said Cooper, a 51 year resident who was councillor from 2002-05. “Rural roads are windy, narrow roads with the odd pot hole here and there.”
Another key issue for him is how the District spends its money, particular the recent purchase of roads equipment.
“I think it’s a terrible thing that is going on with the mayor and council,” Cooper said. “I am mainly running because of how our finances are being spent. We just purchased road equipment that we needed like we need a hole in the head.”
Metchosin bought a back hoe, a grater and other gear from a long-time roads contractor for about $50,000 after the company shut down.
With the equipment, Metchosin is operating its own public works yard and has hired on staff.
“We will not have a public works yard or staff, It will be a tendered out,” Cooper said. “Otherwise it will bankrupt Metchosin.”
Cooper said he supports seconary suites. “We have to start thinking about the younger generations and by that I mean people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s.”
Ranns is running for his sixth (non-consecutive) term as mayor.
“I am glad Ed threw his forms in,” Ranns said. “Now I have a platform. Otherwise I would have been sitting here twiddling my thumbs.”
In his past term on council, Ranns has been involved with getting three new fire trucks, a rejuvenated fire department and building a public works yard.
“We’ve done that while maintaining the lowest tax rate in the region,” said Ranns, 63, a lifelong resident of Metchosin. “The community management results speak for themselves.”
Over his years of service Ranns, helped implement contracting the District staff instead of having several full-time staff.
“I’ve spoken up and down the Island to groups interested in running a rural municipality,” Ranns said. “The contrast between us and fast growth municipalities has never been more obvious.”
While other municipalities are in debt, Ranns said, “We are the opposite, we have money in the bank. It’s all about innovations, we are coming into tough economic times that we haven’t seen before and we are ready for them”
Ranns is a Capital Regional District director and chair of the CRD finance committee. “I am one of the most experienced regional directors,” he said. “I play a fairly influential role in the region.”
For the non-binding referendum question, Ranns said he has no position on detached secondary suites.
“I think it’s being sufficiently flushed out. The residents can make an informed decision. I’d go with that either way,” Ranns said.
Metchosin has been home for Ranns for his entire life. His parents first moved to the community in 1946. Ranns has four children and four grandchildren.
“A big part of the mayors job is to ensure the community isn’t at each other’s throats,” Ranns said. “If you have strife on council it leads to strife in the community. One of my accomplishments is having everyone get along.”