In the Town of View Royal, Sid Tobias is challenging David Screech in the mayoral race with seven candidates running for six councillor positions. We asked each candidate to outline the most important thing council can do to improve the lives of residents. Here are their responses listed alphabetically.
The most important matter for a council is to ensure it provides stable, good, and effective governance for its community. All around us we can see examples of municipal councils that have forgotten their number one priority is their local community and its residents. And in many of these cases, the poor governance impacts their communities in a negative way. In my opinion this is one of the reasons that View Royal remains such a wonderful and unique community to call home. Successive councils have focused on View Royal and ensuring that the quality of life for our residents is of paramount concern.
I believe the most important thing council can do to improve the lives of residents is to continue listening to them. Engaging with residents as a continuous discussion through in-person and online opportunities is essential in maintaining the trust of the same residents that elected you. The expectations of residents have changed. The old belief is that representative democracy absolves the responsibility of the elected to consult residents. In the digital era, the opposite is true. The council needs to be more transparent and deliver opportunities for greater and more enduring dialogue.
The most important thing council can do for constituents is to seek input from them and listen to their ideas and concerns. It is important to build a safe community where people can live, work and play. I believe View Royal is the “jewel” of the Capital Regional District. Council should revise and review the community plan and transportation plan on a regular basis to ensure it fits with the times. Council needs to maintain and increase parks, trails and green spaces.
Respecting residents by listening to and acknowledging what they have to say is one of the ways that council can facilitate conversations that lead to improving the lives of View Royal residents. If council and residents work in concert with one another through active participation in the governance of the city, they can foster partnerships and share in the responsibility of managing that will ultimately improve View Royal residency. It is critical that there be a path for residents from an early age to become active participants in how View Royal runs and thrives.
Councils are elected to serve the residents. We are here to listen, learn, and make informed and fair decisions for the community. To truly improve the lives of residents, we have to engage. We need to earn the trust of our residents so that we hear their true and unfiltered opinions, thoughts, and needs.
Our decisions must be ethical and fair while being mindful of long-term visioning.
Lastly, if we become off course as signalled by our residents, we must be open to change. Admitting we are wrong and changing our path can have a positive effect for residents.
Chiefly, residents need to feel heard.
As council moves into its next term and completion of important initiatives such as the updated Official Community Plan, the Active Transportation Network Plan, and the Climate Action Strategy, the input and interests of residents is vital.
COVID restrictions made for years of virtual resident engagement.
I look forward in the next four years to meeting with those who live here and hearing of what matters to them.
Residents want the confidence that they, not the development community, come first.
Council can improve the lives of residents by taking a holistic and long-term approach to decisions on housing. A council focused on increasing the number of homes today without looking at the knock-on implications for public services, infrastructure, and the well-being of residents, won’t build a thriving community into the future.
If elected, I will actively seek and consider the concerns and ideas of residents, and ensure engagement on the long-term community plans are meaningful. I will also encourage council to take steps to attract the amenities and services that are required to support a healthy and happy community.
This is a very timely question. Consultants have completed a Draft Official Community Plan (OCP) – it sets out the direction of development in View Royal for the next decade. The next Council will finalize this document. As written, the document will significantly increase the density, building height, tree loss and traffic in a number of residential areas.
Higher density in quiet single-family residential areas is inappropriate. This will have a significant negative impact on residents’ lives. The most important thing council can do is work with residents to change the OCP to better reflect their needs and vision for the town.
Listen. I have heard residents want assurances of balanced growth, affordable housing, walkable services, attractive streets without gridlock. As well, a continuous network of safe sidewalks, bike lanes and excellent transit. Everyone depends on fiscally responsible town services, excellent police, fire and ambulance for health and safety. Our parks and recreation contribute to our collective well being. They want good governance that is respectful, open and accountable. The climate crisis is degrading all our lives so adapting and reducing our carbon footprint is essential. They expect regional solutions for such matters as the homeless, food security, and business prosperity.
Advance voting starts on Oct. 5 with general election day on Oct. 15. For more information on how or where to vote, check out your municipality’s website. You can find election night results, and more coverage in the lead-up, under the election tab at goldstreamgazette.com.
READ MORE: 2022 Election Coverage
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.