William Wallace has stepped away from the race for the mayor’s chair in Sooke, citing division on key issues within the community.
“First of all, we went in with the objective of winning,” Wallace said regarding his decision to run in the Oct. 15 municipal election.”While I was in the process of finding out what Sooke’s all about, a couple of things didn’t jive with me.
“Sooke is a very divisive community, especially with regards to growth, the OCP draft and climate action,” Wallace said. “I don’t see a consensus forming in the community to formulate a plan to accomplish actions on those important issues.”
Wallace cited another key plank in his platform, the future of John Phillips Memorial Park, as an example of the division in the community.
“I think it’s symbolic where you have developers on one side with their goals and those who want the preservation of green space in the only park in the town’s core on the other side,” he said.
Wallace also cited the number of candidates seeking election as another factor.
“The large number of candidates popping into the race also demonstrates the division in the community on big issues like growth, the OCP and climate action,” he said. “So the prospect of a town council being elected without a unified vision for Sooke is not a vision I aspire to.
“In all of the research I’ve done on different municipalities and councils, you need a mayor, council and staff united with a common vision to get action done. Without that, what I see happens is inaction, more expensive reports and a continued debate that divides the community.”
Wallace added that he wanted to say he was sorry to all of his supporters who are disappointed by his decision.
The mayoralty race is now down to a three-person race: incumbent Maja Tait and challengers Mick Rhodes and John Knops.
The civic election is Oct. 15.