Longtime volunteer enters Saanich byelection

Longtime volunteer enters Saanich byelection

Bylection candidate wants Saanich to promote a centralized business district

Art Pollard is among the latest to announce his candidacy for the Sept. 23 Saanich council byelection.

Pollard, a B.C. Ferries employee by day, is no stranger to Saanich politics and is seeking the vacant council seat after years of working on various committees within the district.

He’s one of 10 candidates who filed their nomination papers by the Aug. 18 deadline with Marsha Henderson, Keith Davidoff, Ned Taylor, Mike Geoghegan, Rob Wickson, Shawn Newby, Nathalie Chambers, Rebecca Mersereau and Karen Harper.

“I have ideas to contribute to the betterment of Saanich,” Pollard said. “There’s big issues like [Environmental Development Permit Area], and also being fiscally responsible, and I think it’s really important. You can see by the interest of 10 people running that people are feeling the need to get active and involved.

“It’s not just the EDPA that’s a big issue, housing in particular is an even bigger issue. We need to get the support of senior government and get a handle on it.”

Pollard graduated with a bachelor in political science from the University of Victoria in 1983 and spent six years as a director with the Quadra-Cedar Hill Community Association during the 1990s, and was recognized by former Chief of Police Derek Egan for 17 years co-ordinating his local Block Watch program. From 2003 to 2005 Pollard was on Saanich’s special events committee and was then part of the 2006 Saanich Centennial committee.

He also spent 10 years serving on a special fiscal committee for the municipally owned and operated Cedar Hill Golf Course, though few, if any of his suggestions to make the operation more sustainable were enacted, he said. That committee is disbanded, but it offered Pollard good insight into how things work in Saanich. “If you’re going to have a committee, then make sure it’s got lots of community input,” he said.

In terms of moving Saanich forward, Pollard envisions creating a centralized business district.

“We don’t have a central biz district, there’s one in Quadra-Cedar Hill, one in Gorge-Tillicum, one in Strawberry Vale, and others, and it’s disjointed,” he said. “I’d like to see a bigger business district around city hall, redevelop Gateway Village. At the same time protect the agricultural district, promote business, and do something about housing.”

General voting stations will be open from 8 a.m.to 8 p.m. on Sept. 23. Advance voting for the byelection is Sept. 13 and Sept. 18 at Saanich municipal hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

reporter@saanichnews.com