MUNICIPAL ELECTION: Comments from Esquimalt candidates

The Victoria News asked candidates to talk about something they want the voters to know about them

  • Nov. 2, 2011 8:00 a.m.

In an effort to help voters learn more about the people running for a seat on township council, the Victoria News asked candidates to talk about something they want the voters to know about them.

•••

MEAGAN BRAME

Meagan BrameCommunity Connected, Community Committed.

I was elected to my first term as councillor in 2008 and would like the opportunity to work for the residents for a second term.  I am a local business owner, a wife and a mother of two teenage boys.  I have been a dedicated member of the Esquimalt Community since 1990 and I truly follow the township’s motto of ‘live, work and play’ in Esquimalt.

For the past three years I have worked hard for my community.  One of my goals for my last term was to be a person that the residents could talk to, express concerns and kudos to.  In order to do that I have been at, and participated in, most of the events within the community.  I have made myself both visible and available to the residents of Esquimalt.

I believe my decisions have been made in a thoughtful, mature and trustworthy manner; I have always parked my ego at the door and have been able to work with my fellow councillors for things larger than any of the personalities around the table: the greater good.

I am genuinely proud of my track record and the decisions I have made.  I have learned a lot and feel that I will be even stronger if re-elected for a second term.  The learning curve is great and having some experience on council will be very important as we move forward with a new term and many new faces.

I believe a strong council is made up of people from varied backgrounds, with a cross-section of views.  I believe healthy debate with a high level of respect will result in productive discussion and ultimately lead to decisions that best serve the community.

I want to continue working on political transparency, encouraging community input in Esquimalt and making both issues key priorities in council’s strategic plan.

I am committed to building on the strength of Esquimalt’s community, starting with youth.

On council, I helped spearhead the ‘youth engagement policy’ which has allowed three youth to sit on council committees as full members, giving them a voice in their community.

I have played a key role in some of Esquimalt’s most popular events, including Celebration of Lights and the Fall Harvest of the Arts.

•••

TIM MORRISON

Tim MorrisonAs co-chair of the Esquimalt Residents Association and founding editor of EsquimaltReview.com, I have spent the past two years attending the weekly council meetings, observing the council, listening carefully, studying the issues and keeping the community informed. I have also been an active member of the township’s parks and recreation committee.

The majority of our next council will be new. It is important that new candidates coming forward be able to provide a strong commitment to communication and connection to the community. I am ready to join the council with the essential experience and knowledge to be an effective councillor.

My top priorities are smarter budgeting and property tax relief, a better policing model for Esquimalt, stopping the Capital Regional District’s sewage plan boondoggle, carefully managed suitable growth and respect for the Esquimalt Village Plan referendum results, incentives for new, quality businesses on Esquimalt Road (no more money-lending stores!), and honouring our heritage with our 2012 centennial. Most importantly, we need more open government and better communication from Municipal Hall.

I have extensive experience in provincial government communications, policy and programs, including the creation and implementation of the Community Charter. I graduated from Simon Fraser University in political science, communications and geography, including a specialization in urban planning. I have been a teacher and college instructor and I have local government experience as a former two-term North Vancouver school board trustee.

As a former travel writer and adventure tour guide, I have visited 76 countries on six continents. I have experienced many places, but Esquimalt is where I feel most at home. In Esquimalt, we are one large family related by our residence. We are all fortunate to make our home in the ‘place of shoaling waters.’ We care deeply for how our community is governed. I offer a positive vision that respects our tradition and embraces our future.

•••

SANDRA DIXON

Sandra DixonIssues I am passionate about include: talking to kids about car and road safety, a police detachment that is open 24 hours, lower taxes, affordability, responsible growth and development and capping new buildings at four or six storeys, as well as addressing traffic congestion.

I want that small-town feeling and we’re going to miss that if we have the eight- or 12-storey buildings. It’s not going to be a close-knit community.

If the Village Plan moves forward and the town square is zoned for high-rise residences, there are going to be traffic and privacy issues. It’s going to change for the people living near there. I want to hear from residents and see what they want there.

As for business development, we need a variety of businesses. We don’t need three or four Money Marts. We don’t need three or four coffee shops. We would love more restaurants.

I hope to keep the lines of communication open between Municipal Hall and residents. There shouldn’t be any secrets. We should be aware of things that are going on.

I’ve lived in Esquimalt for 41 years. It’s about time we have someone on council who’s lived here for so long. I spend 20 minutes trying to walk down the street, when it only takes me 15 to go to the Esquimalt Recreation Centre, because I’m always meeting people who know me.

I want to advocate for youth, seniors and the disabled. I see myself as somebody that can talk to these communities.

I’ll try my best on council. That’s all I can do. But I’m a doer. I’ve always been that way. I always try and help out, not thinking of myself. The people who know me know that I am reliable.

I just want to be a part of the process. I want to give back to the community that has always been there for me since I was a little girl. If something is asked of me, I will try my hardest.

•••

DAVE HODGINS

Dave HodginsDave Hodgins has an extensive public sector service background. He served as an assistant deputy minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General and B.C.’s Fire Commissioner, and has considerable municipal and provincial government experience.

Dave has a bachelor’s degree in applied business and is a public administration program graduate.

Dave began his successful career as a volunteer firefighter in 1977 and went on to serve as the fire chief for Strathcona County, Alta. and London, Ont. He is recognized for his strategic leadership and management skills and is an accomplished presenter.  Dave is also a published author, writing frequently on leadership. He is the immediate volunteer past-president of Fire Prevention Canada.

Dave has a record of being an active citizen and regularly attends Esquimalt council meetings.

Dave is actively serving as director of the Esquimalt Residents Association (will stand down when elected). Other volunteer commitments include: residents association representative on the Victoria Police Board, the Esquimalt Celebration of Lights committee, the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce media relations working group, the St. John Ambulance board executive committee and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada national board.

Dave’s official recognition for community service includes:

The Order of St. John Ambulance service medal – 2010

The Order of St. John Ambulance serving member – 2008

Federal Exemplary Service medal, 30-year service award – 2008

Alberta Emergency Services medal – 2005

Ontario Fire Service medal – 2003

Lawson Community Service award – 2003

Queen’s Jubilee Medal – 2002

International Association of Fire Chiefs’ program award of excellence – 2002

Federal government volunteer service award – 2001

Federal Exemplary Service Medal – 1999

Award for bravery – 1983

Citizen of the year – 1982

Firefighter of the year – 1981

Dave and his wife Catherine are proud residents of Esquimalt. Dave is willing, able and available to serve our great community with excellence!

A vote for Dave Hodgins is a vote for citizen-centered services and action.

A vote for Dave Hodgins is a vote for experienced and capable municipal leadership.

Our future depends on growth and development. This progress means ensuring:

•    Enhanced opportunities for individuals, families and businesses;

•    An inclusive and rewarding quality of life;

•    Properties and structures that shout “We are proud to be in Esquimalt;” and

•    An environment built on “the right plans” for safety, sewage treatment, transportation, transit and infrastructure

•••

LYNDA HUNDLEBY

Lynda HundlebyMy husband Walt and I have been Esquimalt residents for more than 35 years; we have two adult children. For my working life, I had a career as a pharmacist with settings in retail, hospital, a community clinic and government. My work in government included administration, supervision of 25 staff and policy work.

I have had the privilege of representing Esquimalt taxpayers at the council table for the last six years (a total of nine years altogether).

Having been nominated for re-election as a councillor, I am prepared to offer my depth of experience, keen interest and ongoing commitment for the next three years.

I believe that, together with my life skills and significant community involvement, I have the credentials to effectively represent residents for a fourth term on Esquimalt council.

I will continue to support: retention of our quality services and amenities (unless residents advise otherwise) while keeping our taxes as low as possible; financial accountability; community consultation; best solutions for Esquimalt taxpayers on sewage treatment issues; development options for the community to broaden the tax base and for business to increase the customer base; effective police and fire services; and working with the community on green initiatives.

I work in co-operation and collaboration with others on council and in committees within Esquimalt and beyond our borders.

My external appointments have included: the Greater Victoria Public Library Board, the Provincial Capital Commission and the Capital Regional District’s Regional Water Supply Commission.

When voting on council and elsewhere, I make my decisions based on all the information that I have gathered.

This includes facts and economic advice from staff, colleagues, expert opinion, including legal counsel when necessary, previous experience, and importantly, public opinion.

When all parts are in agreement, the decision is very clear. When there is no agreement, decisions can be very difficult.

I promise to do my best to ensure that Esquimalt continues to be the best place to live, work and play.

•••

ROBERT (BOB) McKIE

Robert McKieI was born in 1949 in Woodstock, Ont., and came to Esquimalt in 1966 with the Canadian Army.  I married Sharon and we have two children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.

My family and I have lived, worked and played in Esquimalt for 44 years.  I have coached and played hockey, lacrosse and baseball in Esquimalt and I was involved with the 1st Arbutus Cubs and Scouts.

I have been a member of the Esquimalt Lions Club for 26 years, and have been the president three times. I was an owner/operator for Loomis Courier and D.H.L. Courier and retired after 33 years of service.

As a curler, I was involved with the group to stop the closure of the Archie Browning Sports Centre.

At present, I sit on the township’s parks and recreation advisory committee, the access awareness advisory committee and have co-chaired the Esquimalt Buccaneer Days committee for the past five years.  I feel after many years of volunteering in Esquimalt that I would like to take a more active role in the future of our great community.

My stand in the upcoming election is more openness and accountability to the residents of Esquimalt.

To me, the most pressing issues in Esquimalt are policing, the official community plan, town square development, land density and the ongoing sewage issue.

•••

DAVID SCHINBEIN

David SchinbeinHi, My name is David Schinbein and I am running for the position of councillor for the Township of Esquimalt.

I was born and raised in Hanover, Ont.  I am married to Jocelyn and have two children, Shanna and Brent, who are both in the Canadian Forces.

After highschool graduation, I attended Fanshawe College in London, Ont., graduating with a diploma in arts and science.  I continued at Fanshawe and graduated with a certificate in ambulance and emergency care (paramedic)

After graduation, I began working for the Ontario Ministry of Health at Ottawa Ambulance Service and progressed in my medical training to become an air ambulance paramedic, flying out of Thunder Bay, Ont.

While in Thunder Bay, I completed a certificate in supervisory studies at Confederation College.

During this time I was always active in the community, usually serving on one board or another.

In the early 1990s I returned to Hanover and purchased, upon his retirement, my father’s insurance and investment services company.

It was at this time that I became active in municipal politics. My first appointment was to be elected to the board of the county of Bruce General Hospital.

In 1997 I ran for and was successful as a candidate to be a member of Hanover town council.

In Hanover we worked on the ‘committee of the whole’ system, so I had input on all of the different aspects of all the different departments within the municipality. My favourite project that I participated in was the building of a new medical clinic for the town, which helped us attract doctors to our area.

In 2000 I was acclaimed to the position of county councillor representing Hanover at Grey County council. While on county council I sat on the social services committee, which was responsible for welfare, social housing, homes for the aged and public health services.

In 2007 we moved to Victoria and began our life out here working for the Commissionaires. Currently, I serve on the branch executive committee for St. John Ambulance.

I believe that my background and unwavering belief that municipal government is the one closest to the people will give the residents of Esquimalt the leadership and experience on council to deal with the tough decisions, and I will always keep the residents of Esquimalt in the forefront of any decision that I am to make.

•••

JOSH STEFFLER

Josh StefflerI am a curious guy, I like to ask questions – a lot of them. I also like to talk – a lot – and enjoy good discussions with people who both agree and disagree with me.

I have a keen interest in government and how it works and why it works the way it does. Many times I feel excluded form the decisions made.

I am concerned about sustainable growth, both in our community and in our government. I wish to look for many new ways of doing things rather then trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

I am also concerned about government secrecy and in-camera meetings. I feel decisions should be made in public with full public participation, rather then having some people close the door, and make a decision for us, and not have to tell us what the decision is.

I am running a very low-budget campaign, for a few reasons. One, I don’t have much expendable cash since I have a family of three kids at home, and two, because we need to take the money out of politics. The winners should not be decided by how much cash they can spend, or have access to.

Democracy is in danger because of moneyed interests buying loyalty of our elected representatives. That is something we need to change and we need to change now. It should not cost $50,000 to run a campaign. How does that allow the best person to win?

 

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