The voters have spoken. And Mayor Nils Jensen and the rest of Oak Bay’s incoming council has a good indication of the direction the community wants to go.
Jensen was given a clear mandate, picking up 61 per cent of the vote, and all three incumbents seeking re-election were returned to council chambers. The results indicate the majority of residents are content with the direction council is going.
“People didn’t have a lot of gripes,” Jensen says of the message delivered to him on the doorstep by voters. “And in that kind of situation they go with the incumbent.”
The mayor sees his first order of business as moving ahead with a deer cull early in the new year. He also points to pending revisions to the official community plan as a major topic early on the new council’s agenda. Council should have little problem moving forward quickly on both of those issues, although hopefully the desire for quick action won’t preclude attempts to find some compromise on the deer issue that has divided many in the community.
But it’s Jensen’s third issue that will undoubtedly have the most impact on the community and the area that will be most challenging for him to find success. “I’ll go to the CRD and I’ll do my darndest to get a sewage treatment agreement between all the seven core members,” he said.
The sewage issue is the most pressing issue facing all of Greater Victoria’s municipalities and the one where this council is least likely to achieve a successful outcome. If the Capital Regional District cannot work out a solution early in the new term, the time has come for the province to step in and impose a resolution.
We wish the new council well in its efforts to find solutions to the problems facing the community. And we congratulate all of the candidates for running campaigns that managed to bring the issues to the voters’ attention without the mudslinging that was witnessed in other municipalities around the province.