Geoff Orr, centre, speaks with members of the community. Orr says he’s running for mayor to put a focus on how North Saanich council interacts with the people it represents. (Steven Heywood/News Staff File)

Another hat in North Saanich mayoral ring

Geoff Orr running for the top chair after one term on council

Geoff Orr wants North Saanich council to communicate better and be more transparent with the community and its neighbours — and so he’s decided to run for mayor in the October civic election.

Orr made the announcement official on Thursday, May 3 at an event at Kildara Farms in North Saanich.

“There’s still energy, I have some value to contribute,” Orr said in an interview.

He said now that he has his wings under him — he spent the last term on council — he not only wishes to continue the public service, but step into the next role in municipal politics.

“It’s a big challenge. It’s a role you cannot take lightly.”

Orr added the challenge to the seat held by current Mayor Alice Finall will not be easy. Finall has been mayor in North Saanich since 2008 and was elected to the job three terms in a row (including one acclamation in 2011). She was first elected to council in 1993 and served in that capacity until 1999. She has not yet announced whether she will seek a fourth term as mayor. Orr said he’s spoken with Finall about his intent to run, and also shared the information with the current mayors of Sidney and Central Saanich.

Part of Orr’s reason to run, he continued, was some uncertainty over how the political landscape might unfold during this fall’s civic

election. Only one other person has declared for the mayor’s seat: local businessman Stephen Weller.

RELATED: Challenger to North Saanich mayor’s seat emerges.

Orr said he’s ready for the job after navigating many issues over the four-year term — many of which will continue into the next council’s mandate. but one of the areas he said he wants to focus on, and take a different approach with, is how North Saanich interacts with its community and its neighbours. Orr said the job they do as a council is a public service and they have a responsibility to residents, industry and business owners to improve dialogue and be as transparent in their decision-making as possible. That includes with how North Saanich works with the Pauquachin and Tseycum First Nations and fostering better relationships with all of ther neighbours.

“That builds trust,” he said.

Hot-button issues like housing, agricultural land at the Sandown race track, a proposed library near the Panorama Recreation Centre and others, will continue past the October 20 election date.

“I don’t expect that my role will be to deviate significantly from the path council is already on, but there would be a focus of our attention on some different areas.”

Orr is a retired owner of a software firm and has a degree in mechanical engineering from UBC. He works, or has worked, with a variety of local organizations, in addition to his council duties, such as Peninsula Streams, Property Responsibility on the Waterfront (PROW), the North Saanich Residents Association, Peninsula Minor Hockey and the Saanich Peninsula Water and Wastewater Commission.



editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Homeless campers of Namegans Nation head to Oak Bay

Roughly 30 members of roving tent city settle at Cattle Point in Uplands Wednesday

B.C. moves ahead with speculation tax despite mayors calling for changes

Oak Bay mayor says he was hoping for a different outcome

Legalization at the legislature: Victoria celebrates with free cannabis

Longtime cannabis activist Dana Larsen hands out free joints, seeds, plants

UPDATE: Pat Bay Highway traffic moving again after motorcyclist rear-ended

Three vehicle collision stalled traffic in southbound lane Wednesday shortly before 4 p.m.

Oak Bay’s wolf of Discovery Island ‘alive and healthy’

Park remains open to the public; domestic animals prohibited

Watch: Saanich responds to mock emergency for ammonia Leak

Hazmat suits, emergency centre respond to mock ammonia leak

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

VIDEO: Courtenay marks legalization by passing out free joints

Leaf Compassion celebrates new marijuana law in Courtenay

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Jusu adds hemp extract to the menu in Greater Victoria

Food and beverage product to be enhanced with hemp extract

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Most Read