Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch. (File photo)

Mayor Murdoch settling in

Mayor can’t say how many deer letters he’s read, but otherwise confident

One month after being sworn in as Oak Bay’s new mayor, Kevin Murdoch is settling into his new role at municipal hall.

“There’s been no surprises, what I was expecting to come into this role has been what I’ve found,” said Murdoch. “There’s a lot of files that need a lot of direct personal touch: Oak Bay Lodge, the marina, the deer, there’s a lot that’s time consuming and not easily resolved, but they’re fun to work on as well.”

Murdoch says residents can expect too see initial movements on Oak Bay Lodge and the Oak Bay Marina files early in 2019. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Mayor can’t escape the deer issue.

READ MORE: Deer incidents continue in Oak Bay as rut season ends

He doesn’t have a “quantified” number of letters he receives about them, but it’s a lot. Unfortunately when it comes to solutions, the buck stops with the province.

Morally the mayor would not be opposed to a cull – noting it has been done in the past – so long as the animals are used after. But he worries that culling could negatively affect the current contraception pilot.

“What could we do that wouldn’t damage all the work done, that the province has helped fund, to do the scientific analyses? If we came it at the 11th hour and killed a bunch of deer, does that change the whole way that they could measure their outcomes? I’m finding out, I just don’t know the answer yet,” he said.

Murdoch promises the contraception will happen through 2019.

Aside from the deer, Murdoch says council is starting to develop a good working relationship. He continues in leadership positions in regional organizations, such as board chair of the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association. The GVLRA recently reached an arbitrated collective agreement with the Oak Bay Police Department, and Murdoch said he’s optimistic they can reach an agreement with library workers soon.

READ MORE: Oak Bay Police Union gets retroactive wage increase

Oak Bay municipal council next meet Monday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m.


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