MAYORAL CANDIDATE: Nils Jensen

Candidate for the mayor's position in the 2011 municipal election in Oak Bay

Nils Jensen

Age: 62

Occupation: Crown prosecutor for the province of B.C.

Family status: Married to Jean, a teacher, with two sons, Nicholas and Stewart

Lived in the community: 18 years

Years on council: 15 years

What key issues do you want addressed by council?

Secondary suites, the deer population and policing.

How do you hope to alleviate those concerns?

The Oak Bay secondary suites review committee’s final report recommended further discussions by council before a decision is made. Questions raised by residents need to be addressed in an open, informed and rational community dialogue that starts with understanding the benefits and costs of having secondary suites in our community. My leadership experience has demonstrated that I am able to find common ground and build consensus on tough issues that result in made-in-Oak Bay solutions.

I support a regional management plan that results in a significant reduction of the deer population. While the provincial Ministry of Environment has responsibility for wildlife management, it has delegated local governments to develop a management plan. This is a problem that Oak Bay cannot solve in isolation, independent of other Greater Victoria municipalities.

With over 25 years working as Crown prosecutor I have first-hand experience with the justice system and policing issues, so I understand the local implications of regional policing. Discussions about the Esquimalt-Victoria amalgamation have raised the issue of policing in the entire region. In Oak Bay, we must be prepared to contribute to this dialogue. The Oak Bay-Saanich co-operation model may be the best way to unify the disparate police agencies. Core police services continue to be carried out by our local police, based on the community policing philosophy.

What accomplishments are you most proud of on council, either individually or as a group?

I chaired the floor area ratio committee that reviewed the residential building bylaws.  The review resulted in flexible zoning initiatives that improve the methodology for determining allowable building sizes. The change allows for creative renovations without compromising community esthetics. The changes also saved Oak Bay homes that may otherwise have been demolished.

I proposed the motion to create the Climate Change Task Force. As a member of this committee, we analyzed and reported to council on ways and means of promoting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions within Oak Bay, both in the community at large and within the municipal organization.

Overall I believe council has done a good job of controlling costs and maintaining the quality of services, while preserving our local character.

If you are elected mayor, what goal would be at the top of your list?

Fiscal responsibility in a fragile economy is a priority. Our local economy will continue to be buffeted by the winds of uncertainty in the world. I will maintain a wise and cautious approach to spending and will seek to reduce costs of services through, for example, shared resources with other municipalities as we do with policing. Furthermore, I will ensure that Oak Bay pursues available sources of project funds from other levels of government to fund infrastructure upgrades to build a better Oak Bay.

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