On Saturday, Oak Bay elected a new mayor.
Nils Jensen will lead the municipality for at least the next three years. He earned nearly 3,200 votes from residents, while his opponent Hazel Braithwaite received just under 2,800.
Oak Bay says goodbye to a long relationship with former mayor Christopher Causton, who, after 15 years as mayor, decided against running for re-election. (Jensen was a councillor for that same period.) But it welcomes a new era under new leadership.
Jensen told the News before his election he hopes to have a new Official Community Plan wrapped up in about a year – that’s a speedy turnover on a document that will shape the community for decades to come. He added one of his top priorities is engagement with the community early in the process, to make sure people have plenty of time to weigh in on the future of their neighbourhoods.
Jensen also indicated fiscal responsibility is a primary concern, with the regional and global economies in a rather fragile state. To do so, he says in Nov. 16’s News, Oak Bay needs to look at partnerships with neighbouring communities to share services, and therefore costs.
As important, perhaps, is Jensen’s experience with the justice system. As a Crown prosecutor, he has his own ideas of what he’d like to see in terms of policing not only for Oak Bay, but for the region. He sees more co-operation between departments, but with core services still provided by each community’s own department.
Oak Bay’s new mayor has a clear vision for where the municipality might go. It’s not starkly different from Causton’s mandate, but proves the community is in for a few changes.