Sunday, December 4, 2022
December 4, 2022

Q&A with the CRD Director candidates

Jesse Brown

What skills and experiences do you have that would make you a good CRD Director?

I have 10-plus years of executive director experience leading not-for-profits and charities and know how to make great work happen on a tight budget. I have an immense appreciation for volunteers and the service they provide our community and will bring this respect with me to the role. I care about our kids’ future and have campaigned for environmental causes and believe in balanced government spending. Visit www.saltspringtogether.ca for more info.

What would be your top three priority areas during your term?

Financial, community, and environmental sustainability. First, we can’t have huge budget increases year after year. If elected I will review program budgets and contribution agreements that currently have little evaluation or oversight. Second, the environmental services that the CRD provides must be at the highest quality. I promise to address sewage spills and boil water advisories with the gravity they deserve. Third, the CRD must improve its relationship with the public. I hear too many negative comments about CRD which isn’t healthy for our community. I want to work with Salt Springers to resolve this conflict with our government.

What is your position on the local community commission proposal and why?

Please vote NO to the LCC bylaw as it’s expensive, divisive, and won’t improve service delivery or culture at the CRD. I speak with knowledge having worked for the CRD supporting its Economic Development Commission and having studied comparative political systems (UBC ‘09). We will never replace the skill set of the expert appointed commissioners with four elected randoms. The reason we haven’t heard of an LCC before is that they’re not meant for communities like ours. Begs the questions, why are Gary Holman and his friends so keen on this expensive experiment and why didn’t they properly consult the public before putting it to referendum? I promise to support our expert commissioners and save the public this expensive layer of red tape. 

Kylie Coates

What skills and experiences do you have that would make you a good CRD Director?

For over ten years I have worked for the Federal Government in national security and was responsible for the safety and security of Canadians. I had responsibilities of leadership and command of an organization six times the size of the CRD. If I was faced with a problem, it was my job to fix it. I have worked by myself, as well as with large groups. Some of the skills acquired were working not only with inter-agencies in Canada, but with international agencies as well, and I feel confident that I can work with the 12,000 residents of Salt Spring in addressing and overcoming the hurdles and gridlock we are experiencing here. I have rarely met a problem that cannot be solved through determination, hard work and proper leadership. I believe that I have the skills needed to get the job done.

In 2006 I was invited to a diplomatic reception by the vice-president of North Korea and four of his ministers. For six hours we talked and took a tour throughout the Kremlin in Moscow.

What would be your top three priority areas during your term?

Saving Lady Minto Hospital from closing, getting housing built, and have the CRD in Victoria recognize we are an agricultural and rural area, and the #1 tourism destination in the Capital Regional District, as well as the third highest taxed area in the CRD, and these tax dollars should be reflected accordingly in our budget.

What is your position on the local community commission proposal and why?

There are five LCCs in BC currently, and the largest is a population of 900. The LCC is not working there. Out of the five, two of these LCC’s (population 300 each) are working well, but I don’t think it will work well with 12,000 people. We need governance, and sadly, this isn’t it.

Gary Holman (incumbent)

What skills and experiences do you have that would make you a good CRD Director?

I was a consulting economist for 25 years and have worked on Salt Spring issues for over 30 years as a community activist, MLA, and CRD Director. Except for my four year term as MLA, I’ve lived full time on SSI since 1989. I’ve been involved in, and helped secure funding for many of Salt Spring’s successes, such as the protection of Burgoyne Bay, Ford Lake and Grace Islet, building affordable housing, and establishing our successful Transportation Commission and public transit system.

What would be your top three priority areas during your term?

I want to build on the progress Salt Spring has made this past term. My top priorities are: affordable housing of all kinds, with a focus on properties already designated for affordable housing — CRD’s Drake Road, Dragonfly, and SSI Land Bank properties. Renew CRD affordable housing funding, including incentives for affordable accessory dwellings, and secure permanent funding for our local homeless shelter; include SSI in Speculation and Vacancy Tax; and fund conservation measures for affordable housing in the water moratorium area. Climate resiliency, including continued investments in active transportation and public transit; food security; on-island composting and liquid waste disposal; and park land acquisition. Revitalize Ganges by building pedestrian/cycling infrastructure; re-purposing the Ganges fire hall property; securing funding for Harbourwalk; upgrading Centennial Park and Mahon Hall; partnering with the RCMP on community safety, and the Chamber on village beautification. (See gary4director.org).

What is your position on the local community commission proposal and why?

I promised in the 2018 election to present an elected CRD Local Community Commission (LCC) to voters. An LCC, comprised of four elected at large Commissioners and the CRD Director, would assume authority over all services now administered by four separate, appointed commissions, which would be dissolved. An LCC will broaden elected CRD representation, make decision-making more transparent and accountable, and consolidate fragmented service delivery. 

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