Thursday, October 20, 2011

Democracy is about YOU!

I am running because democracy is not something that happens one day every several years, and the winner does not "take all".

Democracy is an obligation on the part of those elected to represent all of the people, to listen (without whining about too many emails or phone calls which happen when people feel they aren't heard), to have an open mind and to question their own reasoning and assumptions. This is what makes us accountable.

I have an obligation to make sure I do not run up the borrowing and debt causing our community to become unaffordable for those who live here. I have an obligation to stand up and speak out even if I am the only voice.

I have an obligation to do my best to communicate and listen, to encourage and include and inspire.

Central Saanich needs people who will sign their names to the motions they've put forward and voted on (it's called transparency).

Central Saanich needs people who will uphold the people's document, the Official Community Plan.

Central Saanich needs people who understand that what we do here affects people far beyond our borders.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Get Out the Vote!

Straight from the Central Saanich website.

The next general local election for Mayor, Councillors and School Board Trustees will be held on November 19, 2011.

Voting Opportunities:

• Advance Voting: Wednesday, November 9, 2011, at the Municipal Hall between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

• Advance Voting: Wednesday, November 16, 2011, at the Municipal Hall between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

• General Voting Day: Saturday, November 19, 2011, at the Municipal Hall or the Cultural Centre between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

If you have any questions regarding local elections, voting, or any other matter, please contact the Chief Election Officer. 250-652-4444

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vantreight Court Date Looming

October 19th and 20th are important days for Central Saanich as an appeal of the earlier Vantreight hill development decision is made in Vancouver. The Residents and Ratepayers of Central Saanich have consistently stood against development that will breach our urban settlement areas as designated in our Official Community Plan. RROCSS has made it clear that when the people speak, the Council should listen. Let's hope the Court sides with the democratic processes that created our Official Community Plan. More to come....and by the way, thanks Ian Cameron for your courage and your tenacity.

Moodyville Facing Parking Crunch

Both safety and peace of mind are at risk as the Brentwood Inn seeks to expand it's footprint in Moodyville. The development planned for the current gravel parking lot calls for a reduction in the number of parking spaces usually required for such a development. The result will be additional spillover into the community.

Neighbours already have considerable trouble with cars from the patrons of the Inn parking in household parking spots and blocking road access when the parking lot is full. While the claim is made that these vehicles are from kayakers and ferry-travellers local resident John Creviston has noted that they are there in the evenings when the ferry is finished running for the day and kayakers are no longer out on the waters.

The new proposal is not acceptable if it means reducing parking spots that are already at a premium. Homes and families must be the first consideration of council in any development proposal. More cars trying to park on local streets mean more headaches for homeowners, more noise, more fumes, and more cars in the way everyday. It also means more difficult access for emergency vehilcles and more danger for neighbourhood children. Homeowners pay taxes to guarantee safety and peace of mind at home, let's make sure their voices are heeded.

Sue Stroud for Council

You can hear me at the All Candidates Meeting hosted by the Residents and Ratepayers of Central Saanich, Friday, October 28th at 7 pm at the Brentwood Community Hall. You can also come and meet me at Spelt's Coffee Shop in Saanichton November 9th from 7 to 10 pm. I will post more events as they come up. I welcome your thoughts and ideas as to how we can move Central Saanich forward without sacrificing her farmland or rural ambience.

If you like what you see as you read over my blog please consider helping with my campaign. I will need people willing to help me leaflet and doorknock throughout Central Saanich, or perhaps hold a coffee party so I can meet your neighbours.

I will also need donations to help with the cost of printing and advertising. Just send a cheque to Sue Stroud, 105-7088 Wallace Drive, Brentwood Bay BC V8M 1P4, large or small they all help a lot and are greatly appreciated. For more info you can call me at 250-415-3828 (evenings are best) or email me at

In the spirit of greeness I am using the signs I had last time and will be printing my leaflets on 100% recycled paper.

It's time for change in Central Saanich, it's time to bring everyone to the table.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Excellent video on Harold Steves and the founding of the ALR.

Why I am Running for Central Saanich Council

I am running for Central Saanich Council in the local elections this November 19th.

I love and am committed to maintaining the rural health and beauty of Central Saanich. I have worked hard and passionately to protect her over the years, speaking out at public hearings, writing articles and advocating for a small-community, sustainable and self-sufficient future. I am proud of the helping hand I have been able to offer to those who would set up a recycle depot, fight to save farmland, protect our ferry route, hold a dry grad and create a more livable, less stressful space for our community.

I am opposed to turning us into just another cookie-cutter suburb of a larger city. We are LÁU,WELNEW, the place of refuge, as our First Nations neighbours know and we need to maintain that vision. We need to respect the land we are using and give back to its future wherever we can.

Central Saanich needs to refocus on families, farms and fairness.

Our families need safe, affordable, green and appropriate housing so that our community does not become a monoculture of one age group or one income level. We need to help people "live where they work and work where they live" to reduce transportation costs and the pollution that goes with long commutes. We need to find incentives and funding for alternative energy use; we need to encourage urban gardening and tree planting to mitigate the effects of climate change. And we need to keep costs down.

We need to lobby our provincial government for more help for farmers including perhaps a land bank to buy farms and lease them back at low rates to other farmers. We need a true commitment to our Official Community Plan and the Regional Sustainability Strategy so that our community can concentrate on growing food for our families far into the future. We need to respect and understand our agreements with other communities because we are not a law unto ourselves; what we do or fail to do impacts others.

We need fairness and that means accountability which means all votes must be recorded. We need much more public interaction, more notification of public hearings, open houses, town halls, council and committee meetings using all the new tools available to us. We need more input from the public and a clearer more readable budget and accounting system so citizens can easily access the information they need. We need respect for those who come before council, they are the employer and they are the people footing the bill.

We need those who will spend carefully for what is needed, but hold the line on frills. Tax increases as a result of the new "run up the debt" philosophy of some current council members will hamper local families for years to come and future councils will be blamed for the over-spending taking place now. Development increases taxes over time as demands are made for more and more amenities and as maintenance and repairs become necessary. Development does not add to revenue sufficiently to cover the expenses it creates, as some believe.

Any council pay or benefit increases should have to go to the next election as a referendum item before they can be implemented. (Yes, it still irks me that councillors voted on and benefited from their own decision without reference to the voters a few years ago, and I will lobby the provincial government to make such self-service illegal). It's a matter of respect and accountability.

I am an 18 year BC government employee. I have learned a lot about the difficulties people face in our society and I have learned to respect them no matter who they are: we are all one, we all belong. Our respect for each other is what creates the magic we call "community."

Sue Stroud