Here are my responses to the One Cowichan Candidate Survey questions:
Q1. Please tell us a bit about yourself and why you are running.
A: Born and raised in Cowichan, I have lived in Mill Bay since 2006 and have run my own small business for over a decade. I was appointed to the Area A Advisory Planning Commission in 2011 which has given me insight into local development issues in addition to what I learned as a candidate in the 2013 Provincial Election. The CVRD is in need of more transparency, accountability and community consultation and could do a lot more to enhance our community.
Q2. The community survey results placed a high priority on sustainability, in particular on protecting our watersheds, water supply and water quality, as well as on creating a more sustainable local economy. If elected, please describe what your approach would be to those issues.
A: Situated downhill and downstream from Shawnigan Lake, Mill Bay is dependent on clean water from the Shawnigan Basin. I will work on community awareness of water and contaminated soil issues and their potential impacts. We need a plan to ensure sewage is being handled effectively, and particularly for checking and replacing older septic systems. Collaboration and partnerships could bring opportunities for employment.
Q3. The survey results indicated citizens want to see more consultation and accountability between elected officials and their constituents. If elected, please describe what your approach would be to those issues.
A: My preferred method of decision-making uses the triple bottom line approach to weigh the fiscal, social and environmental costs and benefits. I would hold monthly meetings to inform the constituents of what has been going on at the CVRD and to explain my votes. We would also discuss concerns and questions from the community and what they would like to see going forward. Social Media can be used very effectively to connect with citizens who can’t make it to meetings, as demonstrated by the Mayor of Tofino. Find me on Facebook at “Vote Kerry Davis” or on Twitter: “@KerryGDavis”.
Q4. What is your position on municipal tax rates and the corresponding level and allocation of services?
A: Despite Federal and Provincial Governments constantly downloading services onto Municipal Governments, CVRD staff wages and benefits have been the main reason for tax increases over the last decade and are now the single largest CVRD budget item. The CVRD is one of the best places to live and we shouldn’t need to offer enormous salaries to attract good people. I would also implement a method for collection of film plastic that is no longer collected due to the MMBC contract.
Q5. What is your vision for this area, and how would getting elected help achieve it?
A: Creating long-term well-paid employment is a necessity. There are many needs in our community relating to care of seniors, many of whom have had to move away due to a lack of services. Over 80% of South Cowichan’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions are related to transportation. There is enormous room for improvement from more direct buses, rail if affordable, multi-use trails and other innovative solutions. Mill Bay has a very interesting history which could be better utilized to attract more tourists and create jobs.