In the election, the incumbent mayor was elected for another term in office. His campaign could be summarized as offering continuity, financial stability and controlled growth for the town.
Three new councillors were also elected along with an incumbent councillor, the only one standing for re-election. During the election campaign, everyone denied any sort of a slate of candidates. However, it is clear that, if not a slate, what has emerged is a voting block of councillors. This block consists of Bill Luchtmeijer, Dave Willie and Mary Brouilette.
As Bill Luchtmeijer stated at the meeting, he and other council members were elected based on a platform for change. This remark was made in the context of voting to remove the mayor as the town’s representative on the RDN board to be replaced by the least experienced council member in terms of regional or municipal politics, Dave Willie.
Is this result the change voters expected? Is this what the voters who supported the mayor’s re-election expected? Most importantly, was this vote in the best interests of our town?
Qualicum Beach residents may want to closely watch this council and in particular, the council block. First on the agenda is to marginalize the position of mayor as much as possible. That has begun. Second on the agenda is to revisit decisions made by the previous council such as the town’s financial obligations to the Arrowsmith Water Service. Third on the agenda will be an effort to revisit the Official Community Plan, with the objective to make changes which compliment the wishes of some constituents.
The Quality of Life survey and the Official Community Plan have been criticized by some as being skewed with leading questions. Supporters of the “big ideas” which were mostly development proposals, argue they did not receive a fair hearing during the OCP process.
The elected council members were not questioned directly on this subject, but it is a reasonable guess they are sympathetic to the positions of these critics.
Going forward, I respectfully remind all members of council of their responsibility to represent all of the residents of Qualicum Beach, including the 45 per cent who did not vote.
The residents of this town also have an obligation to clarify to council what changes are acceptable in our town.
Lance Nater, Qualicum Beach