A Lantzville councillor wants to become mayor of the community he has called home for four decades.
Coun. Bob Colclough has decided to run for mayor of the District of Lantzville. Colclough, who is a first-term councillor and serves as the district’s representative on the Regional District of Nanaimo board, said his three key agenda items focus on good governance, improving the village core and ensuring the proper implementation of the water agreement.
“I’ve been passionate about Lantzville for 40 years since I came here 40 years ago,” he said. “I think it is a very interesting time for Lantzville now that we have the water issue resolved.”
Prior to becoming a councillor, Colclough served as the district’s superintendent of public works from 1982 until 1988. He then spent 10 years with the Regional District of Nanaimo as general manager of environmental services. In addition to serving as Lantzville councillor has been involved with the Lantzville Rotary Club, having served as president.
Colclough said he wants to help create an atmosphere in Lantzville that is collaborative and respectful.
“I’ve got a lot of experience on committees and boards. So, I think I have the ability to run a very open and collaborative and positive meeting,” he said, later adding. “I am am ideal person, because of my background, to help facilitate that process and achieve what it is that the community wants.”
The village core has “dwindled” for decades, according to Colclough, who said he wants to see it become a place that is beautiful, lively and can meet the needs of the community and the official community plan. He said in order to get there, an environment must be created that enables people in Lantzville to share their ideas.
“We need an environment that is open and welcome and allows us to have a very frank and open discussion with the business community, developers and property owners about the future of the village core,” he said.
With the Nanaimo-Lantzville water agreement now triggered, Colclough said council needs to move forward and determine how water will be distributed to residents within the community. He said the next step is to engage the Winds and Blackjack neighbourhoods to determine a solution that works for everyone.
In 2015, after months of fighting, four members of Lantzville council quit, triggering a by-election that saw Colclough, along with councillors Mark Swain, Dot Neary and Will Geselbracht get elected. However, there still remained a clear divide on council.
Colclough said when it comes to governance, it is important for council and staff to have a good relationship with each other. He said he’s personable, approachable, understanding, open-minded and isn’t one for drama and wasting people’s time.
Following his election to Lantzville council in 2015, Colclough was accused and ultimately taken to court after a petition called for him to step down as a councillor and alleged he was in conflict when he voted on motions related to the the Lantzville-Nanaimo water agreement and the proposed Foothills development project by Stone Mountain Development’s subsidiary Lone Tree Properties, including approving the construction of a water pipeline to the border of Nanaimo. The petition, which was filed in the Supreme Court of B.C., was ultimately dropped against Colclough, who has had a co-development agreement with the Foothills developers dating as far back as 2006. Colclough said he has never been in a conflict of interest because any time something came up to do with his property, he left the room.
“I wasn’t in a conflict at any point and my subdivision is basically going to be completed within next two months,” he said.
Colclough said while people call him pro-development, he supports individual property rights.
“I am not pro-development. I am pro-community,” he said. “We need some development. The residents, through the OCP review made it really clear that they would like to see some development and that they would like to see a variety of housing types, whether it be for young people or seniors and that takes developments.”
Colclough will be vying for the mayoral seat against Swain and business owner Stan Pottie. Current councillors Neary and Geselbracht have also filed paperwork declaring their intention to run as councillors in the upcoming election. Lantzville’s current mayor, Colin Haime, has announced he won’t be running for re-election as mayor.
To read other interviews with local government election candidates, click here.
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