Lantzville mayoral candidates include Mark Swain, top left, and Stan Pottie. Council candidates include John Dunn, middle row left, Joan Jones, Jonathan Lerner, Shandra Mayes, bottom row left, Rachelle Mundell, Ian Savage and Karl Wiese.

Lantzville mayoral candidates include Mark Swain, top left, and Stan Pottie. Council candidates include John Dunn, middle row left, Joan Jones, Jonathan Lerner, Shandra Mayes, bottom row left, Rachelle Mundell, Ian Savage and Karl Wiese.

ELECTION 2022: Lantzville mayor and council candidate questionnaires

Two people are running for mayor and seven are running for councillor in the District of Lantzville

  • Oct. 5, 2022 6:00 a.m.

There are two candidates running for mayor in the District of Lantzville, Mark Swain and Stan Pottie.

MARK SWAIN

Age 47 – Kinesiologist working in the field of occupational health and disability management.

What will be your priorities if you are elected? Establish authentic engagement opportunities for residents. Engagement is more than the mechanical exercise of holding a public hearing so that council can tell residents they were heard. Authentic engagement is taking what feedback residents provide and incorporating it into council actions. Round-table or town hall-style meetings should be a part of Lantzville’s engagement process for all major decisions. I also commit to furthering partnership and engagement with our Snaw-Naw-As neighbours.

Update the OCP to remove ambiguities that allow skewed interpretations of the community vision to suit the needs of special-interest groups. The OCP was an inclusive and thorough process that reflects the community’s unique values and priorities.

Thoughtfully manage the growth of Lantzville while maintaining what is so special about our community. Since 2018, Lantzville has approved nearly 1,200 units of housing which represents an 83-per cent increase in our housing stock once built. Lots of variety is included in all the approved housing, although there is no designated affordable housing units for people earning at the median income level. Lantzville is contributing to B.C.’s housing supply.

How do you plan to manage taxes and spending? Taxation needs to be controlled. Asset management (i.e. roads) is underfunded causing required tax increases, but increased staffing has resulted in tipping the balance from fair and reasonable taxation to higher than acceptable taxation levels. Lantzville’s taxation increases are outpacing most incomes, especially those with fixed pensions. Council will need to make difficult decisions on running a leaner administration while meeting service level needs of residents.

Why should people vote for you? I have a track record of civilized and thoughtful leadership as mayor and a vote for me ensures residents have a voice, good governance and respect for the diverse character and charm of our community.

STAN POTTIE

Note: Stan Pottie did not submit a response to the News Bulletin’s questionnaire by press time.

According to his remarks at an all-candidates’ meeting this past weekend, he said tax increases the past few years are good reasons to make a change to Lantzville’s municipal leadership. He said he’s worked hard to be part of the community.

He is a businessman who owns an excavation company.

There are seven candidates running for councillor in the District of Lantzville: John Dunn, Joan Jones, Jonathan Lerner, Shandra Mayes, Rachelle Mundell, Ian Savage and Karl Wiese.

JOHN DUNN

Age 72 – 50-year resident of Lantzville. Retired commercial fisherman/owner-operator. Presently the president for the past 35-plus years of the Stream Keepers stewarding our local streams in conjunction with Snaw-Naw-As First Nation.

What will be your priorities if you are elected? My priorities will be to work to the best of my abilities for the community and be a voice for my fellow residents which has been lacking during the past two council terms.

How do you plan to manage taxes and spending? Taxes are on the minds of all residents as we have had unprecedented tax increases with no real benefit to the residents during the past two terms of council. Our older retired residents are in fear of being taxed out of their family homes while we see more and more staff being hired and tax spending on the promise of more tax revenue based on future developments.

Why should people vote for you? Residents should use their own judgment on who they vote for and if they put their trust in me as a candidate I will work hard on their behalf.

JOAN JONES

Age 67 – Over a 30-year career I coached recreational and competitive athletes; ran two coaching businesses; hosted Trail Tips, a regular segment of the CBC show Cycle; wrote technical reviews for Pedal magazine; and produced two instructional DVDs. My husband and I have two kids and three grandkids.

What will be your priorities if you are elected? If elected, I will work to see that residents are informed and that their views are heard and respected. Environmental and building standards need to align with best current practices. The trend of big tax increases must be reversed. Alongside development the semi-rural character character of Lantzville will need to be protected. The guidelines of Lantzville’s 2019 official community plan must be honoured.

How do you plan to manage taxes and spending? To manage property taxes and spending means we must reduce the district’s taxes which grew over the last four years by 68 per cent. We must ensure that all future developments result in a tax benefit, not a tax deficit, to the district.

Why should people vote for you? I want to work for this community and for growth that respects the will of its residents. My track record shows me attending council meetings, speaking at public hearings, writing to council on important agenda items and summarizing council agendas and meetings for the Lantzville Community Hub. I have volunteered on several community projects, including beach clean-ups, our new bus shelter, gardening at the Community Hall, and fundraising. I am certain that I have both the time and commitment required for community service. Most importantly, in the course of gathering signatures for a petition defending our OCP, I heard views from many residents on how Lantzville should grow and develop; and I respect those views.

JONATHAN LERNER

Age 36 – Director of business development for the Regional Animal Protection Society. I chose to move from the big city of Vancouver to the amazing community of Lantzville to build a home and family with my spouse of 15 years. I love the wonderful semi-rural character of Lantzville, its local businesses, friendly community and extensive natural beauty.

What will be your priorities if you are elected? Affordability. We have seen massive increases to the tax rate in Lantzville. We cannot continue to price people out of their homes. It is important that every decision be made with an eye to fiscal responsibility.

Sustainability. Appropriate development building code standards, green spaces, and beach preservation are all top priorities.

Community input. Listening to the people of Lantzville is vital and has been sorely lacking. I will ensure people are heard and that council takes the community seriously.

Responsible growth. We must honour the will of residents and the targets of the OCP. There is nothing wrong with reasonable, well -planned development, but the people of Lantzville worked hard to develop a unanimously approved OCP to guide that process. Sound planning, sufficient infrastructure and community support are key.

How do you plan to manage taxes and spending? It’s been too easy for council to spend other people’s money. That is why we need a council that will exercise fiscal responsibility, including requiring developments to be tax-neutral or tax-positive, building community infrastructure, and keeping district projects on budget. We cannot sustain unrestrained budget growth.

Why should people vote for you? I will work hard for you and your family each and every day. I will honour the will of the people and respect transparency and accountability.

SHANDRA MAYES

Age 44 – VIU student/health and fitness/dentistry.

What will be your priorities if you are elected? Making positive progress towards bringing water to ‘The Winds’ area, making positive progress on the Ware Road development, but still managing to keep the small-town charm, and bringing more amenities in to help enrich our community.

How do you plan to manage taxes and spending? Having a clear understanding of what the previous council was working towards and moving forward, as a team, from there. I will always be researching ways to lower taxes, but I’m looking for ‘think outside the box’ ideas that don’t include people losing their jobs, that still manage to decrease our debt, and that still improve our asset management profile.

Why should people vote for you? There are many reasons why people should vote for me. I grew up in Lantzville and have been a resident for 31 years. So I completely understand the desire to protect our semi-rural setting. I also have integrity and grit. I’m a listener and a learner. I have excellent critical thinking skills that result in being open to learning about all ideas presented and in making well educated decisions. I enjoy working on teams, and being on council and working with the District of Lantzville staff would be no different. I’m looking forward to working together for the betterment of Lantzville.

RACHELLE MUNDELL

I have worked in the public health care sector for 15 years. Currently I am an occupational therapist – project manager.

What will be your priorities if you are elected? This election is very important for Lantzville with so much at stake. There are large parcels of land that are slated for development. Our values, character and lifestyle is threatened by bringing high-density subdivisions to our village. Lantzville is not a city, and the majority have expressed little interest in transforming into a city. I believe we can agree to development that aligns with the official community plan while still being profitable for the owners. If elected I plan to direct staff to negotiate with owners to put forward proposals that have the density and standards that were identified in the drafting of the OCP. I will ensure the public are involved in the process.

How do you plan to manage taxes and spending? Taxes in the first three years of this council’s term had a 20.1-per cent increase. And in the fourth year a massive 20.7-per cent increase was passed for 2022. Tax increases will be more reasonable through more efficient use of taxpayer’s money and spending less on staffing. Spending was a significant problem last term, and it needs to be brought under control.

Lantzville’s population has barely increased since incorporation since 2004, yet there have been massive increases in taxation, much of it going towards district staffing.

Why should people vote for you? I will ensure proper processes are followed at the district office and that decisions are made in alignment with the OCP. As a resident who spoke at multiple public hearings I understand what it feels like to be dismissed. I will ensure that every member of the Lantzville community has an opportunity for respectful discourse. I will bring back advisory committees and round table discussions which have been discontinued. I care deeply about preserving the character and lifestyle that Lantzville currently provides.

IAN SAVAGE

School teacher and businessman.

What will be your priorities if you are elected? Things to look forward to next term are tax relief, follow our OCP, charming development, the 1,100-acre Foothills park, our new eight-acre waterfront park, and restoring the end of Peterson Road to a nature area. Residents will be fully involved in a grassroots up process.

This really is the theme of this election – work with residents, not against them.

How do you plan to manage taxes and spending? I voted against all the big tax hikes this council term. This was a total 68-per cent increase, in big part due to continual new staff hirings. This was unjustified, and unacceptable to residents.

Going forward, we can reverse this trend with wiser, targeted spending, coupled with the new tax income from ongoing new development. Increased income plus better spending equals a benefit to residents.

Part of wise spending is properly funding our capital reserves for such items as road replacement, safe pedestrian routes, and other infrastructure. Well-run businesses have adequate capital reserves, as should municipalities. Money is freed up for this, by ceasing unwise spending. We also have to prepare for the big police cost increase when we reach population 5000.

Why should people vote for you? My view is there is a certain sweet spot in each community, a space in between all the hard work and busy lives of its residents, a tender place where the soul of a community resides, where neighbours help, love and support each other. It is my hope members of our next council can embrace this daily, and remember our community belongs to all of us. Within this understanding, is the best way to move forward. Working with residents and building consensus produces a strong foundation. A grassroots up approach leads to success.

Other helpful councillor qualities are experience, a good work ethic with solid research, and a sincere, professional approach.

KARL WIESE

Note: Karl Wiese did not submit a response to the News Bulletin’s questionnaire by press time.

According to distributed campaign materials, his priorities include housing options for seniors; water and sewer options for areas that require or need these amenities; additional housing options to include, but not limited to, apartments, condominiums, row homes and single-family residences; advancement of future developments in the village core while still adhering to OCP guidelines with options as needed.

He says he will endeavour to work with all citizens, city staff and fellow council members to help make Lantzville the town we all know it can be.

READ ALSO: Lantzville council candidates talk tax increases, development



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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