Name: Denise Haime
Occupation/background: Chartered accountant/local business owner; Lantzville councillor, nine years; chairwoman, Lantzville Parks and Recreation Committee.
Why are you running for public office?
I am running because I have fresh ideas and the energy to continue working for Lantzville residents and leading the community for the next four years in order to realize the vision in the Official Community Plan.
My financial background provides me with the skills, knowledge and experience required to manage the finances of the community in a sound and sustainable manner. Utilizing my financial skills on council is one of the ways I continue to give back to the community.
What three priorities are important to you and how do you plan to tackle these issues, if elected?
Bringing spending and taxes under control. Over the past three years, administrative wages have increased by 30 per cent, sewer rates increased by 102 per cent and tax increases have been avoided only by using prior year savings. I did not support these items because it is an unsustainable approach to finances. One of my priorities is to advocate for decreased spending to provide taxation relief for our residents.
Implementation of a water agreement. The water agreement with Nanaimo has challenges, it does not provide a water solution for hundreds of residents, places priority on connections for development not existing residents and yet will cost all existing residents more in taxes. The agreement as written is structurally flawed and needs to be addressed to make it workable for all residents. My immediate priority is to propose amendments to Nanaimo in order to create a win-win scenario with all Lantzville residents being entitled to a water connection and Nanaimo benefiting by Lantzville actually connecting. The next step would be determining the connection schedule for those areas of Lantzville where existing residents need water most urgently and beginning construction of the Nanaimo connection.
Retention of Lantzville’s unique character. This priority will be to ensure that the pressures of development do not change the character of Lantzville. The OCP expresses this character and I will base my decisions on the wishes of the community as expressed in this plan.
How do you plan to manage taxes and spending?
Over the past three years, council spending has been done without regard for the taxpayer. Spending and taxes need to be reduced. My plan is to review all spending to determine the areas of potential cost savings and the impact on the services currently provided to the residents. Council should recognize that the residents work hard for their money.
What does it take to lead Lantzville? Describe your leadership style or co-working style.
Lantzville needs leadership that is willing to engage the community in discussions before decisions are made and Lantzville needs a council that respects the opinions of all. I provide a consensus decision making style combined with a focus on Lantzville resident’s needs and then I get the job done, on budget and on time.