For those of you who did not see the Councillor Candidates Q&A in the Nov 5th Oak Bay News I have included my responses below.
I believe that my responses should give a sense of my thinking around these issues.
Responses from all of the candidates are available here.
Do you live in Oak Bay?
Yes, I have lived here with my wife and young family for 10 years. I work for the BC Gov. My background can be found at http://www.ericzhelka.ca/about
Are you in favour of some form of amalgamation in the Capital Region?
No. Why would Oak Bay give up our beloved Dump and the excellent service levels we have? These will be the first to go.
However, the CRD already is the shared services/amalgamation placeholder. I am in favour of slowly and orderly moving services to the regional level as the demand and evidence shows it will be cost effective.
What is your vision for sewage treatment in Oak Bay?
I prefer a smaller distributed system and I acknowledge that science supports our current system.
Do you think speed limits should be lowered in high crash areas?
Yes, and then a proper root cause analysis should be undertaken to resolve the issue.
Should mobility scooters be regulated?
Only if they start to exceed unsafe speeds, as determined by the experts.
Is a deer cull necessary?
I am not happy that the current council left it this long and did not apply non-lethal, population reducing methods such as the SpayVac contraceptive used successfully at CFB Esquimalt.
Only if public safety is a concern would I support a cull – with nothing left to waste.
Should secondary suites be legalized?
I’d prefer not. The census and the CRD say Oak Bay’s population is growing at 0.3% net per year (50 people). The OCP says it is 0.5%. I am in favour of accommodating new residents in the areas of higher demand and I like the idea of an Oak Bay Housing Registry that could, additionally, help seniors age in-place.
Does Oak Bay need stronger noise bylaws?
I believe we are fairly good in that area – compared to most places around the world I have visited. Our challenge is cost effective enforcement.
Should Oak Bay allow more freedom for dogs?
Even though I’m a dog person, in general, no. With my little kid in tow, I am happy to see the dogs on leash and the controlled times when they are allowed off.
Do you agree with the basic principles in the new OCP?
As a vision document, in general, yes. However, I find it a very poor document to help guide any planning for the orderly development of Oak Bay. The OCP survey questions "assum(e) key issues such as tree protection, parking, traffic, and noise and neighbourhood character will be addressed.” These are promises, not assumptions.
Should council encourage more filming opportunities in Oak Bay?
It depends. What are the community amenities that have been negotiated for Oak Bay? While there were some inconveniences, I appreciated the opportunities for employment that came here, especially for our youth.