A Lantzville councillor wants another term on council.
Coun. Dot Neary has decided to run again, explaining that she doesn’t want to be a “one-term wonder.”
She joins fellow council members Mark Swain and Bob Colclough on the ballot, both of whom are running for mayor, as well as Will Geselbracht, who, like Neary, is vying for a seat on council. Eight other individuals are also competing for a seat on Lantzville council, which will drop down from six elected councillors to four this term.
Neary, who was one of four councillors elected during a by-election in 2015, said the decision to run again came to down a desire to be part of the next council that will move forward many of the initiatives that the current council has worked on.
“I think we have done some really constructive work and started a foundation for Lantzville to move forward from and I would like to be part of that next phase,” she said.
Lantzville councillors were able to accomplish a lot in just three years Neary said, citing the completion of the water master plan, execution of the water agreement, installing the water pipeline, adopting a new logo, Phase 3 sewer and the completion of a service capacity review.
“I think we have done a lot of work that has been really constructive in three years, despite what seems to be sometimes some really die-hard opposition,” she said.
Neary said it will be important for council to move the revised official community plan forward and implement it, as well as ensure a lot of the other work that council has completed moves forward. Neary said the next council will need to be able to work together, rebuild trust with staff and learn to balance competing interests.
“We need a council comprised of people who can hit the ground running and have a strong working knowledge of what was done before and what it all means,” she said.
Neary, who previously served as trustee and chairwoman with the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School Board, said her priorities on a personal level are to ensure good governance and added that she works well with other councillors, staff and the community.
“You can’t control what other people think or do, you are only in charge of yourself. It is easy to take the bait sometimes and sometimes you do find yourself getting distracted and diverting from the matter in hand or you rise to that bait, but I’ve learned that you can’t take things personally and you can’t control other people,” she said. “I already knew that, but what [being on council has done] has reinforced that.”
In October 2016, concerns were raised by some Lantzville councillors that Neary had failed to declare herself in a conflict of interest after she voted on a motion related to the Foothills development. Neary, who lives beside the Foothills property, told councillors at the time that she didn’t declare a conflict because the motion was to receive a report and the outcome wouldn’t have benefited her in any capacity and that her integrity has since been trashed on social media.
“I sought a legal opinion and I received a legal opinion that said I was not in conflict of interest in relation to the Foothills project and my property and I fulfilled my obligations under the charter, as such, that was the end of it as far I was concerned,” she said.
When asked why people should vote for her, Neary said she brings experience, understanding and a well-balanced approach to the council table. Neary also said she doesn’t represent any singular self-interest group, cares about the whole community and is interested in social development as much as much as economic development.
“I have respect for others and I respect the democratic process and if you can’t you have no business sitting at that table,” she said.