Retired council member John Herbert’s letter in the Sept. 19 issue of Oak Bay News prompts my letter. His veiled criticism of Mayor Nils Jensen and support for the mayor’s rival in the upcoming election, quoting that candidate’s campaign motto in his final sentence was a bit much.
Herbert had years on council to help solve some of the problems facing Oak Bay today, and he failed to provide any affordable housing while our infrastructure declined due to lack of attention and the deer population exploded. I don’t want his electoral advice.
I ran a business in Oak Bay village for 15 years and have lived in the municipality for over 40 years, and Nils Jensen is the best mayor I’ve ever had. People like Herbert don’t like Mayor Jensen’s progressive ideas, his attempts to provide affordable housing alternatives, his support of refugees, and his efforts to reach out to our Indigenous neighbours.
Mayor Jensen has succeeded at most of these breakthrough changes while maintaining the special nature of our community. He has pushed existent illegal secondary suites into the light. (They are everywhere Mr. Herbert, and at present are a dangerous drain on our economy.) Bringing illegal suites into the light has been a struggle made more difficult by the tactical obstruction of the mayor’s opponent. It’s a change that will bring safety and taxes to our community. Mayor Jensen has made municipal government more transparent following the recommendations of our Official Community Plan and is active and available to community members on-line and in-person at his regular perch Saturday morning at The Oaks. He leads by example and hopefully has weathered a nasty, wrong-headed conspiracy campaign not unlike the one used by Trump to rule our neighbours to the south.
We don’t want to Make Oak Bay Great Again Mr. Herbert. We want to make Oak Bay better, a better place where young families can live and keep our schools alive, where our elders can live out their years in peace and in their homes or in affordable housing, where people who work and own businesses in Oak Bay can live in Oak Bay, where public art is at the heart of our lives, and where our community is led by a mayor who respects the history and gifts of our Indigenous neighbours. Nils Jensen is the man for that job. Sno’uyutth.