Oak Bay: Nils Jensen convincingly re-elected as mayor

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Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen has won a resounding second-term victory against councillor Cairine Green and junk hauler David Shebib..

“I’m elated,” said Jensen, giving the thumbs up at the packed Penny Farthing pub on Oak Bay Avenue. “Very significant numbers came my way and that’s a lot of what we heard on the doorstep ... I really appreciate the residents of Oak Bay giving me their confidence.”

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Jensen attributed the win to his experience - he’s been at the council table for 18 years - and the fact that people have been generally satisfied with council.

“There’s not always agreement on everything we’ve done, but there’s a sense that this has been a responsible, reasonable, balanced council and their decisions are in the best interests of the community.”

Green, a former probation officer, served on North Saanich council for six years and a number of municipal and regional committees. She promised a fresh perspective and different style of leadership.

In the end, Oak Bay voters stuck with what they knew.

Both candidates agreed the deer cull was the most important issue for Oak Bay residents.

Jensen said he will use his renewed mandate to move forward with the cull early in the new year. He will also push “very aggressively” on a sewage treatment plant that can serve either all of the core municipalities or at the very least, the east side, Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay. A decision is needed within a year to prevent the loss of $500 million in grants for the project.

“This certainly is an economic Armageddon if we don’t move quickly,” said Jensen.

Jensen will be joined at the council table by incumbents Tara Ney, Michelle Kirby and Kevin Murdoch. Hazel Braithwaite, who was on Oak Bay council for six years, and rookie councillor Tom Croft will bring experience and knowledge to the table, said Jensen.

The real newcomer is Eric Zhelka.

“He has certainly had appearances in front of council which are very interesting, but I think once he starts working with us on a variety of issues, hopefully he’ll be as collaborative as the rest of council,” said Jensen.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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