Victoria’s mayor-elect Lisa Helps jumps into new role

Victoria mayor-elect Lisa Helps wasted no time jumping into her new role on Monday, attending an 8 a.m. meeting with the city’s manager at the Cornerstone Café in Fernwood.

“I don’t waste time, I think that’s why I was elected,” said Helps.

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The new mayor and city manager Jason Johnson discussed large projects on the go, such as sewage treatment and the Johnson Street Bridge.

“I’m excited,” Helps said.

Helps defeated sitting mayor Dean Fortin by just 89 votes in Saturday’s municipal election.

Helps has now laid out an ambitious plan to have a four-year strategic plan, developed by council and senior staff, in place by the end of February.

“It’s important because it sets the direction for staff and the city and the citizens and our businesses for the next four years,” Helps said.

“It’s important to have it in place as soon as possible so we don’t waste any time and so that everybody is on the same page and knows what direction we want to take the city in the next four years and so we can get to work,” Helps said.

Helps’ first priority is to build strong relationships with councillors and senior staff and other elected officials.

She has also put in a call to B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

“I just want to let her know that I’m the new mayor of the City of Victoria and ask what she and her government would like to accomplish in the capital region in the next few years and how I can support that.”

Victoria’s new mayor has already made contact with all councillors. She began one-on-one meetings today, meeting with the Coun. Ben Isitt at 9:30 a.m.

Her third and fourth priorities are dealing with the issue of sewage treatment and the Johnson Street Bridge construction.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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