Finding Kerry Park solution high priority as Walker returns to Mill Bay director’s seat

Mike Walker speaks during the Mill Bay all-candidates forum. - Ashley Degraaf/file
Mike Walker speaks during the Mill Bay all-candidates forum.
— image credit: Ashley Degraaf/file

Mike Walker couldn’t wait to get back to work as Mill Bay’s regional director.

Even before being sworn in Dec. 7, the director-elect was back in the saddle at CVRD headquarters Wednesday, getting a grip on Area A’s reins for the next three years.

Walker was proud his popularity among  Mill Bay’s 3,243 registered voters earned him 564 votes — 58 per cent of 1,014 votes cast.

“My wife, Shirley, and I were fairly well known in the Mill Bay community,” the Thirty Foods staffer said, citing the couple’s involvement in Rotary, community policing and more.

Of course, it helped Walker was Mill Bay’s director for two terms, 2002 to 2008, before stepping aside for a break.

The area’s outgoing director, Brian Harrison, didn’t run in Saturday’s vote where Mill Bay’s polls lured a 31 per cent turnout.

But that was enough to land Walker a win.

He credited heavy door knocking, a phone committee, signage, and campaigning on Twitter and Facebook for boosting his chances.

Now Walker, 57, is focused on exploring funding for Kerry Park recreation centre upgrades, plus other area issues.

“We’ve been on hold for Kerry Park funding for nine years,” he told the News Leader Pictorial.

“We have to find out if Cowichan Bay wants in or out (of south-end rec funding), then we can plan what we’re going to do.”

Other issues on Walker’s renewed watch include steering planned developments at Stone Bridge and Ocean Terrace, plus industrial visions at Bamberton.

“I have to bring myself to speed on Bamberton’s industrial application.”

Walker was satisfied the private Mill Bay Marina, including its 14 town homes, is going ahead to broaden the bay’s tax base.

He recognized citizen concerns about beach access.

“We still have public access to the beach along Mill Bay Road.”

Some folks are also worried about rising sewage treatment needs, and aquifer protection, in his growing area.

Walker suggested possible tax breaks in exchange for mandatory septic-tank pump outs during certain timeframes.

He may also wade into the region’s renewed search for an ECO Depot recycling centre site after Saturday’s referendum nixed use of land off Cameron-Taggart Road in Shawnigan Lake.

“Talk to me in a month,” he said.

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