Bob Kasting fought city hall and won. Now the lawyer is being asked to run for Vancouver mayor in the fall election.
“The way it’s been put to me is, ‘You do nothing or you do something.’ And I am interested in doing something. That exact something hasn’t quite crystallized,” Kasting told the Straight in a June 27 phone interview.
Kasting represented Kitsilano resident Megan Carvell Davis in a legal action that forced the city to scrap an unpopular plan to carve out a bike path in Hadden Park.
He’s now counsel for the False Creek Residents Association in a new court action questioning the city’s authority to allow commercial use of land zoned for a park.
A lawyer for almost 40 years, Kasting is familiar with the workings of government. He was a member of the community advisory council of the University Endowment Lands, and he also worked for the Justice Department of the Northwest Territories.
When The Electors’ Action Movement held its revival launch this year, Kasting was one of its invited speakers.
Tina Oliver was an opponent of the now-abandoned plan for a bike path at Hadden Park. The former assistant to ex-mayor Philip Owen said that she’s among those encouraging Kasting to challenge Mayor Gregor Robertson.
Oliver told the Straight by phone that people who want to see Kasting become mayor share one thing: “a common belief in good government, a respectable and honest government”.
Jak King, a Grandview-Woodland community advocate, recalled that Kasting asked him what he thought. “I said to him I have no idea what his politics were but he has an extraordinarily good background,” King told the Straight by phone.
Although King doesn’t know yet if he’d support Kasting, he is impressed with the lawyer. “He’s incredibly intelligent. He’s got a very fine mind. And I think, like a very good judge, he has very good reasoning skills. So, as a mayor, I think he wouldn’t be bad.”
Although Kasting hasn’t decided if he will run, he said he is aware of how residents feel about city hall. “I’ve been involved with a lot of neighbourhood groups that have expressed an awful lot of dissatisfaction with the way they’re being bullied,” Kasting said.