The following questionnaire was sent to all New Westminster candidates for mayor and council a little over a week ago. A separate questionnaire was sent to trustees (their responses are also being published this week). Questions were selected based primarily on comments from readers of Tenth to the Fraser collected via Twitter and Facebook, with a few of my own questions added in. Responses are published in the order they were received. Spelling/grammar are not corrected and candidates’ responses are published unedited.
1. First, let’s hear a little about you:
- What’s your name? – Chuck Puchmayr
- How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 33 years
- What do you love most about our city? – quality of life, heritage, people,
- What do you think most needs improvement? – transportation, keeping us affordable
- What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – continuing to work of safe streerts and homelessness
2. What are the top three initiatives you believe would improve economic development?
- More support for local business improvement associations
- Funding a ‘buy local’ campaign
- the best economic developement is providing a safe clean city. we also need to be creative to counter the impacts of bigbox which hurts downtown cores
3. How would you like to see city council improve engagement with younger citizens?
During my years in politics I have engaged many student groups and I definatly think creating an interest in civic pride is essential to a good succession plan for future leaders.
4. What should New Westminster do to improve access to recreational programming and indoor public spaces in neighbourhoods that lack amenities like rec centres and libraries such as the West End, Connaught Heights and Sapperton?
Community schools was a good start, but Procincial liability issues may affect expansion of some programs. We are a small city compared to many, yet there is a shortage of land available in these arias for expansion of public ammenities yet traffic gridlock may require some expansion of services into these areas.
5. Which approach best describes your philosophy towards City budgeting and spending?
6. Which of the following most closely reflects your views on taxation?
taxes need to remain affordable. we are seeing an increase in financial hardship especially on single residents and seniors
7. Beyond voting, serving on City committees and appearing at council meetings, what do you think citizens can do to become more involved in civic life?
Living with an attitude towards caring and helping those who are less fortunate.
8. What should be done about truck traffic through our city?
Goods movement is important, but most of the truck traffic goes through our city and the capaitiy is not there for us to handle. We need to look at regional solutions to this, and NO to an 8 lane Puttullo.
9. What should be done to improve our recreation facilities? Specifically, what would you like to see done with Canada Games Pool, which is in need of repair/upgrades?
I need to weigh upgrade vs new by looking at the studies.
10. Let’s conclude with some ‘blue sky’ thinking. What is one big-idea project or improvement that you would propose for New Westminster if cost was no object?
Green buildings that reverse the impacts to climare change. Repalcing any greenspace lost to development with green roofs and off site mittigation
If you’re interested in learning more about Chuck Puchmayr, you can find him online: