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? – Betty McIntosh
- How long have you lived in New Westminster? – since 1968
- What do you love most about our city? – The sense of community and welcoming.
- What do you think most needs improvement? – Continued work on traffic issues.
- What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – Listening & working for the peoples issues of New westminster.
2. What are the top three initiatives you believe would improve economic development?
- Small business incubation and support
- Cutting red tape for businesses at City Hall to streamline processes to obtain permits, inspections, etc.
- Local promotions support with existing employers & businesses
3. How would you like to see city council improve engagement with younger citizens?
We have the new Youth Centre with many sucesses. City Council could go to their Centre for meetings. I have some youth on my Facebook & followed by Twitter. The City has staff engaged in Social Media outreach also. Having a variety of programs available to youth is helpful in their own neighbourhoods.
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?
The City works with the use of school gyms as they are tax payed public buildings to use more than during school hours. This is a type of public partnership. Churches are tax exempt properties so opportunities for public use can be explored. Scouts, Girl Guides, etc. use church halls.
5. Which approach best describes your philosophy towards City budgeting and spending?
New West should spend within its means. Borrowing money to fund community projects should only occur after a public consultation process to get a mandate from citizens to do so.
This process is done now but often no public engage.
6. Which of the following most closely reflects your views on taxation?
Taxes are too high an increase annually. City needs to look at staff generated ideas to hold tax increases.
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?
Talk on a regular basis with Council. Invite Council to citizens meetings. This is done face to face and with emails now. Volunteer in the City as many opportunities exist. This Councillor is friendly to all.
8. What should be done about truck traffic through our city?
This is a major issue that the City works on steps to preserve our residential areas & limit the truck routes. A transportation plan is being worked on again now. We will see if South Fraser Perimeter Road shift trucks to the South Fraser.
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?
All infrastructure ages and needs upgrades, Canada Games Pool had Family change rooms, a new slide and a new roof in the past 10 years. The Capital Project to upgrade is being worked in a long range budget.
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?
A completed linear boardwalk the 7 miles along the Fraser River that borders New Westminster accessible to all residents.
If you’d like to know more about Betty McIntosh you can find her online: