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? – Calvin Donnelly
- How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 41 years in the Westend
- What do you love most about our city? – People and their community spirit
- What do you think most needs improvement? – traffic and infrastructure
- What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – livability
2. What are the top three initiatives you believe would improve economic development?
- Funding marketing campaigns to draw shoppers and tourists to New West
- Funding a ‘buy local’ campaign
- Cutting red tape for businesses at City Hall to streamline processes to obtain permits, inspections, etc.
3. How would you like to see city council improve engagement with younger citizens?
more inclusive, encouragement to engage more in local activities such as parades, Canada Day, community events
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?
make more time (make this the top priority)available for groups, etc
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.
6. Which of the following most closely reflects your views on taxation?
Taxes are about right. New Westminster’s level of taxation is appropriate for its size and the level of services provided to citizens. Current revenues are adequate and we don’t need to raise taxes.
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?
city, not citizens, should improve communication therefore encouraging everyone
8. What should be done about truck traffic through our city?
work better with Translink to provide routes with the least impact…take trucks off the Patullo Bridge during daytime hours to start as a possible trial idea
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?
needs to be refurbished, city needs to put in budget for this, and other upgrades needed throughout the city such as the Sapperton Pensioners Hall, over the next few years
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?
Improve overall infrastructure and traffic access and exiting. Example to improve infracture would be building a brand new multi-use sports complex in New West, serving families and seniors.