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? – Lorrie Williams
- How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 25 years
- What do you love most about our city? – its village-like appeal
- What do you think most needs improvement? – traffic
- What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – infrastructure deficit
2. What are the top three initiatives you believe would improve economic development?
- Small business incubation and support
- Funding marketing campaigns to draw shoppers and tourists to New West
- Funding a ‘buy local’ campaign
3. How would you like to see city council improve engagement with younger citizens?
Make information active, not passive. ie, more surveys as well as newspapers pages.
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?
Get more cooperation from the schools.
5. Which approach best describes your philosophy towards City budgeting and spending?
New West should take advantage of funding offered from other sources (federal, provincial, developers, etc.) in order to fund important community & infrastructure improvements – even if it means having to borrow to pay for our share of a project
6. Which of the following most closely reflects your views on taxation?
Taxes could be increased. While no one likes tax increases, maintaining and improving the quality of City services is more important than freezing 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?
resident associations are a good way. letters to the editor
8. What should be done about truck traffic through our city?
I don’t know – get experts to help us reduce (Can’t eliminate) the volume.
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?
It’s probably almost time to start thinking about an entirely new sports complex.
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 new sports complex and a pedestrian bridge across to Queensborough.