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? – Bob Osterman
- How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 38 Years
- What do you love most about our city? – Our sense of History and our small town “compactness”
- What do you think most needs improvement? – Traffic Flows, Rat Running, Gridlock morning & night
- What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – Traffic, Congestion, School Children Safety
2. What are the top three initiatives you believe would improve economic development?
- Small business incubation and support
- Funding a ‘buy local’ campaign
- Cutting red tape for businesses at City Hall to streamline processes to obtain permits, inspections, etc.
- Develop more A Class Office business Centres
3. How would you like to see city council improve engagement with younger citizens?
Expand our Youth Committee to have represenatives from Every School. dedicate one Council Meeting a Month stricly for Open Dialogue, rotate this forum around the City
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?
Work with the School District & Ministry of Education for more after hours use of School, devlop neighborhood of learning centres in each School
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 are too high. The City should freeze or reduce property taxes by any means necessary, even if this requires cutting back on City staffing or services.
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?
Join & devlop your local Resident’s Associations. Join Block Watch. Join community orkanizations such as : Lions, Kiwanis, Elks.
8. What should be done about truck traffic through our city?
Time limitations, Strict Enforcement, Push for the completion of the South Fraser Perimeter Road in Surrey, Delta.
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 would like to see it rebuilt using maximum green technology, with marginal cost heating, cooling, electricity.
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?
Regain our waterfront, take it back from Largo (beside the Discovery Center) Increase our land base, into the Fraser River
If you’d like to know more about Bob Osterman, you’ll have to try Google or look him up in the phone book – I couldn’t find any campaign sites for him online!