Questions asked

Happy FriYAY everyone! 🙂

I just wanted to post the answers to my questions that the Times-Herald is asking of all the candidates. To be honest, I’m sure how many of you actually get the Times-Herald and I thought that possibly this information would be helpful to get out so everyone can see my answers/thoughts.

Advance polls are open tonight at City Hall from 7-9pm and Saturday, October 22 from noon-6pm. Election day is Wednesday, October 26 and polls open at 9am and close at 8pm. You can click on the map here and see where you vote.

These are my answers to the Times-Herald questions. Thanks for listening and I am asking for your support to continue to be one of your City Councillors. Have a lovely weekend!

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1.    Why did you decide to run for mayor/council?
Moose Jaw has some challenges ahead and we need strong, independent leadership to make the difficult decisions that will need to happen to move our City into the future for the betterment of all its residents.
2.    There are 5 people running for mayor, and 23 people running for
council. In this large field, what sets you apart from any of the other
candidates?
I’m a financial advisor and own my own business. I believe I bring common sense and independent thinking to the Council table. There are a handful of candidates who are being supported by special interest groups; I am running because I believe the community as a whole should benefit from decisions made at City Council, for the betterment of all taxpayers. I don’t have any hidden agendas or any interest in taking funds from groups/individuals who would like something back in return. The City needs independent decision-makers with their own ideas to represent them and to be making decisions for Moose Jaw that are not swayed by the views of others.

3.    Even if it’s politically unpopular, would you be willing to raise
taxes to pay for needed infrastructure repairs, even if the city approves
the LIP program in the referendum?

See answer under question 4

4.    How specifically would you fund the cast iron replacement should the
LIP fail?

I’m combining my answers for this question and 3. The new council, in my opinion, needs to take a good hard look at the fat in the budgets and there is a lot of it. The City has scheduled to spend over $3.5M on consultants in the 2016-2021 capital budget alone. That could get a lot of cast iron replacement completed! After the capital budget was completed, an example of spending funds on consultants occured when the mulitplex board wanted to spend $50000 on consultants to provide a report to City Council on what was really happening at the facilities. That report didn’t provide any new or additional information to me as to what was happening in those operations. Did we need to spend that money? I don’t believe we did. I believe sometimes elected officials are not ready or even willing to make the hard decisions that need to be made to fix a problem. We need people that ARE willing to stand up and make hard decisions for the betterment of the City.
We need to re-prioritize spending to focus on our infrastructure needs. For too long, I’ve lost votes at Council to increase some of those infrastructure budget lines over the years. The majority of past councils have ignored the infrastructure needs of this City, when I was voting to increase those areas and losing those votes. Spending has ballooned at City Hall and it needs to be controlled. The first step in finding funds is in analyzing the budgets and finding efficiencies first. Then we can look at tax increases as the next step.

5.    Can you point to a politically unpopular/contentious decision made by
yourself, or a previous council, that you believe was right for the city?

The restoration of the Capital Theatre into our downtown Cultural Centre was a contentious issue that I believe has turned into a tremendous facility for Moose Jaw. One just has to experience a concert there or another event to understand the benefit of having an auditorium like this in our community for entertainment and the presentation of both visual and performing arts.

6.    What do you believe are the most important issues facing the city?
Infrastructure renewal/funding

7.    What policies do you believe the city should do to encourage business?

answer under question 8->

8.    How would you work to attract business to Moose Jaw?
The City has to make it easier to do business with City Hall; there seems to be a number of hoops to jump through at times and business wants the least involvement with government. They want to set up shop, turn a profit and be successful. They do not want government interfering in their livelihood. We do have some tax incentive programs for businesses already including a 5 year exemption if the business create a certain # of jobs.

9.    Do you think that the city should take over the operations of Mosaic
Place/Yara Centre permanently?
The City shouldn’t run Mosaic Place in my opinion. This has an opportunity to be run like a business because of the events it is attracting. Yara Centre is a different entity and is more community service/recreation oriented but I could be challenged on this point and would welcome the discussion. I have some contacts in the concert industry that I’d like to consult with and utilize to see how best to manage the facilities into the future.

10.                 How specifically would you operate Mosaic Place and Yara
Centre?

No idea until we can get into the books etc and see what the best options might be. The bylaw currently in place needs to be dissolved immediately so we can build a new structure for operations. I voted against the way the current bylaw and board were set up years ago and I believe it’s a bit telling that we are where we are now – with a failed model, and a facility out of money and in desperate need of a rebuild before it drains the taxpayers of more subsidy. Mosaic Place could be self-sustaining if managed properly.

11.                 What do you think should be the relationship between
city council and city administration?

City Council should lead the City through policy development and initiatives; administration is there to implement those policies. For too long, it’s really been the other way around. Elected officials should lead the City through all areas of infrastructure renewal, economic development and growing and servicing that tax base.

12.                 What do you think should be the city’s next step, if any
should be taken, now that the province has decided to downshift
responsibilities for Wakamow Valley onto city?

The Province didn’t download the cost of Wakamow Valley onto the City; they cut THEIR funding to Wakamow which I believe was wrong. I am willing to have the discussion about Wakamow’s needs in the short and long term but I’m also in favour of lobbying the province to give that funding back to Wakamow. Once a municipality steps in to fund something that was once a provincial responsibility, I believe you have to be careful in how you answer to it. It could come back to bite you and it’s suddenly the City’s responsibility. Maybe some kind of partnership with the province could be setup? This discussion needs to happen as well.

13.                 Why should people vote for you?

I have the experience required to make well-rounded decisions for our community. I have business experience that is desperately needed at the Council table. I will continue to be accountable and transparent to the taxpayers with all decisions. I’m independent and not bound to any organization, group or business. I’ll make decisions that I believe benefit the entire community as a whole.

14.                 Do you believe there’s a group, or groups, within the
city that receives municipal funding that you believe should receive more
money than what they are currently receiving?

Not that I know of.

15.                 Recently, a school trustee running in Saskatoon put his
name forward even though he had a criminal record. The City of Moose Jaw
council debated this issue, and the majority of council decided it would be
up to the public to ask about any potential candidates criminal record. In
that light, do you have a criminal record?

No
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