Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Questions To By-Election Candidates

The following are candidate's answers to some quesitions I asked their opinions on. All candidates were asked the same questions and the answers received are quoted below. I also asked other questions which are pretty much duplicated in both local papers, so am not adding them here.

Q.How would you prioritze city spending, what are the first ten items the city should spend money on?
Ted Greves:
1.      Water
2.      Sewer
3.      Roads
4.      Solid Waste
5.      Environment
6.      Police
7.      Fire
8.      Recycling/Compost
9.      Parks
10.  Recreation 

Ian Gartshore:
Since the city’s major expenditures are all essential (roads, sewers, water, police, fire, social services, maintenance, parks, etc.) this question is impossible to answer. However, it is possible to shift spending so as to make our community less costly in terms of transportation and make it more sustainable economically, socially and environmentally. This means less money for roads and more money for cycling and walking paths (as an example). By lowering costs for our residents tax increases are more affordable. Another priority would be to greatly reduce urban sprawl, saving the city a lot of money in maintaining its infrastructure. Increasing the population densities saves on taxes.

Murray McNab:
 If elected I would like to meet with senior staff to better get their ideas of what the spending priorities are. Having said that, I was employed at a Municipality south of Nanaimo for 7 years and have a very good understanding of what some staff members” feed” council. All information from staff should be reviewed. This is why I agree with Mr. Kipp when he says that a core review is urgently needed so as to justify the spending of taxpayers dollars in what should be a sustainable manner.
As for the top ten items- I will have to wait until I have more information. 

Bill McKay:
1) Police 2) Fire 3)Administration 4) Roadways 5) Sewer and Water delivery 6) City Building and Parks construction and Maintenence 7) Planning 8) Revenue Management 9)Economic Development 10) Waste management.

Q. What is the biggest challenge facing Nanaimo over the next decade? 
Ted Greves:

The ability of the city to provide the services (infrastructure, water, protective services, parks, recreation and culture and so on) that the taxpayers demand at the property tax rate that they will accept.

Ian Gartshore:
As senior levels of government continue to down-load responsibilities on to municipalities that are already struggling with aging infrastructure, coupled with deteriorating income levels for the lower and middle classes, and with the added burden of rapidly rising costs for energy and food for an aging population, Nanaimo will most certainly be affected. The city needs to take more responsibility for making our community more liveable and sustainable so as to cushion the effects of these rising costs and improve the health of its residents

Murray McNab:
The biggest challenge facing Nanaimo in the next decade is the need to upgrade and or replace aging and out dated infrastructure. If this area is neglected much longer the spending on maintenance of exiting infrastructure will become overwhelming.
Bill McKay:
Growing our economy. Governments only look at two aspects of providing services and balancing budgets – 1) Higher taxes and 2) Cutting services. We must ask ourselves constantly, ‘In order to provide the programs we wish in our community, is our economy big enough to afford it?’ We need new investment. We need new business. We need to provide exciting opportunities for new capital to help us fulfill our vision. This will require a new ‘can-do’ attitude where investment is welcome, our City provides an environment for success, and a willingness to work together. Other cities are doing it, why can’t we! I believe Nanaimo is poised to become one of the most prosperous and successful cities in Canada!


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