My platform priorities for Council:
Fiscally responsible oversight of infrastructure
Counsillors often forget the core of their responsibility is ensuring appropriate levels and planned maintenance of essential services including roads, water, sewer, policing, fire protection, waste removal, parks and recreation, city transit and city planning. This is my first priority.
Keeping taxes affordable
I hear from many people that they are worried about rising taxes. We owe it to our constituents to find ways of keeping tax increases under control. While many councillors run on a platform of being everything to everyone, I strongly believe in balance. Some things may need to wait, sometimes there are other ways to achieve goals without the taxpayers bearing the cost. Above all else, we need to live within our means!
Open and transparent government
Over the past number of years, I have noticed many times when the city council has had in-camera meetings. Unless there are compelling reasons, we owe it to our constituents to have open and transparent meetings.
Families and seniors are having a harder and harder time finding affordable and accessible housing. As a councillor, I would lobby for streamlined permitting to send a clear message that we are open for business. While housing does not fall under a municipal mandate, we can look at tax incentives for developments that address housing affordability and collaborate with organizations and businesses wishing to fill this need.
Promoting senior-oriented enhancements
My volunteer experience includes working with many seniors (growing in number in the Comox Valley). There is a growing need for senior and accessible recreation opportunities. (Before anyone asks, I am learning about pickleball.) There may be some opportunities to repurpose facilities or partner with service clubs to subsidize the cost to taxpayers. If you have a particular area of interest that you would like to see added to recreation amenities, please contact me.
Landfills are being burdened with too much waste that could potentially be recycled or even prevented in the first place. We need to get ahead of this issue and develop a strong and cost-effective solid waste strategy. In my own experience from my home country, a little education can go a long way.