My responses to your questionnaires will be posted here on a regular basis.
Answers to the candidate survey for the Comox Valley Record Supplement:
1) Are you in favour of expropriation of an easement in Comox on private waterfront properties for the creation of a public walkway?
No, I support a waterfront walkway but not through expropriation. I respect private property rights. Expropriation is a powerful tool that should only be used in exceptional circumstances. I support negotiating a public walkway as waterfront properties come up for redevelopment.
2) Would you support tax deferrals or other incentives to encourage densification via secondary suites?
Yes, I supported all town residential zones, being allowed secondary suites. Now, no rezoning is required, only building inspection approval plus owner occupation of the main house or suite.
3) Are you in favour of the private redevelopment of Baybrook House as an interpretive centre?
No, I am not in favour of the private redevelopment of public buildings and I do not think this is the intent of the Mack Laing Society. However together with the neighbourhood, I think Mack Laing, who late in life, had no car or telephone, would want a more simple solution; one that enhanced bird watching and nature study. Great thanks are due to the Mack Laing Society for their tremendous work to honour Mack's will. We all need to come together to find resolution to his legacy.
4) Are you in favour of tax incentives for businesses to address vitalization of the downtown core?
Yes, I supported the Town's piloting of a tax incentive program to encourage down town residential densification in conjunction with commercial development, to bring more life downtown. The program has been successful in other communities.
5) Would you be in favour of committing more of your municipality’s roadways to bike lanes?
Yes, I am a member of the Comox Valley Cycling Task Force of which the Public Advisory Committee advises on where there are safety issues. I support making our roadways safer for all users whether through bike lanes, off road linkages or 'share the road' signage. I spearheaded a Healthy Communities grant through council that brought Active School Travel Planning to Comox. The aim is to create safer, healthier travel for children and end traffic jams around schools.
6) Do you support amalgamation of Comox, Courtenay and Cumberland?
No, The last time this issues was raised, 78% of Comox citizens, after receiving the facts, voted no to amalgamation. Cost was a major factor. Comox has a very low debt load, good infrastructure and lower taxes. Increased taxes and potential loss of green space were expressed concerns. Until Comox citizens come together to support an amalgamation initiative, my answer is 'No'. As happened in the last amalgamation referendum, Comox votes need to be counted separately, so our votes count.
7) Should the board for the publicly-funded Comox Valley Economic Development Society be elected by the public?
Yes, There has been a recent study of the Comox Valley Economic Development Society (CVEDS) which made a number of yet to be implemented recommendations including the need for more representation and reporting out. The question of an elected CVEDS board was not raised. I support exploring this idea as CVEDS controls a large budget of public funds.
8) Would you support an increase in property taxes in order to assist in the homelessness situation in the Comox Valley?
Yes, I will be voting yes in the plebiscite as I know that without local government participation, we will be unable to attract Federal and Provincial funding to deal with homelessness in our communities. Although the plebiscite is non-binding, I would respect the outcome of this Valley wide vote. I support a Town budget that keep pace with inflation. How we spend property taxes, can shift between different priorities and does not necessarily mean a tax increase to assist the homeless situation.
9) Are housing solutions solely a municipal responsibility?
No, There has been too much downloading both federally and provincially.
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