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Posts Tagged ‘Hallmark Society’

Ha, the TC had a great article today about the municipal election.

Municipal Hopefuls Drowning in a Sea of Questionnaires

Finally, someone understands our pain!

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I like the surveys.  I have run for office twice before and I don’t remember being taken to task on ideas as much as I am this time around.

Today I worked on questions for the Hallmark Society and Questions for the all-candidates meeting.  I think I’ll post them here and if you have any feedback or concerns or questions, then please comment.

I’ll start with the questions for the Esquimalt All Candidates Meeting.  The forum is Wednesday, November 5th at the Esquimalt High School at 7PM.

Questions for the All Candidates Meeting

01) How do you propose to keep our homeowner taxes from becoming unaffordable?

By controlling costs and keeping the townships expenses focused on the municipality’s core responsibilities to the rate payers.

02) What are your environmental and growth concerns for Esquimalt?

I don’t have a position on this yet.

03) What is your opinion of the balance between growth and quality of community?

I don’t think the two are at odds and may actually benefit each other. A growing community is a healthy community where people desire to live. This growth fuels business and expands the tax base, which in turn improves our shared quality of life.

04) What is your opinion with regard to increased residential density; would you allow condo towers?

I would be open to condo towers. There are areas of Esquimalt where condo tower development would be appropriate. I support increased density at the Village core and on Esquimalt Road by the Vic West border.

05) Will you push for Development Cost Charges for new development?

Yes. Development Cost Charges allow the township to expand service to new developments without over burdening the rational tax base. It is important that Esquimalt is competitive with the charge and fair in its application.

06) What action would you take to improve the service by our Police Department and to improve safety and security for the businesses and residents of this community?

I think the Police do an excellent job. My concern is with the costs that Esquimalt pays for the service. When the Province forced Esquimalt to amalgamate with Victoria, I believe the plan was to eventually amalgamate all the core municipalities. This would spread the cost out over more rate payers. This has not happened and now Esquimalt is charged with policing the volatile downtown core of a neighbouring municipality.

07) As a member of Council what would you do to support existing businesses and entice new businesses to locate in Esquimalt?

I want to see the business communities group together to brand their neighbourhoods and raise money to enhance and improve the neighbourhoods. The township should make funds available to match any money privately fundraised to improve our community.

08) Would you support an initiative to provide tax relief as a means of:
a) either attracting new businesses to the community to create new employment, or
b) to encourage existing commercial property owners to upgrade their existing buildings?

a) It would have to be a pretty unique and massive employer coming to Esquimalt to warrant a substantial tax incentive. Esquimalt already gives a break to the federal government for CFB Esquimalt.

b) I think it would be a wise use of township funds to encourage businesses to improve their storefronts and revitalize the commercial areas of Esquimalt.

09) We now have a report on the Esquimalt Village Project.  The business community and the residents of Esquimalt want to see one of the options under this report go forward for the economic well being of our community.  What will you do to move forward with the implementation of this report?

The Esquimalt Village Project has a clear mandate and path. As a town councilor it is my job to continue to move the process forward. I support the revitalizing of the village core and want to see it built.

10) What is your perspective on the current CRD approach to sewage treatment planning and what would you do to ensure that the CRD constructs the best treatment system for communities and taxpayers?

I support the belief that Sewage Treatment is not necessarily needed as urgently as the Provincial Government has mandated. I think the Storm Drain System is a far more critical project to be tackled by the CRD that will have real environmental and public health benefits. That said, I recognize that Sewage Treatment will be moving forward as it is mandated by the Provincial Government. It is my position that Esquimalt must protect our community’s integrity when it comes to choosing a site for sewage treatment. I will support the plan that is the simplest and most cost efficient. I will be diligent in ensuring that the plan chosen does not have a greater environment detriment to our community’s health or the environment than our existing practice of dilution. Therefore I support the township’s stance that Macaulay Point is not suitable for a sewage treatment plant and that MacLaughlin Point is a superior choice. Waste products can not be trucked through the township and should be barged from the municipality.

11) What is your stance on the issue of sewage treatment being placed on Macaulay Point lands and will you allow up to 16 sludge trucks a day to travel through our community?

No. I do not support this plan. The town must be very firm that no sewage treatment plant be allowed to be built in this park.

12) The April 2008 Tourism Action Plan that prepared for the Township of Esquimalt reiterates the need to develop tourism products and access to Esquimalt. What will you do to support the extension of the Songhees Westsong Walkway, from the West Bay Marina to the Fleming Beach, which is a tourism focal point?

I support the extension of the West Bay Walkway as far as we can get the thing. If we could wrap it around every inch of waterfront, I’d be for that. I think the town needs to protect and expand the Archie Browning Sports Center to act as a focus for future tourism expansion and will require a hotel. Preferably near the arena so that the arena could be a potential place for conventions, concert and tournament and families and business people taking part could have the option of staying in Esquimalt.

13) Esquimalt has made a commitment to supporting year round cycling as part of its commitment to sustainability, yet the project to build bike lanes from Head Street to Lampson Street has never been completed. If elected, what will you do to overcome the funding and other problems that have stalled this project?

If needs be, fundraise it.

14) How often have you attended Monday night Council meetings in the past year?

I have not attended any. But if elected, I’ll attend them all.

15) Esquimalt has made a commitment to promote environmentally friendly, sustainable recreation activities, yet it has only one site dedicated to providing ocean access for launching kayaks and canoes. If elected, what will you do to promote the creation of launch sites on municipal property such as Capt. Jacobson Park?

Ocean access is important to me personally as I love walking along the ocean for recreation. I believe that every opportunity to connect people to the nature needs to be acted on. Not only does this improve quality of live and increase property values… it sets our town apart form so many cities in Canada and across the world.

16) Are you in favour of the Provincial and Federal governments providing funding to improve the rail infrastructure on the E&N Railway and having B.C. Transit provide commuter rail passenger service from Langford to Victoria as an alternate mode of public transportation to bus service?

I am always in favour of other people paying for project in Esquimalt. I am for commuter rail in principle, but as someone that lives by the train track, there will need to be safety, traffic and noise concern to be dealt with. Commuter rail will be massive benefit to the region and to Esquimalt as we are ideally situated between Victoria and the growing Western Communities.

16) Sea Breeze Pacific Juan de Fuca Cable LP has been given permission by the National Energy Board to build a 550 megawatt high voltage power line under Esquimalt streets, i.e. Craigflower Road and Lampson St. running down to Fleming Beach where they intend to bury the line under the foreshore and run the line across to Port Angeles, Washington to supply our power to the U.S. market.  If elected to Council what would your stance be to this threat to our health and our property values?

The line is underground, so that is the responsible thing to do. I do not believe it will be a threat to our health and will have only temporary effect on property value (during construction). I the long term, underground cables will have a tremendous benefit on property values compared to overhead lines.

17) What are your connections to political parties such as the NDP?

None. I had my picture taken with Jack Layton dressed as a Sasquatch once. Good times.  jack has an inspiring moustache, just in time for Movember!

18) In 2001 a traffic calming plan was implemented in the West Bay area.  Paradise Street was meant to have two speed humps because of the small children’s playground there, but only one has been built. Consequently cars turning off Lyall onto Paradise often speed down the street until they are forced to slow down at the other end. If elected, what will you do to support the whole implementation of the 2001 plan, since there are funds available for traffic calming in this area?”

Traffic calming using speed bumps is not an efficient method of controlling traffic. I support textualized pavement, painted roadways, raised crosswalks, narrower lanes, bike lanes, increased diagonal parking and landscaping to control driver behavior. Speed bumps are bad for cars, less safe, a hazard to bicycles, motorcycles and scooters, hard to navigate for buses and emergency vehicles, look ugly and are environmentally irresponsible. Esquimalt can move forward toward Living Streets.

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And now the questions from the Hallmark Society.

1) How important is Built Heritage to Esquimalt?

Built Heritage is exceptionally important to the township of Esquimalt.  Esquimalt is one of the first areas of Western Canada settled by Europeans and before that, the area was home to native groups.  The original townsite has already been swallowed by CFB Esquimalt, so the areas of town remaining that have a clear link to our shared past stories are important  and should be protected.  Heritage Building are also important because they create a unique Character for our town, diversity in the landscape and a warmth in our community.

2) Are you in favour of unilateral Heritage Designation as a last resort to protect significant buildings?

No.  Property rights must be maintained for land owners.  It is a fundamental element of freedom and democracy.  However, any building that is worth saving can and should be saved.  There are always options and “carrots” that can be used to encourage the preservation of our built heritage.

3) Are you in favour of allocating more resources in order to expand and update the Heritage Registry?

I think the township can play an important role in rallying the community to raise the funds privately to protect building of importance.  I believe the community should have some form of financial compensation for home owners that do choose to have their homes or property registered and designated a heritage property.

4) Density bonuses for developers are problematic.  What is your position on this concept?

It is OK that a developer “feels” that a density bonus is a problem.  They are, by definition, a bonus.  If a developer is wishing to ask the community for a variation on our community plan to generate increased profit for their business, then it is fair of the town to ask for certain considerations.  As long as the city is clear and fair as to what constitutes a density bonus and how the bonus is calculated then I support density bonuses.  Density bonuses are an effective tool of the township to generate additional revenue for affordable housing and amenities.

a simple search of the townships website return no responses, so to begin, the township would need to define what is a density bonus and how it will be calculated.

5) What can be done to encourage protection of Esquimalt’s heritage resources?

The township can encourage residents to designate their building a heritage building.  The Hallmark society can work with property owners with knowledge on how to best represent their building to effectively recreate the period the building came from.

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Thank you for taking to the time to read my answers to the questions.

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