Candidate running for Councillor


Administration & Governance

1

 

Canadian Home Builders Association:
The only employee of Lethbridge City Council is the City Manager. Should a vacancy occur, what are the skills you will look for in a candidate, what recruitment process would you advocate for, and how will you ensure a transparent recruitment process?

Answer

Together with a passion for local government and serving people a City Manager must be able to multitask and make confident decisions. The core skill-set includes managing complex budgets and multiple departments, and to understand how local government operates including provincial and federal codes and conditions. They must have superior leadership skills, written and verbal communication skills and be capable of explaining complex issues to city government and the public. Also, analytical skills, and ability to negotiate contracts and agreements with personnel, and others. The search process must be open and cast a diverse net to ensure that the most qualified applicant is selected.


2

 

Aerris Managing Solutions:
The revised Municipal Government Act (MGA) is requiring that all municipal councils have a Code of Conduct that represents a commitment by each member to conduct themselves in a certain way. What would you include in the City of Lethbridge Code of Conduct for your council?

Answer

Broadly speaking members of the City Council must act to advance the common good of all the citizens of Lethbridge. Each Councilor must act to represent our municipality and to perform their functions faithfully and impartially to the best of their knowledge and abilities. We should expect Councilors to exhibit the core values of: honesty (open and truthful); integrity (interests of the city have priority over interests of private individuals); objectivity (base decisions after a careful and fair analysis); accountability (to each other and the public); and leadership (confront challenges and provide direction on the issues that affect Lethbridge). Refer to www.unsm.ca for details.


3

 

Aerris Managing Solutions:
As a member of Lethbridge City Council, what does “accountability” look like and what initiatives would you undertake to achieve accountability?

Answer

As I stated earlier accountability means that Councilors are 'agents of our citizens' and their primary function is to address the needs of our citizens. They must uphold all laws as well as by-laws, and to observe a high moral standard when conducting their duties while fulfilling their responsibilities. Councilors must act without reference to their own personal or financial interests, and must recuse themselves when there is any potential of a possible conflict of interest or lack of impartiality. The actions and decisions of Councilors and the Mayor need to be reported and made public on a regular basis to justify and defend them to the citizens as well as colleagues.


4

 

Aerris Managing Solutions:
The Municipal Government Act (MGA) outlines the role of council but reality is often more complicated than legislation. Explain how you see your role as an elected official in relation to the operations of the City?

Answer

The function of the Councilor is to establish direction for Administration to provide relevant Departments with the instructions and considerations that they need to fulfill the task entrusted to them. It is my hope and expectation that our City Departments contain the expertise to perform the functions and services that they are experienced in delivering. Administering the direction of City Council should not require active micro-management by a member of City Council, or a need for external consultation unless the project is completely novel and is clearly beyond the scope of our current resources. Council is accountable to the public to ensure that directions are faithfully executed.


5

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
We should continue investing in expansion of City of Lethbridge public transit services and ensure that public tax dollars are not being used to subsidize private companies or ride-sharing platforms. Please choose from: Strongly disagree, Somewhat disagree, Neither agree nor disagree, Somewhat agree, Strongly agree.

Answer

Strongly agree


6

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
What is your position on Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) and the function they serve in the future growth of the City of Lethbridge? Please choose: Mostly Oppose P3s or Mostly Support P3s.

Answer

Mostly Support P3s


7

 

Group Questions:
Would you vote in favour of making councillors a full time position for the 2021 Lethbridge municipal election?

Answer

No


8

 

Group Questions:
Would you vote in favour of creating an electoral ward system for the 2021 Lethbridge municipal election?

Answer

Yes


Arts & Culture

9

 

Allied Arts Council:
What are your top three priorities for the arts in the City of Lethbridge and how should these activities be funded?

Answer

My first priority is that any publicly supported Art is accessible and include and represent the diversity that exists in our community. Constructing a community requires investment but it should not be used to promote any project that cannot show that it meets the needs and desires of a broad swath of the general public. Public art should showcase the history and place of Lethbridge in the world of art. I am concerned that funding is available to manage and care for our current collection of artwork. Acquiring new works and monuments should not be the only metric of success. Funding for the maintenance is necessary and essential to keep our investments working by engaging the public.


10

 

Allied Arts Council:
What do you believe is City of Lethbridge's role in arts investment?

Answer

I am comfortable investing in the vision articulated in "The Integrated Community Sustainability Plan/ Municipal Development Plan" [that] envisions “a culturally sustainable community” that supports “the creation of a vibrant and festive environment that exudes a sense of community identity and belonging through support of a variety of art forms and cultural expressions” Refer to The City of Lethbridge Public Art Master Plan, June 2012.


11

 

Lethbridge Public Library:
What do you see as the role of the public library in our community and how would you support it?

Answer

The Public Library's role has gradually changed from simply "lending out books" and is likely to continue to change and take on other functions in the coming years. For many in our community the libraries provide services ranging from ad hoc social-work to navigators. They can provide help to people in researching and figuring out local resources and issues about life, such as navigating the health system, or helping those with housing needs. Library programs and events can be designed to highlight "this “go-to” role... with libraries providing advice and connections to health, housing, literacy, and other areas." (M. Cabello & S.M. Butler; www.brookings.edu; Thursday, March 30, 2017)


12

 

Allied Arts Council:
Do you support the public art initiatives being undertaken by the City of Lethbridge?

Answer

I support our efforts to invest in the “artistic resources and cultural opportunities within the community” [to]: Develop Lethbridge as a vibrant arts, culture and festival City; Collaborate with community organizations and institutions in support of the arts community ; Encourage and incorporate art into the urban fabric and Develop arts and culture facilities and amenities. Refer to The City of Lethbridge Public Art Master Plan, June 2012.


13

 

Allied Arts Council:
Lethbridge City Council has demonstrated its commitment to building a Performing Arts Centre in its recent Capital Improvement Program. Will you advocate for the completion of this project?

Answer

Yes, given that it continues to be a valuable, and viable project according to majority of our citizens.


Economic Development

14

 

Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone:
What are the top three priorities for the development of downtown Lethbridge and how should these developments be funded?

Answer

The downtown plays a significant role providing services and employment for citizens across the entire city. We should promote it's identity as a destination for shopping and social interaction. Our downtown greenspaces need to include and link-up with Indian Battle Park and other vistas that overlook the river valley and coulees. The City should act to promote and leverage our local heritage and history to include and focus on cultural venues. The City must work with businesses and developers to help manage parking and develop greenspaces to make life and living within the downtown core attractive and viable. Development should be simple with a clearly articulated regulatory process.


15

 

Chamber of Commerce:
What are your top three priorities for economic development in Lethbridge and how should these be funded?

Answer

Keep tax rates low to encourage growth in existing local businesses as well as to attract new business and industries to Lethbridge. Review the processes, policies, and procedures as they relate to regulatory practices that govern construction and growth in businesses, and the effects of regulations on the environment of open and fair competition for and between local businesses. Transportation needs to service businesses and industries that are distributed across the city, and workers should be able to rely public transportation to get to their workplaces. Entrepreneurs should be made aware of our educated and creative workforce in conjunction with our centres of higher learning.


16

 

Canadian Home Builders Association:
Can you identify any areas of Lethbridge where you see increased density as an effective tool to support lifestyle choices, a growing economy, and a healthy environment?

Answer

I think that it is arguable that increased density in any area may be catalyst for vibrant growth, economic growth, and demands to create a healthy and interactive environment. Lifestyle choices are inevitable and desirable for every citizen regardless of the area in the city that they live. There is a plan and a history of investment around targeting the downtown to create a high-density area that will support and maintain a vibrant and diverse environment that is a benefit for the entire city. We should be open to any development that promises increased density with a mix of services and greenspaces that connects and can be integrated with other communities within the city.


17

 

Chamber of Commerce:
What specific message do you have for the business community of Lethbridge?

Answer

You work hard for your money and your taxes should be an investment, if not then it must change. Economic development is a process and it is certainly not an entity that the city or businesses can go to and turn on a spout to get more. Growth in our local businesses and attracting new business will follow when taxes provide good-value for services and when the regulatory environment is clear, fair and open to review. Times and circumstances change and so regulations must be able to meet the change in conditions.


18

 

Canadian Home Builders Association:
Recognizing that private enterprises and the City of Lethbridge co-exist in the acquisition and sale of land for commercial and residential activity, what role do you see the City playing in land development?

Answer

The city needs to regulate and manage development in order to ensure that municipal services such as transportation, policing, fire-protection, emergency services, schools, sewage, power and a host of other considerations do not leave the city with responsibilities, financial or operational, that have not been recognized, and would be unacceptable to the public. Developments must first be attractive to potential suitors or they cannot succeed, so the city must work with developers to balance that spectrum of demands with constraints that reflect the City's need to provide services and extract good value for money.


19

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
As a municipal leader, what should the City’s role be when the decisions of other levels of government affect citizens of Lethbridge?

Answer

We are all advocates for our citizens and as such it is our role to make the case for our municipality's needs and information about the potential affect that any particular decision might have for a member or segment of our community.


20

 

Chamber of Commerce:
What do you feel are the greatest opportunities and challenges for business in Lethbridge?

Answer

Our workforce is able to offer employers an educated, creative and talented workforce that is prepared and able to move our businesses into the future and to connect our goods and services with the rest of the world. We can offer a healthy and attractive environment for both business and people so that they can live and work. Our greenspaces coupled to our ability to connect with other economies can be the basis for new and growing opportunities. An on-going challenge is to establish and maintain low tax rates and provide services without creating barriers to competition for consumers, or with private enterprises to innovate services that citizens want and creates employment and wealth.


Environment

21

 

Environment Lethbridge:
What are your top three environmental priorities for Lethbridge and how should these be funded?

Answer

I am concerned about the municipal water supply and our water resource in an area that is dependent upon meeting the demands of agriculture together with intensive livestock management, and chemical herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. Investment in public transportation should include the goal of making it possible and easy for people to leave their cars at home. We could provide start-up grants to incentivize small businesses and/or non-profit organizations to divert waste and create secondary markets for reclaimed and recycled goods.


22

 

Environment Lethbridge:
Lethbridge's Municipal Development Plan states that minimizing the urban footprint and enhancing public space are important parts of a sustainable built environment. What measures would you take to achieve these goals?

Answer

Residential developments must promote the idea of community. People need to be able to live and walk to schools, services and greenspace. The city of Lethbridge must work with developers to promote the creation of communities that serve the needs of the people that live there, and which can be easily accommodated and integrated into our existing network of communities. The downtown is most often envisioned as a just such a community with an environment that while dense provides a vibrant area for people to live and work.


23

 

No Drilling Lethbridge:
In 2014, Goldenkey Oil Inc. proposed a project to drill for oil and gas within Lethbridge city limits. If such a project was proposed during your term on council, what would be your position?

Answer

I am greatly concerned about any project that has such a potential downside for our environment and public health. However, I was not party to the proposal and I am loath to simply say no without reviewing the proposal and understanding the implications of saying yes or no.


24

 

Environment Lethbridge:
On council, what would you propose to better manage our water?

Answer

We should commission a study of water use to examine the cost benefits of providing tax incentives to individuals to reduce consumption by replacing lawns with low/no maintenance landscapes. Tax incentives should also be available to businesses and industries that can demonstrate investment that reduces consumption and lessens the burden on the city to supply and treat our public water supply.


25

 

Environment Lethbridge:
Giving that City Council has adopted waste reduction targets, what strategies would be most effective to meet waste diversion targets?

Answer

Organic waste represents the proportionally largest problem and so making a substantial reduction means controlling so-called green-waste. Household composting bins have made available and many people are engaging in composting and actively reducing their waste. Changing behaviour requires time and incentives, and where there are incentives and opportunities I trust that entrepreneurs and organizations will act to provide a service solution.


26

 

Environment Lethbridge:
How should the City of Lethbridge support renewable energy projects (solar, wind, etc)? Please choose from: These projects should not be allowed within city limits, These projects should be allowed within the city with the entire cost borne by the home owner, The City of Lethbridge should provide incentives for home owners to develop renewable energy projects, Renewable energy initiatives should be a requirement in all new Lethbridge development.

Answer

The City of Lethbridge should provide incentives for home owners to develop renewable energy projects


Social & Equity

27

 

Arches:
To what extent do you believe harm reduction strategies (such as needle distribution, supervised consumption services, naloxone kit distribution, etc.) are an effective intervention for people who use drugs?

Answer

Drugs will continue to be a problem for people and municipalities until their are major changes in our federal laws. Until then the band-aid solutions that are available must include harm reduction strategies including supervised consumption sites and the distribution of naloxone kits. It is important that we demand goals that are attainable measurable so that we can know that parts of the strategies are working as well as the things that are not effective.


28

 

Arches:
What support services is our community missing in order to best support people who use drugs, people who engage in sex work, or people who are homeless?

Answer

Housing First is an initiative that is designed to service our homeless population and to serve as a basis for further services and help. It is not a strategy to deal with persons with addiction issues but it will need to service that population as part of their current mandate. These initiatives and mandates are almost exclusively Provincial or Federal in their scope and accountability, and the City has a very limited set of conditions and by-laws available to influence change. We must work and consult closely with government to build consensus around the concerns and specific needs that Lethbridge presents, so that we can help to create standards and make harm reduction successful.


29

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
The City of Lethbridge should formally commit to dedicate space for eligible child care services in city-owned, or city-leased buildings and facilities, including community centres, libraries, and other municipal buildings. Please choose from: Strongly disagree, Somewhat disagree, Neither agree nor disagree, Somewhat agree, or Strongly agree.

Answer

Neither agree nor disagree


30

 

Coalition of Indigenous Voices & OUTreach Southern Alberta:
What is the City’s role in addressing issues of systemic racism and discrimination?

Answer

First and foremost the city needs to be inclusive in it's hiring practices. If Lethbridge is to lead it must demonstrate that it applies the principles of diversity and is prepared to search for tasks and positions that can be performed and filled by persons with disabilities or are handicapped by their culture or heritage. Policies and practices need to put into place that instantiate our desire to be an inclusive and diverse workplace. The city should be open to supporting initiatives brought forward by NGOs that valorize the social roles of marginalized people.


31

 

OUTreach Southern Alberta:
Do you consider yourself an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, what does that mean to you, and how would it be reflected in your actions as councillor?

Answer

Yes. An inclusive community must also be seen to be inclusive, so we need to communicate our view and support the efforts of groups to promote acceptance and inclusion. I would be pleased to sponsor or support initiatives that build understanding and bridges between members of the LGBTQ+ community and others.


32

 

Coalition of Indigenous Voices:
As an elected official, what steps will you take to build in processes of decolonization, indigenization, and reconciliation into the City of Lethbridge?

Answer

Reconciliation is a process not a destination. Building monuments to victims does little to address issues and can lead people to believe that the process is proceeding and that the issues have been addressed. Our identity and image our ourselves as citizens of this country is complex and it includes actions and behaviours that we would not find tolerable today. The path that has brought us to present place is not one that can be traversed again but we should be able to review our journey so that we can plan a path for the future.


33

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
Most of our public services and facilities have a user fee but the City subsidizes the cost of the facility or service. What is your position on the subsidization of public services and facilities? Please choose from: Users should not pay at all so that everyone can access the service, Small user fees should be charged but I would consider waiving them for low income people, students, or seniors, A user fee should be charged to all users, The City should not be subsidizing someone’s hobbies or recreation, Private companies should be providing these services and facilities with market forces setting fees.

Answer

Small user fees should be charged but I would consider waiving them for low income people, students, or seniors


34

 

Coalition of Indigenous Voices:
As an elected official, how would you enhance relationships with Indigenous peoples within the City of Lethbridge and with neighboring nations that border the city?

Answer

The hiring practices within City Hall should reflect a commitment to employ members of the indigenous community. Public spaces should encourage people to mix and interact in an environment that feels safe and welcoming. The City might consider employing 'ambassadors' from the indigenous community to tour public areas and to be intermediaries and engage interactions with and between our citizens. Like police that walk-a-beat, ambassadors come know people and how to handle situations and make people feel safe, welcome, and comfortable.