Questions provided by Nolan Crouse (edited by T8N)
T8N: If you were to change one thing specific to the City of St. Albert itself, what would that be? And if you were to change one thing within the community itself, what would that be?
JB: If it were possible I would change the current road system that is designed for limited access to and from Edmonton. Since that is not possible we need to find a way for our residents that use these roads everyday to flow more efficiently and somehow deal with the increased noise. I love this community so the only thing I would want to change is the photo radar that is badgering residents every day due to mismanagement of our road systems.
T8N: What will be the first item that you plan to bring forward for council debate immediately after the election?
JB: Direct City Administration to work with the Province and City of Edmonton to fast track the overpass on 137th ave and twin Ray Gibbon Drive to LeClair Way as quickly as possible.
T8N: What governance or policy change that council operates under today needs to be changed immediately?
JB: The need for council to look at ASP’s prior to approval by administration. It is important for administration to understand the needs of the community through Council and directed to the City Manager. Administrations job is to determine that all development follows the rules. It should not be Councils position to challenge this.
Questions provided by David Climenhaga (edited by T8N)
T8N: Never mind the question of a branch library or the location of services. What is your view of the long-term viability of library services in our community? Are you prepared to continue funding library services at a level that permits continuation of present levels of service while accounting for increases in population?
JB: The library is very important to the community and adds great value and will continue just as it has generations before us. We absolutely must continue to fund this and add additional space and service at a level that has already exceeded the current space and as the population grows.
T8N: Alberta law requires a legal separation between city councillors and city employees: Employees report to the city manager; the city manager reports to council. What is your view of the proper working relationship between front-line employees and city councillors?
JB: I absolutely agree with the statement and Council should only be directly dealing with the City Manager and other administration should be supporting the City Manager with the information needed. It is not the role of any governance board to scrutinize employees. If there is a problem with the City Manager than Council needs to follow the proper protocol to correct this. The City Managers role is to deal with an concerns with City employees not Council.
T8N: What can and should be done to ensure the continued viability of St. Albert’s downtown Perron Street District?Building restrictions that set out a theme for downtown so that when buildings are renovated they comply with the Architectural Controls set forth by
JB: Building restrictions that set out a theme for downtown so that when buildings are renovated they comply with the Architectural Controls set forth by administration as directed by Council. There should be incentives in place for businesses to make these changes. The downtown should be a welcoming part of the City for residents to congregate and enjoy festivals, farmers market, children’s festival, etc.
T8N: Never mind the sequencing of traffic lights on St. Albert Trail. Where do you stand on the calls by some residents for a 40 kilometre-per-hour speed limit in residential neighbourhoods?
JB: Considering that our arterial roads that have been built to function at a 60 to 70 km speed limit ,it seems that most roads in St. Albert are at 50 km therefore promoting a higher speed by residents. There are certain roads near playgrounds, have a sharp radius, or promote speeding that should change to 40 km. The whole road structure and speed limits need to be reviewed.
T8N: There are many savings and benefits that could be realized by being part of a regional transit system. Are you prepared to work toward the participation or inclusion of St. Albert Transit in a regional transit system?
JB Yes this will be beneficial to St. Albert.
T8N : What is your position on the extension of a regionally financed LRT system from downtown Edmonton to St. Albert?
JB: I question if this is something St. Albert will be able to afford for the size of our population.
T8N: There are many savings and benefits that could be realized by being part of a regional policing system. Are you prepared to work toward the creation of a Capital Region Police Force in which St. Albert would participate?
JB: Yes if there is a savings and beneficial to the community.
T8N: As St. Albert grows, it is coming under pressure for increased recreation facilities, including additional ice sheets and swimming pools. Would you as councillor be prepared to work to create joint public projects for the development of recreational facilities involving any or all of the County of Parkland, Town of Morinville, County of Sturgeon and City of Edmonton?
JB: Yes of course. All these communities are at our front door and this definitely should be considered.
T8N: St. Albert citizens complain constantly about the cost of operating a city the size of St. Albert, including the costs of duplication of services and the heavy reliance of the municipal tax base on residential properties instead of businesses. If substantial tax savings for residents could be shown, are there circumstances in which you would agree to or support amalgamation of St. Albert with the city of Edmonton?
JB: The residents of St. Albert moved here for the community feel of the City. If we amalgamated this would be lost. There would have to be true savings shown to support this and the communities integrity would have to remain to even consider this type circumstance happening.
T8N: Parking at St. Albert Place and in the downtown district continues to be a problem for the city. What is your preferred solution to this situation: Leave it alone? Build a parkade? Paid street parking? Other?
JB: The City owns the land where the current parking exists. There are all types of uses that could happen in this location with the building of a parkade. The construction of parkades are very expensive and there must be another user to support this type of construction. We need to continue to invite people downtown and this would solve the parking problem.
T8N: What is your vision for St. Albert’s role in the Capital Regional District?
JB: We need to make sure we have a voice that is heard and continue to challenge the veto power of Edmonton when it affects St. Albert. Our voice must be heard if we want to continue with the type of growth that the residents envision. Strong leadership is needed to represent St. Albert at this level.
Questions provided by Tim Osborne (edited by T8N)
T8N: What do you believe is the role of a councilor?
JB: A Councillor is to listen and understand the concerns of the community and to use this information to direct the current vision and future growth of the City.
T8N: How would you address the balance between doing what may be in the best interest of the community despite the act being unpopular?
JB: There is never a time where something will be 100% welcomed by the community, so you have to have enough information to make the best decision possible even though it may be unpopular. You must be prepared to stand behind your decisions.
T8N: Is there a role for third party or anonymous advertising / communication in municipal elections? Explain.
JB: No, this should not be allowed. This type of behavior most often is unacceptable and is attacking someone’s character.
T8N: What is your vision for increasing the housing options in our community?
JB: We must continue to add affordable housing options for the Seniors in the community and look for more options for first time families.
T8N Magazine Questions
T8N: What would be your reasons for / against switching to a ward system in St.Albert?
JB: I don’t know if our City is ready for a ward system as that would start switching the focus from the community as a whole. I do however believe it is time that we look at increasing the number of City Councillors from 6 to 8.
T8N: Are there any actions / directives / projects undertaken by the previous council that you would like to stop / undo / dramatically change? Why?
JB: There are many items that the previous Council could not make a decision on prior to the election that will need to be dealt with. There are none that I am aware of at this time that need to change.
To read the responses of the other council candidates, click below:
Sandyne Beach-McCutcheon http://www.t8nmagazine.com/sandyne-survey/
Nester Andrew Petriw http://www.t8nmagazine.com/nester-questionnaire/