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?
BZ: I believe we have one of the finest Cities and communities in the world. From my travels in Canada and abroad, I have not yet found a place that exceeds our quality of life here as a whole.
From what I have heard from many of our residents is that public transportation could be improved along with traffic congestion and infrastructure. Affordable housing is also something that needs debate.
T8N: What will be the first item that you plan to bring forward for council debate immediately after the election?
BZ: I believe the 1st bit of business should be the review of the plebiscite results. I have taken the view that if I am elected, I will honor the wishes of the electorate so it is important to me that council move as quickly as possible to insure that work of the three projects is either kept on track or dropped from the next four year plan.
T8N: What governance or policy change that council operates under today needs to be changed immediately?
BZ: Council needs to adopt a code of ethics that all Councillors and the Mayor must live by. I don’t want to witness a repeat of the juvenile behavior that occurred in the previous four years.
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?
BZ: just as any other City program or service, I would rate the Library Just as important as any other. I believe that the long term demand of libraries as a whole will continue, but they way they operate will no doubt change due to the digital age. I certainly would support the current level of service.
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?
BZ: I believe that councillors should work with employees in a cordial manor as their equals for inquiries etc. Councillors need to go through the city manager if any directives are required, or any disputes arise.
T8N: What can and should be done to ensure the continued viability of St. Albert’s downtown Perron Street District?
BZ: I believe we need to attract more pedestrian friendly venues (Restaurants or other social gathering businesses) I would love Perron street to turn into a “place to be” in the evening. since campaigning, I have realized that we have a collection of some of the nicest people on the planet, and would it be great if we had a common gathering place anytime of the year.
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?
BZ: I Would support a 40 km speed limit in residential areas.
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?
BZ: If it could be shown that better & more economical service would be the result, I would have no issue with supporting such a plan.
T8N: What is your position on the extension of a regionally financed LRT system from downtown Edmonton to St. Albert?
BZ: I Believe this needs to remain in our long term planning.
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?
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?
BZ: NO ANSWER
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?
BZ: Absolutely not.
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?
BZ: If it is deemed necessary by city engineers, a parkade may be required if we want to hold on to venues like the farmers market or develop Peron street into an entertainment district.
T8N: What is your vision for St. Albert’s role in the Capital Regional District?
BZ: I would like us to continue to foster a good working relationship with all of our neighbours.
Questions provided by Tim Osborne (edited by T8N)
T8N: What do you believe is the role of a councilor?
BZ: A councillor’s role is to strive to meet the wishes of the people who elected him, in a financially responsible way.
T8N: How would you address the balance between doing what may be in the best interest of the community despite the act being unpopular?
BZ: A councillor has a very difficult job where any actions he or she take, will never be popular with everyone. I believe that if elected, I would have to make decisions to the best of my ability plain & simple. Making good decisions does not always translate into popular ones, consideration of how popular it might make you should be ignored.
T8N: Is there a role for third party or anonymous advertising / communication in municipal elections? Explain.
BZ: Absolutely not. I don’t believe there is room in our community for special interest groups or especially anonymous to try and influence voters. In a perfect world, these individuals should run for office if they are unhappy.
T8N: What is your vision for increasing the housing options in our community?
BZ: I believe council needs to explore all options to increase affordable housing development here.
T8N Magazine Questions
T8N: What would be your reasons for / against switching to a ward system in St.Albert?
BZ: A Ward system would make campaigning much easier and may make it easier for residents of that ward to deal with city hall. On the downside, if it would require candidates to have to live in their specific ward, it could affect the quality of candidates running.
T8N: Are there any actions / directives / projects undertaken by the previous council that you would like to stop / undo / dramatically change? Why? The next council needs to work together in a professional
BZ: The next council needs to work together in a professional manner as a team. A repeat of the fighting of the last four years is unacceptable.
To read the questionnaires from the other councilors click on the links below.
Sandyne Beach-McCutcheon http://www.t8nmagazine.com/sandyne-survey/
Nester Andrew Petriw http://www.t8nmagazine.com/nester-questionnaire/