Monday, October 27, 2014

WL City Councillor Candidate Forum

Candidates Present - Ivan Bonnell, Peter Bowman, Sue Lachance, Wayne Lucier, Bobbie-Jo MacNair, Scott Nelson, Tovi Pare, Jason Ryll, Craig Smith, Laurie Walters and Sue Zacharias

Also Present - WL Mayoral Candidates John Bjornstrom, Walt Cobb, Kerry Cook and Surinderpal Rathor.  CRD Area D Director candidates Steve Forseth/Pennie Daffurn.  School District #27 Zone 5 Trustee candidates Deb Bischoff/Sheila Boehm & Outgoing School District #27 Zone 4 Trustee Jackie Austin

Public: Roughly 100

Forum started at 6:01pm

Opening Comments by WL Chamber of Commerce Acting President Angela Sommer including reading a statement from WL City Councillor candidate Marnie Brenner who was absent due to a death in her family.  Moderator John Hack explained how the forum will be conducted

30 second opening statements from the 11 Candidates

Question Period:

1) All Candidates - Give an example of Management experience with a diverse group
2) All Candidates - What values would you bring to WL Council, would not comprise on and would be willing to be accountable for?

3) To Laurie Walters - How do we attract skilled labour to Williams Lake?
4) To Bobbie-Jo Macnair - Name some practical steps to improving the economy of Williams Lake
5) To Tovi Pare - Name steps to engaging the public on Council decisions on Economic Development  and Affordable Housing

6) To Wayne Lucier - Name steps to encouraging business to come to Williams Lake?
7) To Craig Smith - Name steps to ensure municipal fees/charges are equivalent to similiar sized communities in BC

8) To Sue Zacharias - Name steps that we can take to have a vibrant downtown core?
9) To Ivan Bonnell - Name benefits to attending out of town conferences, like UBCM, and would you agree to report out at a Council Meeting explaining what took place

10) To Peter Bowman - Explain your views on City taxation
11) To Sue Lachance - Do you agree with the BC Chamber's views on the Corporate Vote?
12) To Scott Nelson - How do you engage the public around City taxes and utility fees?
13) To Jason Ryll - Long Term Debt - should we have it?

The forum recessed at 7:02pm
The forum resumed at 7:24pm

14) To Jason Ryll - Name ways to improve access to Williams Lake?
15) To Tovi Pare - How do we achieve environmental sustainability?
16) To Wayne Lucier - How do we balance social needs with Economic Development?
17) To Peter Bowman - Do you support expansion of Bike/Walking Trails?
18) To Sue Zacharias - Do you support the Pool Referendum (borrow up to $10 milllion for renovate the Sam Ketchum Pool, etc)

19) To Sue Lachance - How do we deal with property crime?
20) To Bobbie-Jo Macnair - How do we go about making transportation more affordable?
21) To Craig Smith - How do you propose to cut 'red tape' at Williams Lake City Hall?
22) To Scott Nelson - Name one step to reduce property crime?
23) To Laurie Walters -  How do we improve affordable housing, especially for current and new residents

24) To Ivan Bonnell - Do you support the continuance of the "Water Wise" program, as currently run by the WL Conservation Society?

25) To All Candidates - Name your top 3 priorities, if elected?

2 Minute Closing Statements by Candidates
Closing comments from Angela Sommer (WL Chamber of Commerce Acting President)

Forum adjourned at 8:27pm

Editor's Note - Overall, the forum was a polite affair but it allowed me personally to firm up my 6 votes for Williams Lake City Councillor.  Next up, Tuesday from 11:45am - 1:30pm, the 4 candidates for WL Mayor will get their chance to explain their vision to the voters of Williams Lake

I personally was impressed with the performance of Bobbie-Jo Macnair, Tovi Pare and Sue Lachance... 

Interesting that Sue Zacharias was the only candidate to express outright support for WL Mayoral Candidate (and current WL Mayor) Kerry Cook...


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