1- What is the most important issue facing the Township, and how would you propose to deal with it?
The most important issue facing the Township is maintaining a responsible approach to tax increases in the coming years. I hear from taxpayers all the time that “‘we pay too much in taxes.” It is easy to let spending get out of control. Fortunately council has been able to manage the issue of fiscal responsibility very well resulting in the Township having the lowest taxes in the region. I will point out that this is done without the monetary advantage of having a casino. This truly was a significant accomplishment.
2 – Should there be restrictions on development in Willoughby until the situation regarding funding for new schools has been resolved?
This is a very challenging question as development pays for infrastructure and amenities. Residential housing approvals have in fact been reduced in the past three years and therefore the needs have been reduced. We need to finish 208 Street, we need to increase the park inventory and we need more schools. In each and every one of these issues development contributes to the end product. If we stop development it will also make developing a ‘Business Plan’ for the case of needing new schools very difficult. Further there are at least three Neighbourhood Plans that have yet to be developed. It will be possible to better manage these plans as they come forward to council and they approve the various residential projects.
3 – Do you support a pool and recreation centre complex in Aldergrove, and if so, when should construction begin? If not, why not?
I absolutely support a Recreation Complex in Aldergrove. It should commence the construction process by demolishing the old school on the property by April of 2015. From that point to commencement of the actual new facility, the final design should be completed by late spring 2015 with commencement in late summer or early fall of 2015.
4- What type of development, if any, should be encouraged in a new community plan for Brookswood and Fernridge?
The development in Brookswood has to sustainable. It needs to accommodate a variety of housing options with the greater density closer to the 32nd and 200th corridors, as that will be closer to transportation routes and the business and commercial centre. There should be a broad base of housing types and price points to accommodate all the needs in the housing market. Any development must reflect the nature of the environment of the area, appreciating the significant tree canopy in the new development plans. The Neighbourhood Plans must reflect the issues of aquifer presentation, networks of walking and cycling trails as well as plenty of green space with which to have formal recreational activities and also areas for free play. I believe we can get to an end community plan design that reflects the needs and desires of both sides of this issue and we can proceed with a focus on managed growth once the funds have been allocated to reactivate the public consultation process.