Chamber Business E-News & Media Releases

Courtenay Candidates’ Responses
Date:  11/13/2014
COURTENAY


Jon Ambler – Mayoral Candidate

What is the passion that inspires you to run for council?

My passion? Courtenay is a vibrant and unique city: a great place to live, work and play. I am inspired to use the leadership skills, training and experience I gained through my Air Force career and on Council to lead our great City; I believe it is my civic duty to do this. I believe under my leadership Council can govern ethically, effectively, efficiently and economically. Such governance will enable our citizens, institutions, communities and businesses to thrive.

What is your opinion of the Comox Valley Chamber’s governance review calling for a Provincial review of the existing municipal structure?

I fully support an independent study to establish the facts of how the present structure is operating, and what could possibly be done to restructure our local governments to be more efficient in delivering services to citizens.  A thorough study may develop a number of better options than only amalgamation of the three municipalities or the status quo.

What are your views on the Maple Pool situation?

Recent Council action should resolve this unfortunate situation: Council will proceed with a rezoning application and suspend legal action until 2015, on the condition that the property owners meet flood construction and provincial guidelines, or prove that the land may be used safely. The owners must ensure that their rented units meet minimum residential safety standards. Those safety standards must be met for the well-being of the Maple Pool residents, as they must be for all Courtenay residents.

How do you plan to promote the growth of the Comox Valley?

The Mayor must be an ambassador, a champion and a cheerleader. Courtenay is a wonderful city, as Mayor I would represent a positive, optimistic and creative spirit, one that attracts investment, growth and customers.  Specifically, we must capitalize on the assets that attract people to the Comox Valley – the natural beauty, the vibrant downtown, the active arts and culture community.

What concrete programs or policies would you put in place to assist new and existing businesses to succeed?

I believe that for businesses to succeed they need fair treatment. Fairness comes from consistency, which comes from sound policy applied universally. Businesses also need someone that will fight for them, effectively, this is the Mayor’s job! This includes lobbying the Provincial and Federal Governments on behalf of businesses. We must continue to adjust the business multiplier.   Finally, sometimes you just have to get out of their way and encourage them!

How do you plan to attract new business and developments to the Comox Valley and keep costs for upgrades to infrastructure down for developments? What could be done at the municipal level to facilitate permitting construction/development more promptly?

Time is money – developers need a consistent, predictable process to follow with rules that are laid out clearly, and can readily be followed. Two key areas of the Development Process (Planning staff) and the Subdivision Bylaw (Engineering staff) are currently being reviewed.  When those reviews are completed and recommendations for improvements to the City’s development processes are brought forward, I will work to ensure they are implemented without delay. 

Explain your views of the city’s current official plan with respect to zoning densification.

I fully support densification, as detailed in the publically created OCP, because it enables several improvements: it brings life into central shared spaces (think work/live buildings); it reduces the cost of infrastructure because it uses existing systems; and it reduces our reliance on automobiles, again reducing infrastructure bills. Densification is not universally popular, but it creates a better community with lower tax costs.


Larry Jangula – Mayoral Candidate (re-elect)

What is the passion that inspires you to run for Council?

Having served and lived in various communities as an RCMP officer, I have always been interested in the welfare and safety of my community and belonged to service clubs – such as Lions or Kinsmen. Since Jeanette and I have made Courtenay our home, I have been involved in various not-for-profit groups: Comox Valley Family Services, L’Arche Comox Valley, and Habitat for Humanity. Serving as councillor and mayor have been a natural progression for me.

What is your opinion of the Comox Valley Chamber’s governance review calling for a Provincial review of the existing municipal structure.

I support the review and have signed the petition circulated by the Chamber. I don’t believe that a population of 65,000 constituents warrants four local levels of municipal government, employing over four hundred people, twenty two elected officials and a total consolidated operating budget of almost $150M. I believe we could be served more efficiently, at a reduced financial cost, with less governance. Once a thorough review has been conducted we will know the true facts.

What are your views on the Maple Pool situation?

I am committed to ending the legal action and finding a long term, viable solution to the situation at Maple Pool. The uncertainty surrounding the future of this site has caused a great deal of stress for the inhabitants and owners of the property as well as for our community as a whole.

How do you plan to promote the growth of the Comox Valley?

I think we have to continue to work on attracting a variety of businesses and industries, which will create employment and opportunities, as well as enhance our tax base. We need to make sure our taxes and other costs are in line with other communities around us.

What concrete programs or policies would you put in place to assist new and existing businesses to succeed?

I am well aware of the strain that tax burdens have put on many of our businesses. Often, small businesses have difficulty competing with big box stores and multi-national corporations. I have lobbied the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities and Union of British Columbia Municipalities, to ask the Province to pass legislation which would allow municipalities to create more than one category of commercial property thereby allowing the municipalities flexibility to tax small and large businesses at different rates.

How do you plan to attract new business and developments to the Comox Valley and keep costs for upgrades to infrastructure down for developments?

A tax policy noted above would be attractive to new businesses. I support stimulating growth and rebuilding our downtown. Providing tax incentives and other cost charge reductions to businesses that will rebuild and densify our downtown may be one option. Another may be a policy to provide existing businesses that commit to rebuilding or renovating a 5 year freeze. Then they would not be assessed a tax increase on the new value of the property for this period of time and this could stimulate new building and development.

Explain your views of the city’s current official plan with respect to zoning densification.

I feel strongly that we need to increase density in our downtown core. One option is to encourage some of the one story buildings to be replaced with four story buildings. We have experienced strong opposition from our residential community when one property owner wishes to add a carriage house or secondary suite. We, as elected officials, have to be very careful that we respect the wishes and rights of the entire neighbourhood, if we consider making any changes.


Bill Anglin – Council Candidate (re-elect)

What is the passion that inspires you to run for council?

It might seem corny, but I missed the sense of service to the community. When I served in the in the military, it was in benefit of the country as a whole. When I retired I realized that I missed that service for others. It is what lead me; first to become active in the chamber leadership and then on to council and I want to continue to serve my local community.

What is your opinion of the Comox Valley Chamber’s governance review calling for a Provincial review of the existing municipal structure?

I first heard about the review at the Chamber AGM, and for those that were there I was the only elected official that publicly spoke in favour of it. I know for a certainty that a community with 65,000 voices is heard louder the current fractured voice we speak with when dealing with the province. As an elected representative; you have to be extremely foolhardy not to take advantage of the offer of factual information before making a decision.

What are your views on the Maple Pool situation?

As acting Mayor I communicated to the Friends of Maple Pool that; Council has committed to undertake a unilateral rezoning of the property and suspend legal proceedings to allow the Friends of Maple Pool to address the outstanding public safety concerns. This allows time for the Friends to undertake the work that they have committed to complete and provide the opportunity to find a workable solution for the residents.

How do you plan to promote the growth of the Comox Valley?

A single individual can’t promote growth of the Comox Valley. As a councillor and Director I can continue to work to advocate for changes and incentives to attract new business at the City and CVRD. As Chairman of the Destination Marketing Advisory Committee, we are working hard to drive the tourism business to greater and greater heights. An incredible group of business owners in the Downtown Courtenay BIA allow me to work with them to build a vibrant downtown.

What concrete programs or policies would you put in place to assist new and existing businesses to succeed?

As Advocacy Chair I petitioned on behalf of Chamber Members to reduce the Business tax multiplier. This is a continuing concern that we are working with the province to address.  We have also instituted multi-jurisdictional business licensing. What I would hope is; as the voice of business the Chamber would continue to bring issues to our attention. I would love to hear what programs their members need. No one knows what business owners need better than business owners.

How do you plan to attract new business and developments to the Comox Valley and keep costs for upgrades to infrastructure down for developments? What could be done at the municipal level to facilitate permitting construction/development more promptly?

The City is in the midst of a review of all Development & Engineering Procedures. All issues are being examined from tax incentive programs to DCC bylaws. Currently we are developing standardization documents for construction. We have already expanded our Downtown C1 zone to give greater opportunity for redevelopment potential.  These initiatives should spur project development over the coming years.

Explain your views of the city’s current official plan with respect to zoning densification.

Conceptually; it is an ideal solution to many of our infrastructure and sprawl problems. The reality is that densification usually has occurred due to escalating land price and population growth rates. We should continue to strive to increase our density as a means of accomplishing our various goals. That being said the reality is that we have to balance both systems. The marketplace dictates the type of development consumers want so we should encourage the provision of choices.


Dan Doerkson – Council Candidate

What is the passion that inspires you to run for council?

I have served my community wherever I have lived and feel I have something to give to this city through my wisdom, my work ethic and my ability to listen to the concerns of the people.  I have a passion to get things done and if elected I will.

What is your opinion of the Comox Valley Chamber’s governance review calling for a Provincial review of the existing municipal structure?

To me and I think, most of the population of this valley, to have two communities, touching physically and mentally the way we are and yet having two ruling bodies is unreasonable. At the very least, we should have pooled services such as fire, police and maintenance.  Possibly Cumberland and the other outlying communities could or should come on board as well.  I think that an outside review would be a necessary action that has been a long time coming.What are your views on the Maple Pool situation?

The legal challenge should be stopped.  We should be helping those who help others and until a solution is found to house the people involved, leave it alone or help out.

How do you plan to promote the growth of the Comox Valley?

Through advertisements, through word of mouth but mostly through offering a community that is both progressive and yet sustainable.  If you build it they will come.  We have a beautiful community here and to ruin it for the sake of growth would be wrong and would not have any longevity. Plan for the future of our children and those 10 generations from now.

What concrete programs or policies would you put in place to assist new and existing businesses to succeed?

Tax incentives such as allowing this year’s tax bill for a new business, or a new building to stay stationary for 1- 5 years.  This would allow extra and known capital for the prospective businesses or improvement to get going.  After the business is going well the tax bill would go up to the regular amount. This would be for new and existing businesses. also, develop and try some new and innovative ideas in regards to the downtown area (revitalization).  Possible traffic flow changes, allowing patios, allowing different signage, beautification tax incentives or possibly municipal improvements to highlight the city’s history. It’s time to try something.

How do you plan to attract new business and developments to the Comox Valley and keep costs for upgrades to infrastructure down for developments? What could be done at the municipal level to facilitate permitting construction/development more promptly?

If elected, I am going to ask strong questions of our Courtenay staff.  Why is our system so bogged down compared to other towns and city’s.  We must be thorough but we also must be efficient.  Being outside of council at this point and outside of the knowledge loop, I do not know what the holdups are.  What good is attracting new business if they can’t build or improve?   

Explain your views of the city’s current official plan with respect to zoning densification.

 I believe that when a plan is designed for a city it is likely a plan that takes into account present and future development and the growth of the city in all aspects from parks to roadways.  That plan if done right was developed by experts, city council and citizen input.  So, in general I do not believe that the plan should be messed with. However, to write something in stone and not allowing for change when issues of importance arise is a recipe for disaster.  For instance, I think that we should possibly change the zoning requirements for basement suites, income suites and granny suites so that it is easier to build them. This would promote less urban sprawl/densification.  I am also in favor of helping the homeless and this may need zoning changes to help in the building of low cost housing.  Having said all that, I do not believe that big business or big money should have a priority just because they feel entitled.  


Erik Erikson – Council Candidate

What is the passion that inspires you to run for council?

I am running for City Council because I continue to believe I will make a positive contribution if I am elected.  I am retired and able to devote the time and energy required to fulfil the responsibilities of office.  I believe my experience in serving the community in a number of areas will be a valuable asset.

What is your opinion of the Comox Valley Chamber’s governance review calling for a Provincial review of the existing municipal structure?

I think the Comox Valley Chamber’s petition calling for a Provincial Government review is a great idea.  Personally, I am favour of a single government for the Comox Valley, but I think it is very important that citizens get as much information as possible about local governance to help us make informed decisions.

What are your views on the Maple Pool situation?

It looks to me like the Maple Pool situation could be handled better.  It doesn’t look to me like the lawsuit against the owners can or should succeed, so I would be in favour of dropping it and let the Citizen’s Group work to enhance the safety of the permanent residents.

How do you plan to promote the growth of the Comox Valley?

Along with the growth in residential that is determined by the desire of people to move to the Comox Valley, I think we need to pursue economic development.   I see potential around the airport and the new hospital and I will work to that end.

What concrete programs or policies would you put in place to assist new and existing businesses to succeed?

The Economic Development Society has a mandate to assist new and existing businesses.  I have served on the CVEDS board and I would be very supportive of its efforts in this regard.  On a more specific note, I would like to see a better linkage between downtown, the River and Lewis and Simms Parks as a means to invigorate Downtown Courtenay.

How do you plan to attract new business and developments to the Comox Valley and keep costs for upgrades to infrastructure down for developments? What could be done at the municipal level to facilitate permitting construction/development more promptly?

(a) I would like to promote economic development in connection with our airport and the new hospital.  I think we need to look at our governance structure in order to be better able to access federal funding for more activity at CFB Comox.   (b) It looks to me like the City of Courtenay staff is working to improve the permitting process.

Explain your views of the city’s current official plan with respect to zoning densification.

The Official Community Plan is well crafted and deals very sensibly with the issue of densification where appropriate.


Marcus Felgenhauer – Council Candidate

What is the passion that inspires you to run for council?

My passion comes from an upbringing that stressed giving back to the community. I have volunteered for many years at CVTR and currently sit on the board of directors. The primary issues that drive me are: resolving Maple Pool without further legal action, Keeping or reducing taxes and fees in Courtenay. Improving the atmosphere between city hall and the business community. Keeping Courtenay a beautiful Community to live in.

What is your opinion of the Comox Valley Chamber’s governance review calling for a Provincial review of the existing municipal structure?

I am one hundred percent in favour of an independent governance review regarding the municipal structure in the Comox Valley.

What are your views on the Maple Pool situation?

I will work very hard to see that the Maple Pool situation is resolved in a timely fashion without further legal action. It is important to resolve this issue with the best interests of both the residents of Maple Pool and the taxpayers of Courtenay in mind.

How do you plan to promote the growth of the Comox Valley?

The best way a city councillor can promote growth within the Courtenay is to create a positive business environment. Competitive taxes, affordable DCC’s and a positive environment between the business community and city council and city staff are essential.

What concrete programs or policies would you put in place to assist new and existing businesses to succeed?

Other than what I have already mentioned I still have much to learn regarding the scope of what council can and cannot put in place in regards to programs and or policies. I can say that we need the economic driver that development and redevelopment create, acknowledging this means we must do as much as is reasonably possible to encourage well thought out sustainable growth.

How do you plan to attract new business and developments to the Comox Valley and keep costs for upgrades to infrastructure down for developments? What could be done at the municipal level to facilitate permitting construction/development more promptly?

I believe the first part of this question is the same as number 4 above. City staff is already working hard to improve the promptness with which permits are moving forward. There is still lots of work to be done, the best way to achieve this is to have a council which is unified in its support of the business community and can therefore give clear direction as to how things need to get done.

Explain your views of the city’s current official plan with respect to zoning densification.

I feel that maximum densification of the downtown core is vital to the long term vitality of the downtown area. This densification must respect the boundaries of current zoning protecting single family neighborhoods. By increasing the number of people in the downtown we achieve many goals: people can live where they work, people can shop where they work, no need to drive and we can enhance an already vibrant community.


Doug Hillian – Council Candidate

What is the passion that inspires you to run for council?

I am motivated by a commitment to public service and a deep love for this community, where I’ve lived for 35 years, raised my family and earned a living. We are all so fortunate to call this place home, and it is a privilege to be part of building Courtenay as one of the most liveable communities in the province. For all we have, there is much to be done, and I am committed to being part of the solution.

What is your opinion of the Comox Valley Chamber’s governance review calling for a Provincial review of the existing municipal structure?

It seems probable this area will eventually become a district municipality, but many fear losing rural values and risking further sprawl in that process. Others are wary that taxes would increase due to required infrastructure upgrades in many areas. Given the years since amalgamation was defeated by referendum, I wouldn’t oppose a study on the economic/environmental/social impacts. Regardless of outcome, I think it vital that we continue working in co-operation with our neighbours to share services where practical.

What are your views on the Maple Pool situation?

The question is should the City ignore the problem, as some suggest, and leave people living on the flood plain, risking harm to them and liability to taxpayers? I deeply regret it took court action before the owners and their representatives acknowledged the flood plain issue needed addressing. I support an out of court settlement whereby we work with them towards a solution protecting the residents and taxpayer liability. I still believe we can find that compromise.

How do you plan to promote the growth of the Comox Valley?

 I support our initiatives to improve City business practices, promote downtown revitalization and to manage growth within the context of the regional growth strategy by emphasizing increased density and infill development. Additionally, I support maintaining services within a responsible fiscal framework while protecting our environment and quality of life, which are the elements that draw people here in the first place.

What concrete programs or policies would you put in place to assist new and existing businesses to succeed?    

The hotel tax is a good example of a program where we worked with the Economic Development Society to gather revenue through a room surcharge with the proceeds promoting events and marketing to bring people here and fill rooms in the low season. I believe we have talented entrepreneurs in the community with whom we can work in partnership to promote, for example, arts and culture, green jobs and the high tech sector to generate local commerce and create employment.

How do you plan to attract new business and developments to the Comox Valley and keep costs for upgrades to infrastructure down for developments? What could be done at the municipal level to facilitate permitting construction/development more promptly?

I think we’ve made some significant strides with the improved business practices at City Hall and the streamlining of the development process. We should continue such initiatives and consider incentives to promote infill development as one strategy to mitigate infrastructure costs.

Explain your views of the city’s current official plan with respect to zoning densification.

Courtenay’s Official Community plan “recognizes that examining ways to increase densities can reduce urban sprawl, support and enhance the downtown and existing commercial and residential neighbourhoods and provide balance between new and existing developments”. (OCP page 37) There is also provision for a density bonus and for areas designated for buildings up to 8 stories. This makes sense to me – I support infill development and increased density – but I’m open to hearing views that may differ.


George Knox – Council Candidate

What is the passion that inspires you to run for council?

I am passionate about serving the public and contributing my time and energy to support and build our community. I want to represent ordinary people, citizens at large as a person unassociated and unaffiliated to any special interest groups.

What is your opinion of the Comox Valley Chamber’s governance review calling for a Provincial review of the existing municipal structure?

I am in favour of it. It has been talked about for years. I think a review may finally deal with the issue for once and amalgamate the valley from Cook Creek to Oyster River. We could have united emergency response teams which could provide better services and may reduce taxes in the process.

What are your views on the Maple Pool situation?

I want the court order rescinded, and the people who live at Maple Pool to feel safe and secure in their homes and not to have to worry about the city trying to evict them. The judge already chastised the city for the treatment of these individuals. Maple pool was grandfathered into the city and should stay as it is.

How do you plan to promote the growth of the Comox Valley?

I would like to promote it by highlighting the amenities and quality of life that the Comox Valley has to offer to encourage knowledge based and environmentally friendly businesses who value these attributes that will assist them in attracting high quality employees. Examples include promoting sectors such as aircraft maintenance, high tech, our local ski hill and other tourism related opportunities.

What concrete programs or policies would you put in place to assist new and existing businesses to succeed?

I would work with the business development bank and city staff to explore programs and opportunities that are available to our community. I would also work with local business and other members of the community to solicit ideas that we can implement to promote business expansion and create employment.

How do you plan to attract new business and developments to the Comox Valley and keep costs for upgrades to infrastructure down for developments? What could be done at the municipal level to facilitate permitting construction/development more promptly?

I support allowing for buildings up to 6 stories to build up rather than out. I would also work on improving the process for permits and development to make these more efficient. Additionally I would work to keep our taxes consistent with the rates set in other communities so that local businesses remain in the Valley.

Explain your views of the city’s current official plan with respect to zoning densification.

In additional to my comments above, I would work to allow and increase secondary suites in homes that would help make homeownership more attainable due to the increased cost of housing which is limiting many people’s ability to purchase a home. I believe this would lead to more affordable rental housing which would lower the cost of living and help keep existing residents from leaving and make our community more attractive to business and prospective employees to locate here.


Rebecca Lennox – Council Candidate

What is the passion that inspires you to run for council?

I am passionate about the diverse interests of people in Courtenay. I grew up here and feel blessed to have such an amazing place to call home. I want to be involved in shaping it for the future. Our amazing green spaces and waterways are hugely important to me and I want to be part of protecting them so they are always accessible to the citizens of the Comox Valley.

What is your opinion of the Comox Valley Chamber’s governance review calling for a Provincial review of the existing municipal structure?

If there is interest from the citizens I would be open to reviewing our structure. From what I have researched it usually ends up costing the tax payers more, so I would be cautious. I also feel that each one of our communities are special in their own way and would work to protect the diversity that we have in such a close distance.

What are your views on the Maple Pool situation?

My view about Maple Pool, is that it is overshadowing much bigger problems such as our lack of affordable housing and government funded homeless shelters. With such a backlog of history and so many parties involved in Maple Pool, it will take collective good will and communication to be resolved. I feel strongly that we need more options and support for our low income and no income citizens.

How do you plan to promote the growth of the Comox Valley?

Smart growth is where we need to focus. More mixed commercial/residential housing and rezoning to encourage secondary suites. Creating more pedestrian ways that attract tourists and locals to get out and about will help to build our local economy.

What concrete programs or policies would you put in place to assist new and existing businesses to succeed?

I like ideas such as social public procurement and offering some tax deferrals to new green business. Supporting a buy local policy is a great idea and offering supporting to our tech sector.

How do you plan to attract new business and developments to the Comox Valley and keep costs for upgrades to infrastructure down for developments? What could be done at the municipal level to facilitate permitting construction/development more promptly?

As stated previously I would like to see all of Courtenay be rezoned for secondary suites with mechanisms to protect the integrity of neighborhoods, while permitting secondary suites. I think Courtenay will always attract new business. City Hall processing things in a timely manner and having a vision of what kinds of business we want to attract and allow are the clearest ways I think we can thrive.

Explain your views of the city’s current official plan with respect to zoning densification.

As stated above I feel it needs to be reviewed. There are different ways to densify and it should be up to neighbourhoods to set the direction through local area plans.


Stu MacInnis – Council Candidate

What is the passion that inspires you to run for council?

I was born and raised here in the Comox Valley. I LOVE it here and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I’m running for council because I have the passion, responsibility and ethics to serve every member of our community. I will represent the residents of Courtenay equally, I want every resident to feel that their voice can be heard, and can make a difference. I will help our city and residents to flourish and enhance our sense of community.

What is your opinion of the Comox Valley Chamber’s governance review calling for Provincial review of the existing municipal structure?

I support the Comox Valley Chamber’s governance review. I think that as our communities grow and become more complex inevitably the manner in which our communities are governed must also evolve. I think that an impartial provincial review would give valuable insight both our strengths and weaknesses and also ideas for improvements that could be considered in the future. Though any changes that may be suggested would have to be voted on by the residents before being implemented.

What are your views on the Maple Pool situation?

The residents of Maple Pool should be left to live in their homes in peace. The fact that this council has spent ridiculous amounts of tax payer money in legal fees trying to evict them is terrible and immoral.

If elected I will do everything I can to ensure that any legal action against Maple Pool is halted immediately, and I will work to ensure that the residents of Maple pool never have to deal with this harassment again.

How do you plan to promote the growth of the Comox Valley?

All of the city councils in the Comox Valley need to work together to promote the growth of our community. We need to streamline the process by which applications for developments are processed, without sacrificing appropriate oversight. I think that business tax incentives can be initiated to make our community a desirable place for business’ and companies to set up. I think that local people who want to open a first business can be given tax incentives to do so.

What concrete programs or policies would you put in place to assist new and existing businesses to succeed?

For local young entrepreneurs a first time business tax break incentive could be created, or a first time business owner subsidy to help them get started.

I think a policy by which a local business can show a certain growth percentage a they could receive a tax break incentive.

The process by which zoning for new commercial/business development need to be streamlined, though adequate oversight must be maintained.

 A “shop local“ campaign could be initiated to promote our local businesses.

How do you plan to attract new business and developments to the Comox Valley and keep costs for upgrades to infrastructure down for developments? What could be done at the municipal level to facilitate permitting construction/development more promptly.

The answer to the second part of this question solves the first part. I think that the process by which construction/development permits and zoning applications are approved needs to be streamlined, but still with adequate oversight. If the process is streamlined then new business and development will come to the Comox Valley. For the cost of infrastructure for developments, I think agreements can be made with the developers take on the cost of said infrastructure; offsetting the cost to the city. 

Explain your views of the city’s current official plan with respect to zoning densification.

I’ve read the City’s affordable housing policy, and there are some good ideas in there. But words on paper are not enough.

I think the city needs to actively encourage people who may be considering adding a secondary suite to do. The city needs to seek out these people and show them the benefits that it can offer. We also need to offer some incentives to prospective developers who can build affordable housing projects within our community.


Starr Winchester – Council Candidate

What is the passion that inspires you to run for Council?

I was born and raised in Courtenay and my father, the late Bill Moore was Mayor of our beautiful city for many years, until his passing in 1982. He loved the City of Courtenay, and so do I. I am seeking my eighth term on Courtenay Council as there are issues that affect us all that I feel I can have a positive impact on.

What is your opinion of the Comox Valley Chamber’s governance review calling for a Provincial review of the existing municipal structure?

I strongly support an independent review of the governance structure in the Comox Valley. I continue to have great concern about the duplication of services here in the Comox Valley. Courtenay citizens carry an unfair tax burden when it comes to policing, recreation, senior and cultural facilities. We cannot proceed with any change in governance without all the facts, which includes costs. This independent study will provide us with all the information to make an informed decision.

What are your views on the Maple Pool issue?

As a current City of Courtenay Councillor, I will say that this is a complex issue, with no simple solution unfortunately. Courtenay Council voted unanimously to consider a unilateral rezoning of the property and we have presently suspended litigation to allow the owners and the Friends of Maple Pool to address the legal pre-requisites for the proposed rezoning. The complete details of the City’s position can be found on the City’s website (letter dated August 6, 2014).

How do you plan to promote the growth of the Comox Valley?

Over our past term, Council has embarked upon significant changes in approach to processing development applications and improving procedures that will support increased clarity and certainty for the investment community. Our new hospital increased commercial development and a renewed focus on our downtown are all examples of new investment potential that our Council has successfully been working on over the past few years.

What concrete programs or policies would you put in place to assist new and existing businesses to succeed?

Small business is the driver of our economy and community and we have been working with various business groups including the BIA to ensure that meaningful steps are taken to recognize and support ongoing growth in this area. We have a vibrant tourism, agriculture and aquaculture sectors and have put in place a new additional hotel room tax program to support increased marketing programs.

How do you plan to attract new business and developments to the Comox Valley and keep costs for upgrades to infrastructure down for developments? What could be done at the municipal level to facilitate permitting construction/development more promptly?

Much of the City’s focus over this past term has been to ensure that the new hospital funding would receive approvals and construction is now underway. This type of new investment in our health and medical community will also support significant supporting services which will attract new residents to our Valley and create more jobs. It is a critical investment and of highest priority for our citizens.

Explain your views of the city’s current official plan with respect to zoning densification.

Our current Official Community Plan recognizes that we need densification, especially in our downtown core. I think we still have work to do though, especially in the area of secondary suites. I look forward to a review of this and other densification issues in the new year and exploring options for a downtown and core area revitalization program with our community partners.

 http://www.comoxvalleychamber.com/news/newsarticledisplay.aspx?ArticleID=150

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