These are some of the issues that I feel are important to Ward 2
St. John's is a terrific city full of art, culture, and history. It is a great place to find a restaurant, go for a run, and raise a family. In short, there's something for everyone.
But St. John's can be better. St. John's can be smarter. Here are some of my ideas. Tell me yours. Together we can make it happen.
My idea of an effective city councillor is someone that is responsive to the people he or she represents. I know that sounds simplistic and maybe even obvious but is that the experience most get when they deal with their elected representative?
To me there is no higher compliment you can give an elected representative than to describe them as a 'constituency person'. It says that they put the issues of those who elect them above all else; that they are there for their constituents and work hard on their behalf. This is the type of councillor I will be.
Focus On The Basics
We all know that there are a number of big issues facing St. John's, and in particular Ward 2, as we move forward. I'll get into some of those issues here too but my biggest focus, if elected, will be on the basics.
Every election, candidates grab onto hot topics they know people are talking about. Hot topics come and go but some things are constant. The basics of municipal government are crucial to citizens and taxpayers.
As your councillor I will focus on making sure you feel your tax dollars are working for you. Snow clearing, garbage pick up and disposal, water and sewer, heck even proper and sufficient line painting are some of the services that, if they are not there, impact people's lives very directly.
Let's Keep It Clean
Downtown St. John's is the heart of the city but it's also the face of the city. We hold it up for the world to see. Unfortunately, what we are holding up is not always as clean as it should be. I spend a lot of time downtown, in the stores and coffee shops, with my family. Far too often we are disappointed by the dirt, grime, and litter we see.
We seem to be missing our sense of pride and I want to help restore it. The city of St. John's needs to undertake a major cleaning initiative in the downtown and bring back some lustre. Part of this effort has to include George Street. As one of the prime tourist destinations in the province, the current state of that happy little street is just not good enough but the proprietors need to be involved.
Somebody Call The Cops
We've all heard the news lately and been shocked by the escalating level of crime and violence. I, for one, have great confidence in the RNC but we as citizens need to be vigilent as well in reporting questionable happenings in our city. Let's help the RNC help us by taking ownership of our neighborhoods.
During the last election in 2009 one of the things I called for was a greater police presence in the downtown. I believe more than ever that the City needs to engage the Provincial government to ensure this happens. I think the return of the 'beat cop' is called for. Let the citizens see the police in their neighborhood. Let's get to know the police better and strengthen our connection with them at the grassroots level.
Not So Fast
Traffic speed continues to be an alarming issue. I talked a lot about this during the last election and since then we have been introduced to traffic calming measures. Old Topsail Rd received the Cadillac of traffic calming and I think that generally the residents feel it's working.
Not every street in the City can be overhauled like this one was so we need to be creative designing future roads. In the meantime, more speed bumps and reducing posted speed limits in certain areas is definitely overdue.
Let's Dig Deep
The city's infrastructure is in need of repair and investment. Ward 2 is the oldest part of St. John's and so the need is particularly great.
I'm pleased to hear that the City has an infrastructure plan. I'll work hard to make sure as a great a focus as possible is placed on upgrading the infrastructure of Ward 2.
One of the hot topics this election is parking in the downtown. I'm loving the fact that so many people are putting forth ideas - we have to talk about it.
During the last election, in 2009, I suggested a park and ride system with continuous pick up and drop off in the downtown from a parking structure in the West end of the downtown. Well now we have a new trolley service in the downtown and a parking structure being built next to the Delta. Pieces are coming together, now is the time for action.
I'm calling on City Hall to create a special committee to study the many ideas coming forward to help alleviate the parking problems that have been plaguing our downtown for years.
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