We need to ensure that our tax dollars as well spent. To do this we need to ensure that the programs and services offered by the city are operated in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible.
We need to work diligently to ensure we keep our excellent credit ratings with the international rating agencies. This ensures we pay as little interest as possible on debts we incur, and would allow us to put more money into getting projects done around the city.
We need to ensure the public has a say in how their tax dollars are spent through a public consultation process before setting the budget.
City Hall needs to be transparent in how it operates. The public needs insight into how decisions are made, how their councillors voted on issues, and how tax dollars are spent. Increasing the opportunities for public input would help achieve this goal, as would expanding the pre-budget consultation process.
Put simply, City Hall is supposed to work for the residents of St. John's, and in doing so it should not be too much to ask that residents be kept in the loop with how decisions are made and money is spent.
We need to work harder to ensure the public has the opportunity to have a say in how the city is run. We need to improve the public consultation process, and establish a procedure whereby discretionary spending on large-ticket items is done in a way that allows the public some input.
By engaging the public more often, and in a more meaningful way, people will feel more connected with City Hall, and their city as a whole.
I believe that development is great for the city, it brings us more economic opportunities, more places to live, and will allow for more investment within the city. However, we shouldn't rush to approve developments, or bend the rules whenever it is convenient.
We need to ensure that the development going on within the city enhances the city, and contributes to the surrounding community without causing hardships for neighbours. In order to do this we need a strong set of guidelines and regulations so that it is clear to developers what restrictions are in place, and what they have to work with, right from the beginning.
We need to work harder to ensure that all residents of St. John's are treated equally, and can avail of the same services. For example, not all residents of the Goulds have municipal water and sewer, nor do they have sidewalks in many places.
Not all areas of Ward 5 have adequate recreational facilities, or community centres, which can promote a more active lifestyle and encourage communities to come together. This is an issue that needs to be addressed.
We also need to take a look at public transit, to ensure it is providing adequate service to all areas of the city.
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