Mayoral Candidates

Click to jump to respective section of the survey:

Personal Info

1. What special skills or expertise do you possess that may be relevant to voters?

Sheilagh O’Leary: I am a consensus builder. I like to bring everybody involved in a particular question to the table for discussion when we are seeking solutions. Most recently and publicly, I did this on Tessier Place when the residents there were seeking solutions to make their neighbourhood a safe place.

I ran a photography business for over 25 years. To say the least, that gave me a good knowledge of the importance of making smart financial decisions. I am not afraid to take an unpopular public stand if I believe it is right.

Geoff Chaulk:

  • Master of Social Work, McGill, 1986 (social policy)
  • Bachelor of Social Work, Memorial, 1981 (Recipient of the NLASW Under-graduate Award; and the R. A. Parsons Scholarship)
  • 30 years (1981 – 2011) in health care
    • 1981 – 1989:Direct Practice in Psychiatric Social Work (Grace General, St. John’s and The Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto)
    • 1989-2004: Progressively responsible health and mental health policy development, analysis and consultation for the Ontario Ministry of Health. Including acting as health lead on development of supportive and affordable housing; consultation to the specialty psychiatric hospitals in ON; negotiation and monitoring of physician service agreements in emergency care, psychiatry and primary care renewal.
    • 2004-2009:Executive Director of the NL division of the Canadian Mental Health Association
    • 2009-2010: Manager of the new outreach mental health and addiction program, Eastern Health
    • 2010-2011: Mental Health Consultant – NL Dept. of Health and Community Services. Developed a full policy re-boot for mental health and addiction in the province.
  • 2011-present:
    • Owner/Operator Phoenix Rising Consulting…
    • Volunteer Associations and Related Contributions
    • Same Gender Marriage Committee, Gower Street United Church (completed)
    • Outreach Lunch, Gower Street United Church (current)
    • Board of Directors – The Gathering Place (term complete)
    • St. John’s SPCA (previous)
    • Volunteer Editorial Board, The Telegram (complete)

2. What community organizations are you or have you been a member of?

Sheilagh O’Leary: (No answer provided)

Geoff Chaulk: (See response to previous question)

3. When and where have you run for public office before, and what public offices have you held?

Sheilagh O’Leary: I ran in the St. John’s municipal election in 2009 seeking a councillor at large position. I was successful in that race, and have served as city councillor since then.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

4. What business or commercial operations have you or your family members engaged in within the last five years that may put you into a conflict of interest in matters of municipal governance?

Sheilagh O’Leary: My brother is a successful commercial developer. We are both hyper-aware of the inherent conflict in this situation. Just as I would refrain from voting and discussion on any issue that touched on his business, he would refrain from putting me in a position where I might have to.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

5. In which ward and neighbourhood is your principal residence located?

Sheilagh O’Leary: I live in Ward 2, in an annex between Georgestown & Rabbittown, called Belvedere Neighbourhood.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Multiple Choice Questions

 

1. Of the following list of municipal issues, choose up to six that you consider priorities for improvement:

  • Public Transit
  • Snow Clearing
  • Lower Taxes for Residents
  • Lower Taxes for Businesses
  • Affordable Housing
  • Controlling Spending
  • Promoting Tourism
  • Crime Prevention
  • Roads
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Transparency and Public Engagement
  • Arts and Culture
  • Fiscal Relationship with the Province
  • Electoral Reform
  • Traffic
  • Parking
  • Stormwater Management
  • Urban Sprawl
  • Regional Cooperation
  • Water and Sewer Infrastructure
  • Garbage, Recycling and Composting

Sheilagh O’Leary:

  • Snow Clearing
  • Affordable Housing
  • Transparency and Public Engagement
  • Traffic
  • Parking
  • Urban Sprawl

Geoff Chaulk:

  • Public Transit
  • Snow Clearing
  • Affordable Housing
  • Stormwater Management
  • Urban Sprawl
  • Water and Sewer Infrastructure

2. For the following list of statements, indicate whether you strongly agree, somewhat agree, neither agree nor disagree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree:

a) The City of St. John’s should invest more in public services (water and sewer, public transit, snow clearing, etc.), even if this means raising taxes.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Somewhat agree.

Geoff Chaulk: Strongly agree.

b) The City of St. John’s should reduce taxes, even if this means cuts to public services.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Somewhat disagree.

Geoff Chaulk: Strongly disagree.

c) The City of St. John’s should design regulations to encourage high density development in the city core and discourage urban sprawl.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Strongly agree.

Geoff Chaulk: Neither agree nor disagree.

d) Metrobus service could benefit from minor improvements, but large additional investments are not a good use of taxpayers money.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Somewhat disagree.

Geoff Chaulk: Strongly disagree.

e) The St. John’s Harbour Authority should be pressured to restore public access to sections of the waterfront that are being fenced off.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Strongly agree.

Geoff Chaulk: Strongly disagree.

f) The bylaw governing the use of mobile signs should be made more strict to discourage their use.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Somewhat agree.

Geoff Chaulk: Neither agree nor disagree.

g) New developments should be held to a zero net-runoff increase policy for stormwater, in order to protect watersheds and reduce the risk of flooding.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Strongly agree.

Geoff Chaulk: Neither agree nor disagree.

h) Regulations to protect heritage areas in the city should be relaxed in order to encourage new development.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Strongly disagree.

Geoff Chaulk: Strongly agree.

i) The city should take a harder line with people who park illegally in fire lanes.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Strongly agree.

Geoff Chaulk: Strongly agree.

j) Sidewalk snow clearing could benefit from minor improvements, but large additional investments are not a good use of taxpayers money.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Strongly disagree.

Geoff Chaulk: Strongly disagree.

k) The senior citizens tax reduction should be extended to all low income homeowners.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Somewhat agree.

Geoff Chaulk: Strongly agree.

l) The City of St. John’s should implement a municipal composting program.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Strongly agree.

Geoff Chaulk: Neither agree nor disagree.

m) Political donations to municipal candidates should be published in a public report and posted on the City of St. John’s website.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Strongly agree.

Geoff Chaulk: Strongly agree.

n) City parks could benefit from minor improvements, but large additional investments are not a good use of taxpayers money.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Somewhat disagree.

Geoff Chaulk: Strongly agree.

o) Traffic calming measures, including speed bumps and lower speed limits, should be expanded.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Somewhat agree.

Geoff Chaulk: Strongly agree.

p) St. John’s should pursue amalgamation with neighbouring communities.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Neither agree nor disagree.

Geoff Chaulk: Neither agree nor disagree.

q) Loud motorcycles are a problem and bylaws should be enacted to restrict them.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Somewhat agree.

Geoff Chaulk: Strongly agree.

r) The city should encourage more mixing of commercial and residential development.

Sheilagh O’Leary: Strongly agree.

Geoff Chaulk: Strongly agree.

 

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Long(er) Answer Questions

Arts and Culture

1. What specific initiatives would you undertake to support arts and artists in the city?

Sheilagh O’Leary: Artists need space to create and present their art. With rental prices as they are in the city, even professional groups struggle to pay for office and storage space. I believe that with creative thinking we can create or modify a space that could combine a variety of cultural production spaces as this has been determined as a strong market need. This could possibly be combined with the search for a permanent home for the St. John’s Farmers’ Market, giving the city a creative space that would be used every day of the week. Looking at best practices in other urban neighbourhoods will demonstrate successful supportive models ie. see Wychwoods Barns in Toronto.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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By-laws and enforcement

2. What should be done to discourage illegal parking in fire lanes and other parking violations?

Sheilagh O’Leary: Fire lanes and disabled parking spaces are often abused by drivers who can’t be bothered to walk a few extra feet. Increased ticketing and fines would be an expensive solution. I applaud the supermarkets and other businesses who make the effort to put pylons in the fire lanes, or otherwise draw attention to the fact that these are no-parking areas, and I despair of the drivers who then proceed to stop essentially in the roadway.

I would encourage the development of creative public awareness campaigns, combined perhaps with ticketing blitzes, to help make our parking lots safe and accessible.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

3. Would you support a volunteer group of concerned citizens to monitor parking lots and issue tickets and/or report violations?

Sheilagh O’Leary: Kind of a “Parking lot watch?” It is an idea worth exploring, but I would not want to see volunteers endangered or innocent people ticketed. (This is a particular concern with disabled parking. While I know it is often abused, I also know that not all disabilities come with a crutch or a cane.)

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

4. What should be done to improve the enforcement of traffic laws?

Sheilagh O’Leary: The best way to improve enforcement is to increase policing. This is an expensive proposition. I am open to exploring the use of cameras. This has proven effective in reducing speed-limit infractions in other jurisdictions.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

5. What can be done to reduce the number of parking tickets issued for parking on snow removal and street cleaning days?

Sheilagh O’Leary: The simplest answer is proper communication. People should make themselves aware of the rules for their particular neighbourhoods and comply with them. Your question probably comes from the people who say they were ticketed and/or towed despite the fact that no actual snow removal or street cleaning took place on their street on a given night. I would try to ensure there are no penalties when no actual removal, therefore supporting enhanced communication between city departments. That said, I know that in any city, operations can be complex. Last-minute weather changes and emergencies can alter the best-laid plans. Citizens must take responsibility for doing their part.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

6. What would you do to reduce illegal garbage dumping in the city?

Sheilagh O’Leary: I am very interested in what neighbouring communities are doing with surveillance cameras, and the success they are reporting. I am proud to have advocated and supported the motion for the addition of surveillance cameras to address indiscriminate illegal dumping in St. John’s. When many of my colleagues on Council were skeptical, I supported CBS in their efforts to try a pilot program and was the only St. John’s Councillor to attend their news conference on the start of this initiative. CBS has now caught perhaps a dozen offenders and the placement of cameras in notorious dumping areas has proven its worth. Looking at “best practices” for progressive ideas and problem solving can be a practical solution here in the City of St. John’s.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Crime

7. What is your take on crime in St. John’s and what should the city do about it?

Sheilagh O’Leary: Responsibility for most law enforcement lies outside the city’s jurisdiction. That said, I believe that as councillors we can lead our neighbourhoods in forming groups such as neighbourhood watch. I led just such a group when citizens of Tessier Place faced crime in their neighbourhood. The people of the area worked together with representatives from government, the police and community organizations to find the solutions that worked for them. Not every solution will work for every neighbourhood. All solutions work best if people have been a part of developing them.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Development and Urban Renewal

8. The St. John’s Board of Trade argues that the city needs more high density residential development and less urban sprawl. Do you support the Board’s position, and if so what policies would you implement to achieve it?

Sheilagh O’Leary: I am in complete agreement with the Board of Trade. Less urban sprawl means more efficient use of city resources and services, the most obvious example being public transit. I would work with developers, the Board, community organizations, and interested citizens to create development policies that address the problem in creative ways.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

9. What should be done with vacant properties (e.g. abandoned grocery stores and soon-to-be-closed schools), and what should the city be doing to ensure that these spaces are put to good use?

Sheilagh O’Leary: Large vacant properties are eyesores, potential hazards, and, to be frank, extremely poor use of valuable, mostly inner-city, space. I would, first, find a way of taxing unused commercial space so that it is not profitable for large companies to leave properties in the heart of our community standing empty.

Closed schools, hospitals, and other government properties are another matter. They are often ideally located for alternative housing and other uses, and should be utilized rather than left standing empty for years.

Keeping in mind the growing housing crisis in the city, I would work to find ways to build affordable housing in these areas. This would involve the co-operation and involvement of community groups, all levels of government, and developers.
Importantly, I would ensure that all these things were done openly. I have spoken out strongly against situations such as the one involving the former firehouse on Duckworth Street when a private company has preferential treatment in terms of public property purchase rights, without others ever having been aware the property was available. A fair, equitable tendering policy is fair to our residents and to business. It is important, in development as elsewhere, to be transparent and fair when we conduct business.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Electoral reform

10. The City of Toronto is planning to move to a ranked ballot system for municipal elections. This system reduces the problem of vote splitting in races with more than two candidates. Would you support a similar reform in St. John’s? Would you support some other kind of reform?

Sheilagh O’Leary: Electoral reform, in all its many and varied forms, is a great interest of mine. Keeping in mind that one person’s “vote splitting” is another person’s “freedom to choose,” I would certainly be open to exploring this, and other, methods of reform to ensure clear majorities in all our electoral races.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Heritage

11. How do we balance real estate development with the preservation of heritage in historic St. John’s?

Sheilagh O’Leary: The balance, for me, always has to include the preservation of our built heritage. Our unique buildings, like our unique environment, can never be re-created. That said, I am extremely open to creative suggestions about uses for our heritage buildings. Our heritage area, relative to the total size of our city, is very small, confined to a few square blocks in the downtown area.

Whatever creative solutions the city and developers come up with, it is very important to me that agreements be kept. Look at Shaw Street – in order to ensure the preservation of Richmond Cottage, the city agreed to relaxed lot sizes with the understanding the developer would preserve the original home. Construction was well underway on the new homes when the developer filed for permission to demolish the heritage structure. We must have teeth in any agreements we make.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Housing affordability

12. What initiatives would you support or undertake to address the following issues?

  • a shortage of available rental housing
  • rising costs of rental housing
  • rising house prices

Sheilagh O’Leary:

  • a shortage of available rental housing: I would aggressively explore, with other levels of government and community organizations, ways of opening up new rental housing. This might involve new construction, sub-division of existing homes, house sharing programs such as HomeShare. I want to make it feasible for developers to build apartment buildings.
  • rising costs of rental housing: I am open to looking at some form of rent controls. People who own properties should be able to expect a reasonable rate of return on their investment, but I don’t think “reasonable” can include doubling the rent of a property in a calendar year. I would involve tenants, landlords and housing experts in the discussion around whether to implement rent controls.
  • rising house prices: while the price of real estate is largely outside the purview of a municipal government, I do believe that we can actively ensure developers, contractors, and homeowners have an efficient experience when they are dealing with the city. The permit and inspection processes should run smoothly without unnecessary delays that can hold up projects and end up costing extra money.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Immigration

13. What initiatives have you been involved with, or would you implement, to promote a welcoming and supportive environment for immigrants and refugees in our community?

Sheilagh O’Leary: I am a longtime supporter and volunteer with the Multi-Cultural Women’s Association of NL, the Association for New Canadians and the Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council. I support and promote a diverse community. I have presently spearheading a committee in conjunction with MUN to create a “welcoming event” encouraging International students to better integrate socially and work wise in the City.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Intergovernmental relationships

14. What are two specific initiatives/issues at the federal or provincial level that you would commit to advocating for if you were elected?

Sheilagh O’Leary: Provincially, I would encourage the Department of Municipal Affairs to move faster on implementing a fair system of operating grants for the province’s municipalities. I would, as I stated earlier, press both the federal and municipal governments to increase their commitment to building affordable housing.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

15. What opportunities for regional cooperation with neighbouring communities do you think should be pursued?

Sheilagh O’Leary: So much of what we do, or want to do, could be more affordable, even more possible, with the cooperation of our neighbours. The linked challenges of downtown parking, traffic congestion, and public transit present one enormous opportunity to me. By implementing park-and-ride programs and other measures, I think we could work together for a regional transportation system that works for residents and municipalities alike.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Municipal pensions

16. A recent submission from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business called for reforming the pensions of public sector workers. Their recommendations include:

  1. Converting from ‘defined benefit’ to ‘defined contribution’ pensions
  2. Ending incentives to retire early
  3. Fully disclosing pension liabilities using a consistent methodology

Where do you stand on this issue?

Sheilagh O’Leary:

  1. I think that if labour agreements were negotiated with defined benefits rather than defined contributions, then we should respect those agreements. It is not unheard of, for example, for workers to accept a lower pay increase in exchange for better benefits, including pensions. I would be very uncomfortable at the idea of making changes to city worker pensions, for example, without long consultations with the affected unions.
  2. Each pension plan is individual – some offer incentives, some do not. Most, offering incentives for early retirement, take that into account. I think this question is referring to a specific situation; without knowing what that situation is, I am reluctant to say anything further.
  3. Again, I am not quite sure about this question. Does it mean all pension plans, everywhere, using a consistent methodology for disclosing their liabilities? Sounds like a grand idea in theory, but if it meant dozens of individual plans having to change their accounting practices, I suspect it would be too difficult to implement. If it means one particular plan reporting in a consistent manner every year, then I would see no reason why this wouldn’t be done.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Public spaces and walkability

17. How would you foster community spaces and walkability in the city?

Sheilagh O’Leary: I believe in building a walkable city, and I treasure our community spaces. I would like to see new developments include allowances for small businesses – corner stores, coffee shops, hair salons or whatever might fit with a particular new neighbourhood. Mixed-use zoning puts places for people to walk to right into the neighbourhood plan. For a community to be walkable, people must be able to walk in it year-round and that includes wheelchair accessibility improvements. Sidewalk snow clearing enhancement on main routes, in school zones and around seniors complexes needs to be a priority.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

18. Do you support the harbour fence initiative? What would you do about it if elected?

Sheilagh O’Leary: I initially voted for the harbour fence, under the auspices that it was an improvement to the existing one and that it would only be closed  only when necessary for federal security reasons. Upon discovering a very different story in an internal staff meeting, that it indeed would be locked down permanently to the public, I was outraged by being misinformed. I very publicly, reversed my opinion, putting forward a motion to rescind that decision and presented a petition signed by thousands of residents in the public chamber. For over four years, I have been advocating strongly for a more pedestrian friendly harbourfront concept/design and referenced the Harbour Charette that the Architects Association of NL organized on best practices in cities. I am still working to see if there is any way for the decision to be reversed, or at least mitigated. The harbour fence decision and process strengthened my belief that there must be transparent communications around council business.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

19. A commonly used walking trail between Cowan Heights and Sobey’s Square has been cut off by the Team Gushue Highway extension. Would you support the installation of a culvert tunnel so that pedestrians would not be forced to cross the highway?

Sheilagh O’Leary: This sounds reasonable. I am not an engineer, so I would have to consult to see if a culvert tunnel is the most feasible solution.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Regulations and red tape

20. How would you increase the speed of regulatory approvals for new business operations in the city (i.e. certification for restaurants, cafes, etc.)?

Sheilagh O’Leary: New businesses require several different kinds of regulatory approvals, depending on the type of business, their location, and so on. Not all the permits and approvals are given by the city – the restaurants and cafes mentioned here, for example, also need to be inspected by the provincial Department of Health, and the NLC gets involved if an alcohol license is required. That said, my approach would be twofold: to work with staff of the City to find ways we can give the best possible service to our businesspeople, and to encourage liaison with the province to see if there are ways we can make both levels of permits happen within a reasonable timeframe. You didn’t ask, but I hear similar frustrations regarding the various building permissions needed for construction and renovation, and I would take a similar approach to those.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Seniors

21. What initiatives would you support to make the city safer and more accessible for our seniors?

Sheilagh O’Leary: Any talk of affordable housing must include accessible housing. This means accessible to all ages, and allowing for life cycle changes. I feel very strongly that if seniors wish to remain in their own homes, society should work to make this happen. Not only does it keep our neighbourhoods strong, it actually saves on public expenditures. (Compare the cost of adding a ramp or adapting a bathroom to the longterm costs of housing someone in a retirement home.)

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Snow clearing

22. How do you propose to improve road and sidewalk snow clearing in St. John’s? Please address both and provide specific details.

Sheilagh O’Leary: I have committed several times to improving the state of sidewalk snowclearing in the city, and I know from frequent contact with residents that there is a need to do the same for our roads. I believe our workers – the people who actually do the snowclearing – may have suggestions as to equipment we could use, different approaches to how and when we clear roads and staffing practices. That said, we have to understand that St. John’s is a large city with more than 1400 km of roadways. Priorities have to be set, and the snowclearing budget is not unlimited. Somebody’s road will always be the last one cleared.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Stormwater management and flooding

23. Last year, a City Commissioner’s report found that watersheds, bridges, and culverts are unable to handle any additional stormwater runoff from planned developments above the 190m contour (such as Dannyville). The report recommends a zero-net increase runoff policy for new developments. Would you require developers to submit a blueprint that clearly incorporates a zero-net increase stormwater management plan prior to any land clearance or developmental phase? If so, how would you ensure that developers follow this policy?

Sheilagh O’Leary: We have actually approved an adopted a zero net run-off policy in recent times and I would always want to see this and other environmentally sound practices be required as part of any development plan. Developers must understand that when they make agreements with the City, they must keep their side of the agreements. I am more than open to including penalty clauses in contracts if this is the best way to ensure compliance.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Tax policy

24. Tell us your position on tax policy, addressing some or all of the following questions:

  1. How important is it to keep taxes low?
  2. Do businesses pay too much or too little tax relative to residences?
  3. Should tax breaks be provided to low income people who are not old enough to qualify for the seniors reduction? What about to senior citizens whose income is too high to qualify?
  4. How do you feel about the recent decision to blend the business occupancy tax and the business realty tax into a single tax?
  5. Would you consider blending the water rate into the residential realty tax to encourage more basement apartments?
  6. Would you consider introducing residential water metering so that households are charged for the amount of water used rather than a flat rate per unit?
  7. Would you consider a tax on land value as opposed to property value as a way to encourage more efficient use of land?
  8. Should the tax break for vacant commercial property be eliminated?

Sheilagh O’Leary: Taxes represent the major portion of the city’s income, and I do not expect this to change at any time in the future. Taxes must be at the level necessary to maintain essential city services. I believe that we should not unfairly penalize anyone of any age who is genuinely unable to meet tax obligations because of reduced income and, for example, sudden property value increases. I do, however, believe that the taxes you owe must be part of your consideration in being a homeowner. The recent blending of the occupancy and business realty tax has been a direction sought to create efficiencies.

I believe that residential water metering is a fairer way of paying for this vital resource. It’s a plain and simple fact that one person in a small bungalow is going to use less water than five people living in a four-bathroom home with two Jacuzzis and a swimming pool. Metering encourages responsible use of water as well, however, this would come with a large start-up cost to implement.

I have already stated that I believe we should find ways to discourage vacant commercial property. If taxing is a way to do this, I am all for it. I would consider asking City staff to analyze whether taxing land value as well as property value would encourage more efficient use of land.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Transportation

25. In 2011, a transit study was released that made a number of recommendations for improving public transit in the City of St. John’s, including:

  1.  Increase service between Downtown and the MUN/HSC/Avalon Mall corridor.
  2. Negotiate a deal to provide Metrobus passes to all students at MUN/CNA for a mandatory fee.
  3. Allow city employees to trade free parking at work for cash or a Metrobus pass.
  4. Establish a park-and-ride program for commuters.
  5. Increase the price of parking in the west end of Downtown.
  6. Develop a regional transit plan involving Mount Pearl, Paradise, Conception Bay South, and Torbay.

What is your vision for public transit, with specific reference to some or all of the recommendations above?

Sheilagh O’Leary: Ideally, public transit would be so convenient, well-timed and affordable that it would be the best choice for most people in the city. Imagine if most of us never needed to use our cars! Realistically, though, given the physical size of St. John’s combined with our relatively small and spread-out population, this is not likely to be the case in the next four years.

The 270-page Dillon report referred to in the question was part of the process of Metrobus’s five-year strategic plan. I would be in support any of these initiatives if they could be shown to be advantageous to the city, its residents, and Metrobus itself. For example, I would love to see all students at MUN get Metrobus passes at a lower rate than they would normally pay, but this would be impractical for students who do not actually live in St. John’s unless we develop a regional transit plan that involves all the communities mentioned as well as Portugal Cove-St. Phillip’s.

Similarly, is downtown the area most HSC and Avalon Mall workers come from? Change and improvement are needed, but we cannot make arbitrary decisions without basing them on solid facts.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

26. What initiatives would you undertake with respect to transportation infrastructure in and around the city?

Sheilagh O’Leary: We need a solid multi-year plan for transportation infrastructure as much as our other activities. This is why I am hopeful the municipal plan developed after so much consultation can be rapidly put into practice. I certainly plan to make it one of my top priorities after the election.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

27. What should be done about painted road markings that fade away for much of the year?

Sheilagh O’Leary: City staff are already looking at alternatives that may last longer, but may cost more for the initial application. If a suitable substitute is found, I would build the planning for its application into our multi-year transportation infrastructure plan.

Geoff Chaulk: (Did not provide an answer)

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Free Space

If there any other important issues you would like to address, please do so here:

Sheilagh O’Leary: Here are my core principles for leading the City over the next four years….

respect
Council must consult with residents, community groups and neighbourhood associations as well as business and must be transparent and accountable.

smart development
Developing our city in a smart and balanced way by continuing growth that recognizes our unique history and culture and builds on our strengths

flourishing neighbourhoods
Neighbourhoods are the core of our city’s life and they need be safe, diverse, walkable and healthy.

Geoff Chaulk: For my platform to be your mayor, please see:
http://www.geoffchaulksblog.simplesite.com/

Geoff Chaulk
St. John’s Mayoral Candidate
709-351-0653
[email protected]