Each week, I plan to answer some of your questions and these common campaign questions. You can find my answers on my campaign Facebook Page or blog.
What neighbourhood do you live in? Why?
I was raised in South Port and when I returned to Port Alberni (just over 15 years ago) I purchased my first home in South Port. It was there that I raised my three older children who are now teenagers.
When Darren and I decided to get married we began looking at houses and I was determined that if we couldn’t live on acreage, I would live right in the middle of town. A central location where my children could easily access their schools, the library, the pool and fields, and hopefully employment that would help them prepare for adulthood and save for post secondary costs. We found that home just a few blocks away from Echo centre.
Where are your favourite places to spend time in our town?
Port Alberni is full of amazing places. I enjoy spending time at a few of our local parks with my daughter; Weaver park, Gyro park, and Roger Creek (Lion’s Park) are our favourites. I also enjoy being uptown (although I know our current social crisis’ and empty buildings are affecting this area quite drastically) and at the water front on windy days!
I also love spending time at our local library, theatre, and on outdoor trails. These are places I miss as I have been quite focused on schooling and business startup over the last few years.
Do you think our main street/downtown is healthy and successful? If not, what would you do to change that?
Port Alberni is unique in that we have more than one shopping district. Originally our city was a composed of two distinct communities (twin cities) and this creates unique challenges for Port Alberni. I don’t feel that any of our shopping districts are healthy from an economic perspective. They all have empty store fronts and businesses come and go. Our community’s social issues also contribute to the current environment of our shopping districts especially in South Port.
To fix this we need to look at solutions that start bringing stake holders from all these shopping districts to the table to create a comprehensive plan for our community as a whole. We need to develop a city identity that is for one community united and that identity needs … Continue reading answer
What’s more important for our city right now: building new homes and commercial space or rehabbing/expanding/better utilizing our existing homes and storefronts?
I don’t think we can afford to make this a one or the other answer. Both revitalization and building new structures are important.
From a position of housing alone, our community has a housing crisis, especially within specific demographics (those on fixed and low incomes.) I feel that improving our bylaws to be more supportive of homeowners looking to provide long term rentals and secondary suites would benefit our community. New housing could help address specialized supportive housing that our community needs and homes for families as well as economic growth in the forms of jobs. Continue reading answer
Some of these questions came directly from Strong Towns:
JANUARY 9, 2018 | BY RACHEL QUEDNAU | Link