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Municipal Politics: Jeff Jewell Responds To Today Candidate Questionnaire
Candidates for mayor, council and school board trustee in both Abbotsford and Mission are invited to answer the Today Media Candidate Questionnaire.
Today Media Candidate Questionnaire
1. What are the three biggest issues facing our community over the next three years?
â€¢ tax relief and financial sustainability
â€¢ accountability of both elected officials and City Hall
â€¢ review all programs and priorities to ensure best service value from every tax dollar
2. What would you change about the way Council operates?
â€¢ provide real leadership and control over City Hall
â€¢ establish clear rules and practice of accountability
â€¢ end the culture of secrecy, minimize ‘in camera’ meetings, and provide open government
3. What should Councilâ€™s Boardâ€™s priorities be?
â€¢ Firstly, suspend hiring and discretionary spending.
â€¢ Secondly, conduct Core Service Review to scrutinize all programs and spending, to eliminate waste, and to identify areas for possible budget savings.
â€¢ Thirdly, depending on the Abbotsford referendum on P3, study all options and enter into public dialogue prior to any commitments.
4. Can Council do a better job of including the public in the decision-making process?
â€¢ Absolutely YES, and a CRMG [Citizens for Responsible Municipal Government] majority council would certainly do so.
â€¢ This is particularly essential given the very difficult decisions arising from the Core Service Review, and possibly P3.
5. How much higher can/should property taxes be raised?
â€¢ Taxes must be sustainable, so the upper limit of tax increases would be the rate of inflation during this time of deep economic distress.
â€¢ CRMG has a goal of zero tax increase, pending the results of the Core Service Review and public consultation.
6. Should businesses have a vote?
â€¢ No. Corporations are not persons.
â€¢ Businesses have plenty of ways to get the attention and cooperation of elected officials where it is also in the public interest.
7. What are the three things you most want to accomplish if elected?
â€¢ See answer to question #1.
â€¢ Only a CRMG majority council would be able to fulfill its campaign promises, and be held accountable by voters.
8. What are your main strengths?
â€¢ I have 25 years management experience in municipal governments [with the City of Burnaby and Alberta Municipal Affairs].
â€¢ I understand the problems and the solutions. I’ve had considerable experience with the constraints of limited budgets and the challenge “to do more with less”.
â€¢ I have also worked with two very large corporations [IBM and Telus] and I have owned and operated a small retail business.
â€¢ My degree is in Engineering and I’ve had extensive experience in Information Technology, systems analysis and project management.
9. Why should voters vote for you?
â€¢ As a pensioner, delivering tax relief is my top priority. I know the value of money and the necessity of living within our means. And I know how to say NO!
â€¢ As part of a CRMG leadership team, I believe we can achieve better service from City Hall and better value from current tax rates.
â€¢ Only a CRMG majority can make firm promises and be able to deliver on our promises of financial sustainability, tax relief, accountability and open government.
10. Anything else you would like to add?
â€¢ Please vote on Nov.19. A low turnout would probably re-elect the incumbents.
â€¢ CRMG candidates, if elected, are committed to committed to working cooperatively with all others–independents or incumbents.
â€¢ CRMG recognizes that other candidates would probably be the first choice of many voters, but we respectfully ask all voters to consider entrusting their remaining votes to CRMG candidates–if they want to help elect a stronger Council that is committed to tax relief, financial sustainability, accountability and open government. Together we can make a difference!