In response to your questions I telephoned our city halls planning, development and finance departments to research my answers for you.
1. Agrifair is partly viewed as a commercial venture and partly viewed as a core community service. Abbotsford has historically been the farm and dairy foods supplier for all Fraser Valley communities. Agriculture is a core need for people to eat. Research and education for alternatives to fertilizer and pesticide use needs to be shared with all stake holders (consumers and farmers alike). New methods of containing and limiting the harmful effects of manure processing, desperately needs to be learned and adopted by some industries, like Mushroom Manure Processors. To the extent that the Agrifair can serve as an educational medium for the improvement in the quality of life both in foods and environment quality, I shall support it.
2. The agreement of the Federal Government to turn over the operation of our Airport to the Municipal Authority of the City of Abbotsford is a great opportunity. It does place a great responsibility onto council to ensure it is developed wisely. I will study similar regional airports that have worked and those that have not worked, from a financial and other standpoints to ensure that our Abbotsford International Airport is securely positioned on the profit and community asset side. I will evaluate the high demand areas of the Vancouver International Airport, consult with the local community, and recommend that we accept only reasonable increased air traffic flows, consistant with our developing Aerospace Industry Base. I commend Conair and WestJet for their expanded investment, services and job base.
3. The Provincial Government has announced tax cuts which will affect the bottom line for the City of Abbotsford. I will not stand before you, like a spoiled child, and blame the Provincial Government for the financial ills of a world economy, nor point the finger at the United States for interfering in our domestic affairs by witholding billion dollar payments on 30 years worth of Hydro Electric Services, messing with our fish quotas, and unilaterally telling us how to run our lumber industry. What I will say, is that the city of Abbotsford has an obligation to set aside our differences and ensure that a basic level of core infrastructure and social services are met.
4. Yes I favour chloramination in series with chlorine treatment as it is one of the safest method of ensuring the management of public health from surface water sources. The outbreak of numerous deadly plagues can be linked to the lack of appropriate disinfection of surface water sources. Ozonation of the first stage of the water intake can reduce the need for chlorine and chloramines, however the Provincial Water Treatment Act requires that all the water be safely disinfected right to the last spout at the very furthest customers home. Areas of the joined Abbotsford and Clearbrook who are currently enjoying deep well water do not have the same need for disinfection and can avoid the need for chlorine with an aggressive pipeline swabbing regime. Slow sand filtration will also reduce the need for chlorine products, however there is a level of disinfection below which we may not want to go at risk of loss of life to our elderly, young and others challenged with lowered immune deficiencies.
5. The commercialization of South Fraser Way is an area which will require further study by staff and community input. Clearly we can learn from the parking problems in the old downtown core, that future development there will have to anticipate underground parking for staff and customers, as the newer Clearbrook Developers have accomodated. I favour commuter vans linking all the downtown shopping districts, paid for by the commercial landlords, who directly benefit from ensuring the safety and satisfaction of their customers. The city may organize and facilitate this.
6. The city of Abbotsford should promote itself as a vibrant safe community, encourage the construction of worthwhile ventures like a hotel, which benefit all sectors of the economy, but not at the expense of the tax base necessary to preserve the very quality of life we are promoting.
7. Curfews and youth discrimination are the kind of coersive acts that I feel the city and state should scrupulously avoid. I feel that the extended family and community have a responsibility to encourage youth by providing jobs and interesting activities, that youth would choose to do anyway. Turning Abbotsford into a prison compound hardly seems enlightend, nor encouraging of individual, family and collective responsibility.
8. Yes, I would like to see more busses in service. I would like to see a funding formula which tasks all the stake holders into sharing the burden with the city. If the business community will buy and maintain the vehicles, the city may be able to find the dollars to hire the youth to drive them. Their dollars will ultimately be spent on further education and in your stores.
9. Slow sand filtration is the lowest cost option which holds the greatest promise for immediate gains in reducing the risks associated with water born disease. Ozonation is the high tech solution to guaranteeing pure water from surface sources, but is the high cost option which must be budgeted for in the future.
10. Improvements in the delivery of services at city hall can only be achieved through a transformation of council, its direction to staff, and the level of cooperation and community building initiatives we can join with the citizens in achieving. I feel the level of service is outstanding at city hall. The staff should be commended for serving so many different groups objectively.
11. The official community plan, adopted in 1996 was a complete revision due to the amalgamation of the city and former districts. I believe we should give it a chance to prove itself before we jump in and start redoing what is normally done on a 5 year cycle. However, I believe the only areas currently in need of review are the finalization of the Airport Industrial Areas in conjunction with the turnover of the Airport to the City and the future of the commercial core. Public and stake holder input are needed.