Parksville city council candidates answer some questions

We asked candidates two questions: If elected, what is your number one priority?; and, what separates you from the other candidates?

  • Nov. 12, 2014 8:00 p.m.

Editor’s note

We asked all of the candidates seeking office on Nov. 15 to answer two questions:

1. If elected, what is your number one priority? 2. What separates you from the other candidates? We asked them to provide answers to each question in 50 words or less.

• School board candidates and regional district candidates were published Oct. 30.

• Parksville and Qualicum Beach mayoral candidates were published Nov. 4.

• Qualicum Beach council candidates were published Nov. 6.

Today: Parksville city council candidates

Heidi Abbott

1. To establish a responsible and cost effective plan to meet water quality regulatory requirements that supports the health and welfare of all our citizens without undue financial hardship. We need to answer the concerns of our taxpayers and present a plan that will be acceptable to the majority.

2. I am working on a MA in Community Development and the knowledge I am gaining is very applicable. I am also at a stage in my life where I can still appreciate the challenges of youth and young families while recognizing the road ahead brings new challenges as we age.

Mary Beil

1. The water treatment issue is the first priority.  We need to review the existing proposals, determine levels of senior government support and involve the public to fully understand our options and obligations. We must base our actions on sound information and understanding to provide a safe and affordable system.

2. As a recently-retired school principal I have strong skills as an administrator, experience in working with people and the ability to understand and manage change.  I am experienced at setting budgets, making decisions, understanding different perspectives and keeping the big picture in mind.

Michael Donegani

1. I see two priorities in Parksville. For the 35 per cent of Parksville who vote it is water, for the 65 per cent who do not, it is quality of life: low income housing, youth programs; accessible palliative and senior care; a transportation system which functions for the young, the elderly and the infirm.

2. I have worked in the music industry for 38 years as an engineer, songwriter, producer and teacher. I will not use the empty political-speech of ‘transparency’, ‘accountability’ and ‘sustainability’ indiscriminately. City council should be a ‘crowd source’ of new individuals, not a monoglot of bureaucrats rubberstamping their limited ‘idea’.

Jim Gordon

1. Represent the people of this city and implement their ideas for all upcoming projects and issues.

2. I am here to represent the people of this city and I carry no other political agendas.

Al Greir

1. Without question the water filtration and aquifer storage is a huge expense. I would like to have a complete review done with a new board and more public hearings. Also to curb spiraling costs of running the city. Automatically increasing taxes every year is not sustainable.

2. I have been involved in community affairs, business and municipal politics since I was 25. With one term in Qualicum and two terms here in Parksville, I have the experience on how the city works. I have no trouble making tough decisions.

Rick Honaizer

1. Have a hearing on the water.

2. I have stayed involved in the city going to meetings, speaking up, fighting for Parksville.

Kirk Oates

1. Protecting and maintaining the high quality of life we are so fortunate to enjoy in this naturally beautiful place. Our stewardship of the land and environment must be part of all our decisions over the next four years, so that our quality of life can be enjoyed into the future.

2. I have served on council prior to coming to Parksville providing me valuable first hand exposure to municipal politics. I have extensive experience working with people and am comfortable from the grassroots to the boardroom. I am an experienced negotiator with skills in problem solving, conflict resolution and community building.

Teresa Patterson

1. Residents deserve a councillor who understands the needs of the community transportation, roads, water, sewer, parks, and infrastructure. My priority is maintaining our budget with the growth of our city and keeping taxes in line, with inflation. I want to see our tax base change from 75 per cent residential to 65 per cent.

2. Living here in Parksville, raising two children from kindergarten to university here, owning a business and being committed to small business and supporting employment. From being an active volunteer, Rotarian, chamber member, supporting arts, tourism, and recreation. I believe in this community, respect its residents and value open communication.

Roy Plotniko

1. To reduce Parksville water cost for residents to a level that is in tune with the size and location of our municipality. To allow residents to have a garden, lawn, grow vegetables, flowers and to  beautify the community without the fear of huge water bills.

2. I differ from other candidates because I am an advocate for rigorous efforts to pull together as a team to meet our challenges and obligations. I want to meet our obligation to get the water treatment plant underway and completed in a timely and cost effective manner.

Sue Powell

1. Get the water treatment plant up and running. It was clear at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention that we would not get the dollars we need to build the plant to the size we envisioned so we need to go back to the drawing board and come up with something that is less expensive but still meets our needs into the future.

2.  I bring my experience to Council. If I am elected this will be my fourth term. When I was first elected the late Coun. Barry Johnson was my mentor and helped me learn my role as a city councillor and I would hope that I would be able to do this with new councillors as well. As a councillor I have tried to reach balanced decisions that consider all sides of an issue. I do my research and make a decision based upon that information.

Paul Reitsma

1. Fiscal restraint. Parksville’s finances are  in good shape.  We can’t afford returning to high taxes/high long-term debt. No tax increases first year, minimal next three years. We can’t afford the proposed water treatment plant, must be scaled down to need:  affordable long-term secure potable water supply.

2. My height of 6’6”. I believe the experience of having served as mayor here (1987-1996), 35 years owning/operating a small business, served on three local  parent’s advisory school committees, being a good listener, decisive and being passionate about Parksville, fostering respect and teamwork amongst council.

Leanne Salter

1. Re-assess the water treatment plant. The current plan is costly. An aquifer for water storage is a relatively new approach. Parksville has $10 million saved for the project — residents do not want to borrow the additional costs to build something that may fail. It needs a community vote.

2, I have lived here for over 45 years and I am the councillor candidate who understands the regional perspective — I am an alternate RDN director and District 69 Parks and Recreation Commissioner. I am a long-time advocate and community volunteer. I don’t just talk about it, I do it.

Caroline Waters

1. My number one priority is public safety. Public safety means ensuring that our  community’s infrastructure is maintained and enhanced. Public infrastructure includes water supply and storage, sewers, storm drains, sidewalks, parks and trails and roads and transit. I am committed to a parks and trails advisory group and resolving traffic flow and safety.

2. It is my belief that public service is about team work and cooperation and shared goals. I was fortunate to serve as a councillor here twelve years ago. My experience as a  working Parent, a home owner and a volunteer provides me with access to many different sources of input. I will work hard to bring all your voices and ideas to the council table.


Also running but did not respond by deadline: Donald Lohvin.