Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Friday, October 22, 2010
Charleswood-Tuxedo Candidates Debate Part 2 (continued)
The first question posed to the candidates at the Shaftesbury High School debate. video is here.
The question was: Question - Do you have any experience in the area of city planning policy?
Jarret Hannah said he has experience with city planning policy through his environmental business on the web. He elaborated about his business in recycling and he could bring that knowledge to city planning.
Livio Ciarelli mentioned his involvement in the 2006 election campaign and his support of right of way rail lines being used for rapid transportation and moving the University of Manitoba downtown. He said he participated in forums and blogs and Speak Up Winnipeg. He ran out of time in regards to explaining about the city planning guide that he had read. On the second run at the question, he detailed how Ridgewood to Wilkes Boulevard would be the location of 7000 new homes south of Wilkes Boulevard. And from Wilkes to McGillivary Boulevard would be the location of 25,000 homes. He said he preferred a green buffer zone in that area with lagoons and natural habitats.
Wendy Lenton indicated that her company has been involved in international planning related to traffic. She said she had managed projects beginning to end in planning for large cities. She detailed her experience in strategic development for cities based on her business. She questioned the city's record in planning and said it has cost us.
Paula Havixbeck said she worked as a consultant for Habitat for Humanity. This involved purchasing, zoning and financials. Havixbeck ran out of time to explain more about the process. On the second go around, she said that she believed that there needed to be a better cross section of people consulted on projects. A city planning group dedicated to the ward is something she has thought about. She says that has worked outside the city on planning in particular, Selkirk, Manitoba and their marina. She said relationships need to be built in the capital region.
Steve Szego said he didn't have formal planning experience although he is familiar with the Our Winnipeg plan. He said he would make use of his contacts in the planning department for issues like transportation. When he came back to the question, he indicated that he was interested in responsible spending and planning. He believes in constituents first.
Dashi Zargani said he doesn't have experience in planning but that he is determined to fix or resolve problems as they come up for the ward. He elaborated that he believed that there was poor consulting done when it came to planning.
Timothy Martin, in a repeat of the first forum was almost overlooked twice by the moderator. He said that in his 18 years as a lawyer, the had been involved in planning and zoning variance issues had gone before council committees. He mentioned his thoughts on subjects such sustainability of communities so that you can work, live and play in the area as well as green areas and local heritage. He also went on about the Kapyong Barracks and Lafarge Lands but ran out of time to delve further. He expanded on the idea of interpreting the plan Winnipeg the way we need to. By that, he meant in preserving the small town unique feel of Charleswood. He said he is against commercial sprawl.
My thoughts on this section is that the question asks something of candidates that seems to focused on their experience with a vary narrow professional skill which is city planning. People go to school for that.
The question may have drawn a better response if the candidates were asked about their thoughts on how the city plans and how it affects the ward and beyond. As such, the answers of Steve Szego, Dashi Zargani and Wendy Lenton might have drawn more specific thoughts on the city.
Paula Havixbeck indicated she had skills in specific plans for Winnipeg but didn't have much details for the ward itself.
Timothy Martin had some thoughts on the ward itself but was not too specific other than preserving the character and limiting sprawl.
Livio Ciarelli had a specific idea for ward planning about a green buffer zone but I was left with the thought about how it would affect sprawl.
We have seen resistance to any densification on Parker Avenue and now south of Wilkes.
The city will expand ever outward past green buffer zones and it will still affect the ward. It will also cost the ward to spread service beyond where they are now. It is better to have well considered development plans for new homes and ensure good transit corridors so that the ward is not a racetrack to city limits.