Questions for Kingston’s Mayoral Hopefuls

2014 Municipal Election, mayor, Mark Gerretsen, Rick Downes, Scott Foster, Dorothy Hector, Michael Owen, Bryan Paterson, Brenda SlomkaThis time next month, Kingstonians will be heading to the polls to elect a new Mayor, members of City Council and School Board Trustees.  The resulting composition of City Council will be considerably different come October 28th, as three of our current Councillors (Downes, Hector and Paterson) have given up their seats in hopes of taking over Mayor Gerretsen’s soon to be vacant post. The list of contenders vying for the city’s top job doesn’t end there, as three other challengers (Foster, Owen and Slomka) are also making bids for the mayoralty. Who will win, and what impact will the loss of at least two experienced Councillors mean for the City of Kingston over the next four years?

As we prepare ourselves to sift through campaign platforms and promises and determine which candidates we might support, we must also consider which issues matter the most. Just what are your priories going into the 2014 municipal election?  Should we be more concerned about moving forward and building a third crossing, or is the potential relocation of a gaming facility to Kingston more significant?  Should a candidate’s view pertaining to local school closures be of considerable worth, or is this issue eclipsed by their respective plans for economic development?  And what about homelessness, poverty reduction, downtown revitalization, social services, taxes, responsible city governance and the list goes on.

To help you make an informed decision on election day, Kingstonist has secured a commitment from all six mayoral candidates to participate in our upcoming interview series. Accordingly, we need your help narrowing down the list of questions that deserve to be asked. If you could ask Kingston’s future mayor one question before the election, what would it be? Which issues will help you narrow down the field and decide on a single candidate? Submit your best questions, and I promise to consider them when crafting queries to our local mayoral candidates.

Photo by ed_needs_a_bicycle.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

12 thoughts on “Questions for Kingston’s Mayoral Hopefuls

  • Question: What are you going to do to modernize the backward recycling in Kingston? "

    • In your opinion, what isn't modern about our recycling program? What cities have or are moving towards the sort of system you would like to see implemented in Kingston?

      • The small boxes are out of date and changed for large wheeled bins that allows more recycling and less collecting time because the trucks do all the lifting and not the drivers. Also the driver doesn't have separate the items saving MORE time. Also with ONE blue bin there is less confusion by the public of what goes where on which day!!!

        Cities like Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa just to name a few towns use and have used this wheeled bin and collection system for MANY, many years.

    • No, that's a violation of the Code of Conduct for Council and Committee Members, (section 3.2):

      "Staff members serve Council and work for the municipal corporation under the direction of the chief administrative officer. Council directs staff through its decisions as recorded in the minutes and resolutions of Council. Members of
      Council have no individual capacity to direct members of staff to carry out particular functions."

  • What is Kedco’s mandate and is it sufficient to help attract and grow businesses in Kingston? What changes, if any, would you make to Kedco as an organization? What changes would you make within City of Kingston policies to attract new businesses?

  • Utilities Kingston is unique across all of Canada, having taxpayer owned water, gas, electricity and fibre networks under one roof allows the City of Kingston a competitive advantage when attracting certain types of businesses. Should Utilities Kingston continue to offer these services, or should we leave utilities to private enterprise? If UK should continue to be publicly held, what would you do to ensure their continued success? If you feel utilities should be left to private enterprise, why and how would that change impact business in Kingston?

  • It seems relevant to publicize a survey that Transition Kingston has done of all the council and mayoral candidates. We asked them 7 questions in regards to sustainability, and you can see the questions and responses here:

  • I believe the biggest issue facing Kingston in the up coming years is our hospitals. Which mayor candidate has the vision and is prepared to work with our local MPP and MP to begin constructing a new medical facility north of the 401? The Kingston General and Hotel Dieu provide poor health care to our city.

  • Wheelchair accessibility is a real issue for Kingston. Especially downtown. How are the candidates going to fix this problem?

  • My question is about suburban sprawl. Do any of you have any ideas about 21st century urban planning with more of a community focus, or are we going to continue seeing endless new subdivisions with warehouse districts building up along major thoroughfares?

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