VIDEO: Meet Council Candidate Alison Klie
(Scroll down for Alison's answers to the CFJC Candidate Questionnaire.)
1. What do you love about Kamloops? What frustrates you about the city?
I love the variety of Kamloops. There is something for everyone here, whether it is sports, arts, entertainment, nature, you name it you can find it here. I especially enjoy going for drives up in the bush with my dad, attending local events like music in the park, and floating down the river in the summer. What frustrates me is our apprehension to change. For example it took multiple tries to approve the Sandman centre and to allow businesses to be open on Sundays. I think that Kamloops is better for both of those changes and we just need a little push to get the ball rolling on city projects that will help the city grow.
2. The City of Kamloops has budgeted for a 2.08 per cent tax increase this year. Do you believe that is reasonable?
I believe it is reasonable, as long as it is used in a way that will improve Kamloops as a whole. I think that tax money should go towards improving funding for public projects and services, which will lead to better jobs and growth for Kamloops. In my opinion we should be spending money to get the job done properly the first time like fixing our roads and potholes so we don’t have to fix them again a year later. I would also like to look into improving our park spaces and recreational facilities, and revamping and better funding our snow removal plans. These tax increases should be considered an opportunity to invest in our community and improve the quality of life for all Kamloops residents.
3. Has the City of Kamloops done enough to attract business and investment?
I think we can do more. If we want to attract more businesses to our city we need to make sure there is a place for them to go. Increasing development of commercial spaces in central areas to ensure accessibility and visibility is important, as well as improving recreational facilities and local events so people will want to move here. As for investors, Kamloops is an extremely attractive city right now we should be capitalizing on the attention we are getting from people leaving the more expensive areas like Vancouver and Kelowna. We should be seen as an opportunity for new and innovative companies such as the tech industry and non-traditional businesses. Although we need to be careful to not start selling out our city for monetary profit, we should make sure to consider the long term effects of proposals before approving major projects.
4. Does the city’s snow removal budget need a boost in funding? Why or why not.
Yes. With the size of Kamloops and the number of areas we need to clear it is extremely important to look into how we can better provide this service. I know that many of the outlying areas like Barhartvale are often forgotten or left for days without proper clearing which becomes a safety concern. Each year we seem to go over budget and it should no longer be a surprise. We need to adapt to the climate change and look at other options, perhaps it is time to invest in higher capacity snow removal equipment, more equipment or look at having area specific contractors.
5. How would you propose city council deal with housing affordability concerns in Kamloops?
I am a supporter of the Kam Plan and would like to see more high density living throughout the cores of Kamloops. We should be finding ways to expedite the paperwork
side of the process so that building can begin as quickly and safely as possible. By encouraging the building companies to hire locally not only will our rental units not be filled with out of town construction workers but the added income will help more of our citizens to be able to afford their own homes. We can also look into increasing the percentage of rental in new construction and replacing older apartment buildings that are at the end of their life span.
6. Has the City of Kamloops done enough to address homelessness?
I am a supporter of projects like the low income housing project that is being built on mission flats road. I believe that area is close enough to other amenities and they will be able to easily access support and information on how to recover. What I don’t think we are doing enough of is preventing future generations from ending up on a path to homelessness or addiction. Many of these peoples’ stories start with childhood trauma or learned behaviour. We are spending all our efforts treating a symptom when we need to try and treat the causes as well. We need to find ways of keeping children and youth from falling through the cracks in our system. School lunch programs, counselling, after school programs, and other supports like these are vital to helping children succeed in the future.
7. Should the city budget for more police officers in the city? Why or why not.
As the crime rates continue to rise we definitely should be looking into it. With the size of our city it is difficult to cover all the areas. I believe that with a higher budget we could have a car or two assigned to each of the most problematic areas and a few others could handle patrolling the rest of the city. This would speed up response times and hopefully act as a deterrent.
8. Interior Health’s supervised consumption sites have been operating in Kamloops for over a year now. Are you in favour of the sites and how would you propose dealing with the issue of discarded needles?
I am in favour of these sites because it helps prevent people from using in public spaces where anyone could come across them. It is also a way to reduce the amount of drug materials that are being left on the ground. I do not agree with the free needle programs. There needs to be a reason for these people to bring the needles back. Adding disposal sites around town does nothing but create more work and provide a place for the most desperate to find a needle to use. I would support a needle trade-in program, we could still provide them with a small allowance of free needles but for more they would need to bring back the old ones. I also am impressed with the success of the needle buy back program, extending that would also be something I would support.
9. Are you in favour of a Performing Arts Centre in Kamloops? Why or why not. If so, what would you change from the initial proposal?
I am, if there was still a way to get the grant I would only change the way it was presented to the citizens and maybe the name to the Kamloops Concert House. A project like that would have provided not only concert opportunities for Kamloops but a learning space for everyone. It would have been a great opportunity to improve downtown Kamloops and attract more visitors and patrons to the surrounding area which would have provided more revenue and helped strengthen the local economy. I would still like to see a mid-level concert venue with one to two thousand seats so we can attract more acts that are too big for the Sagebrush Theatre and too small for the Sandman Centre. Having more venues in the city will also help alleviate scheduling conflicts. I believe these kinds of public projects will help Kamloops grow and become more prosperous.
10. Should city councillors be paid higher salaries?
I believe that the current salary of city councillors is appropriate. It’s an important job but not a full time one. If there is funding available for a pay increase I would rather see it go towards improving and updating public recreational centres so that the rest of Kamloops can benefit from it.