On November 13, 2006...

re-elect geoff lorentz

forest-rockway ward

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Questionnaire for Kitchener Municipal Candidates

from "I Believe in Kitchener" www.mykitchener.ca

 

  1. In 50 words or less, what is your vision for Kitchener?

  2. In 50 words or less, what is your vision for downtown Kitchener?

  3. What do you see as Kitchener’s greatest a) strengths and b) challenges?

  4. Explain your position on increasing the size of city council.

  5. What does "long-term community investment" mean to you and what do you see as the city’s role in this.

  6. What issues do you believe affect local businesses most, and what will you do to address them?

  7. What do you feel are the top environmental priorities for Kitchener, and how will you address them?

  8. What specific measures would you put into place to strengthen the arts and culture and architectural heritage in Kitchener and to build their capacity to generate wealth for the city?

 

  1. "I believe that Kitchener will become the most livable City in Canada.  With our diverse population, strong economy and great quality of life, I believe we have all of the ingredients to make it a reality.  Working with all municipalities in the Region will be key to making this happen."

  2. "I believe that our downtown has turned the corner.  The reinvestment has now been taken over by the private sector, which is evident by the number of residential and commercial starts.  We will now begin to see the quantity and quality of retail increase. We must keep the momentum going."

  3. "I see the residents of this community as its greatest strengths.  Located in the heart of Canada’s technology triangle, very close to major Canadian cities and easy access to United States markets, makes it is also a great place for Commerce.  I am very concerned about the erosion of our strong industrial base resulting in the loss of jobs.  The solution is to create a new economy in our city by encouraging new initiatives as we have in the School of Pharmacy and the School of Social Work located in the core of the city.  Diversification of our local economy will continue to make us strong.  I believe our greatest challenge will be to hold on to the manufacturing jobs that remain in this community.  We have to continue initiating dialogue with owners and be aware of their changing needs."

  4. "I support engaging the public to discuss the increase of the size of City Council.  Personally, I support increasing the size of council.  When the suggestion to expand the current Council was made this year it was too late to hold public meetings, have good public discussion and then have the Provincial Government approve it. I was disappointed when the Harris Government forced Kitchener Council to be reduced to 6 Council members.  If this position is to stay a part time one, then more members are warranted as this City continues to grow."

  5. "I believe it is imperative that the city play a lead role in long-term community investment.  Working hand in hand with the Chamber of Commerce and other high tech organizations will enable us to continue to be ahead of the curve when new companies are looking to relocate here.  Also, a good example of long term planning is bringing the two universities into our downtown.  I also believe keeping the tax rate at or below the rate of inflation is imperative to attract investment; Council has achieved this goal for the last 10 years."

  6. "As a small business owner myself, I can tell you property taxes are the biggest expense in the break down of lease payments.  Creating the Small Business Centre at City Hall has helped hundreds of potential entrepreneurs in assisting those starting new businesses.  Keeping the tax rate at or below the rate of inflation is something that business need. Kitchener has had a strong history of being able to accommodate growth of business in our community by having land available for expanding companies.  A good example is Huron Business Park. As this type of land starts to dwindle, we need to be able to think outside the box to meet this increasing demand."

  7. "Creating and preserving our urban forests and open spaces are an absolute must.  Encouraging through education and example better ways to ensure good environmental stewardship of what we have.  Continue to find creative ways to conserve energy as well as educate taxpayers so they may benefit as well.  We are currently bringing “on stream” two new major parks in Kitchener. Huron Natural Area, located in the Huron Business Park and McClellan Park located on Ottawa St. S., the former land fill site.  These two parks will significantly increase the amount of passive and recreational park space.  Kitchener has recently signed a Pedestrian Charter and I believe we need to continue our aggressive approach for community trails throughout our City."

  8. "This city is very rich is arts and culture already.  City Council, through Culture Plan has helped bring arts organizations and like minded people together to create a document and game plan that will continue to keep Kitchener the leader in arts and culture in the Region.  Through Culture Plan II, City Council should continue to fund and nurture the many recommendations that are in the document. I am a strong supporter of the Centre in the Square and will continue to be.  It is very important to continue to recognize and protect significant heritage buildings in our community.  I was a member of Kitchener Housing, when we purchased Victoria Public School from the Public School board and I was actively involved in renovating and preserving that magnificent building.  Other great projects have been the restoration of St. Jerome’s into the School of Social work, Kaufman Lofts and the Arrow lofts.  This kind of adaptive reuse of our older buildings is key in revitalizing a community."

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