Candidates mostly divided on issues
Red Deer city council candidates are clearly not on the same page when it comes to city business.
According to the Red Deer Advocate civic vote questionnaire, which ran in Saturday’s paper, the 29 respondents were most divided on the issues of ward versus at-large systems, backyard chickens, and spending on cultural facilities and sports facilities.
When it comes to representation, 19 chose to stay with the existing at-large system while 10 preferred the move to a ward system.
Candidates Bettylyn Baker and Stephen Coop answered they would not support a council motion that brings in a ward system if the plebiscite results in the majority of voters favouring a ward system.
Sixteen of the respondents said more money should be spent on cultural facilities and more sports facilities.
Thirteen said less money should be spent on cultural facilities such as libraries, museums and performance facilities.
Four candidates –– Chad Mason, Stephen Coop, Serge Gingras and David Helm — said recreation user fees should increase, while the remaining 25 said they should stay the same.
Twenty-five respondents supported a 50-metre pool while Mason, Jerry Anderson, Terry Balgobin and Coop did not give support to a proposed project.
Five candidates –– Coop, Garry Didrikson, Calvin Goulet-Jones, Calvin Yzerman and Tim Lasiuta –– do not support the city borrowing money to finance capital projects.
Most candidates listed bike lanes as the lowest priority and a lower crime rate as the highest on a list that included more snow removal, fewer potholes, lower tax rates, new recreation facilities, new cultural facilities, lower crime rate, improved park system, weed control and homelessness.
Backyards chickens were supported by 16 candidates and all candidates threw their support behind community gardens.
A year-round public market was supported by 24 candidates while Didrikson, Tanya Handley, Lawrence Lee, Frank Wong and Dawna Morey said no.
All respondents also agreed that safety is an issue in downtown Red Deer.
The questionnaire was sent to the 35 candidates running for council. Cindy Jefferies, Dennis Trepanier and Jonathan Wieler all declined to participate. Bob Bevins and Dennis Moffat did not response.
Tara Veer did not meet the deadline.
The respondents were asked 16 questions on a number of issues facing the city.
See the survey results by going to www.reddeeradvocate.com and clicking on the Vote 2013 tab.