McConnachie says infrastructure needs top issue facing city

We asked all city council candidates to fill out a questionnaire so you may get to know them a little better. We will be running their answers between now and election day.
 
Terri McConnachie
 
Tell us about your background.
Candidate Terri McConnachie at the CBC/Prince George Public Library forum. Bill Phillips photo
Candidate Terri McConnachie at the CBC/Prince George Public Library forum.

A long time resident of Prince George, and together with my husband of 30 years, Kevin, we have helped to raise three really fabulous people and recently welcomed a son-in-law, soon to be son-in-law and most joyfully, a grandson, to our family. I’m the current Executive Officer for the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Northern BC and board member for the Prince George Public Library, past work experience includes working as the General Manager for the Agricultural & Historical Association (host organization of the annual PGX/BCNE), the Site Manager for the Huble Homestead and the General Manager for a previous local business and family entertainment centre, Bubba Baloo’s. I am an invested member of the Nechako Rotary.

Why are you running for council?

Prince George has been very good to my family and I am in a position to give back. I think that it’s more effective to be part of the solution to issues you see and following my first term, I feel that my contribution makes a difference.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the City of Prince George today? Why?

Aging and expensive infrastructure and the prioritization of such, increased downloading of costs from senior levels of government, increasing costs of construction and the issue of housing/care for the street population

Please rank the importance of the following issues facing the city (1 being the most important).
  1. Infrastructure
  2. Economic Development
  3. Road Maintenance
  4. Snow Removal
  5. Social Housing
  6. Crime
  7. Safety
  8. Recreation (pools, arenas etc.)
  9. Parks
  10. Transit
  11. Downtown Revitalization
  12. City Image
  13. Population Increase
 
 
Do you support the policy that pays senior exempt staff overtime? Why, or why not?

It is important to pay people well, provide a harmonious workplace, and ensure they have clear direction and the tools required to get their work done to the highest standard possible. Last summer during the Cariboo wildfire crisis, I don’t think anyone realized just how large and serious the scope of work would turn out to be and I am grateful no one was hurt. I also think that, at the time, folks who came to our community seeking refuge, were and are, just grateful for our city and no cost was too high to pay. That being said, the bill to the province has been tallied. The amount of money some senior staff received last summer was egregious. This has nothing to do with the quality of work done and everything to do with a reasonable compensation. The current policy, now that it has been test driven, needs to be addressed immediately.

What do you believe is the role of a city councillor as it pertains to the day-to-day operations of city hall?

It is not the role of a councillor to do the day to day work required to run a safe, happy and flourishing city; rather, it is to set priorities, direction, budget and oversight on behalf of citizens.

Council recently set the business licence fee for cannabis retailers and producers at $1,000. Do you think this fee is too high, too low, about right and will you support a cannabis retail store application that meets city requirements?

I am excited to support entrepreneurs in this new area which meet the current requirements and am comfortable with the cost of a business license at this time.

The city is currently reviewing the hours to keep Masich Place Stadium open. Do you agree with the current hours of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., pending scheduled usage and, if so should those hours be maintained?

Yes, I was in full support of the current hours and scheduling for public access to Masich Place and will participate in any tweaks, if necessary, as we get public feedback as we move forward.

We often hear about government being open and transparent. What does that mean to you? Once again, be specific.

It means debating issues in public and providing all information about everything, which is not otherwise legally prohibitive. It also means being prepared to be challenged at the council table, weighing the pros and cons to any issue, to ultimately make the best decision I can defend and live with.

Why should people vote for you?

I have the willingness to serve, understand the importance of decisions which need to be made, eager to learn, curious, not afraid to ask questions, work well with others and find the work challenging and fun! Open mind and a fair approach at the council table.

If you could accomplish one thing over the next term, what would that be?

A solution for more low barrier housing in partnership with stakeholders and senior levels of government.