Sampson says long term plan needed for infrastructure

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.

Kyle Sampson

Tell us about your background.
Kyle Sampson
Kyle Sampson

I am a young professional in Prince George. I volunteer in our community, as well as I do business in our community. Currently I manage marketing and communications with Pacific Western Brewing. I am a young professional who has well rounded experiences in business, philanthropy, business development, and communications.

Why are you running for council?

I love Prince George and Prince George is my home by choice. I was not born here, nor do I have any relatives here. I choose for PG to be my home because I love the community, the lifestyle, the affordability, and the people. I am running for Council because I want to give back to the community that has given so much to me. I bring passion, dedication, and unique experiences to the mix. I also bring a new perspective and a fresh outlook, which will help diversify our Council.

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

I believe that we need to look ahead. We have a City that has the potential for a lot of growth, which is great news, but we need to make sure we are growing at a sustainable rate, and still keeping up with our existing needs. Our infrastructure all has varying lifespans that we need to take into account so we can set long term plans and strategies in place to not be ready for the investment needed to maintain, replace, or refurbish.

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

No. A management position, in any industry, is a salaried position. You are expected to fulfill your duties, and in compensation you are paid a fair rate.

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

I believe City Council is to provide a vision, guidance, and set the path for our City. Operations is to be carried out by the staff in place. However, I think it is imperative that a City Councillor be involved, informed and active in participating with City Management to assure the vision of Council is being executed, and to provide any further guidance as needed.

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?

Yes I will support cannabis retail applicants who meet our requirements as a City. These are entrepreneurs who are working to set up a legal business in our community and we should encourage that. After much discussion with potential retail operators, most expressed their willingness to have paid more than the $1000.00 amount set by the City. From my understanding, the City’s Planning department will be reviewing the fee’s associated with all business licenses next year, and I would be interested in seeing the recommended amount set for cannabis. I would support a higher amount, but not without further consultation with potential business operators, as well as the City Planning department.

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?

Masich Place Stadium is a fantastic facility within our City that could be, and should be utilized to its maximum potential. Especially after it’s upgrades. I would want to hear further consultation from the public to see if these hours are adequate. Perhaps in the summer months, we could see a benefit to usage later than 9pm. I would want to learn more from those who do use, and would like to use the facility on what they see is needed.

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

I think what this means is giving clear, and easily understandable information to the public to keep them informed and up to date on what is happening in our City. We should not try to hide behind reports that are difficult to find, and once found, difficult to understand to the average citizen. We should be able to stand proudly behind the decisions made as a City Council and staff and communicate clearly our decisions, plans and vision for the City. I have a background in communications and I think communicating is going to be essential in remaining open and transparent.

Why should people vote for you?

I am a longtime resident of Prince George. I volunteer in our community and I do business in our community. As a young professional, I look at Prince George being my home for many years to come. If elected, I will be looking ahead to the future of our city but not staying idle on the important issues of today. I believe City Council should reflect the entire makeup of our community. I will bring a fresh outlook and new perspective around to the council table. I offer passion, dedication, and different experiences to the council mix. My approach will be focused on proactively seeking ways to plan for our communities sustainable future and further development, but also on our people and their changing needs. People, Sustainability and Community Development are my key principles. If elected, some areas I will focus on include:

-Maintaining a competitive and fair tax regime;

-Retaining our aging population by providing for them through initiatives like seniors housing, accessibility, affordability, and more;

-Actively seeking investment and partnership in our community to further expand our industry base, and to not fall behind other comparable markets;

-Bringing balance to our aging demographics by attracting young families, professionals, and students to relocate to Prince George… and stay;

-Addressing issues downtown, and seeking ways to better help the vulnerable populations in our community.

I am certainly not running as a candidate with all the answers to every issue – but I am 100 per cent committed to listening, finding the answers, and working toward a solution to the issues we face as a city which is why I ask for our communities vote.

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

I hope to accomplish many things during my term if elected, but if only one, it would be to set a proper strategic plan in place to assure we are able to sustainably meet our needs a City as the years go on. We can asses and identify when our infrastructure is going to require maintenance, refurbishment, or replacement. We should also be identifying a plan on how we will meet these challenges so we don’t find ourselves caught with no other option but to raise taxes. Continually raising taxes in lieu of proper planning is not a sustainable option.