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Fox says many issues facing city are interrelated

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.
Viv Fox
Tell us about your background.
Viv Fox
Viv Fox

I moved to Prince George in 2012. I am in my 13th year with the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves, and during the day I am a Regional Manager with Emergency Management BC. Prior to that I was a Corporate Health and Safety Manager, and have filled other civilian work roles. Originally, I am from Manitoba but spent many years in BC, in Vancouver.

Why are you running for council?

To give back to a community, which has given me so much; to be able to affect positive and progressive change in my own backyard.

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

There is no singular issue that takes top priority; there are multiple issues facing the City which are interrelated. We have been dealing with crime, poverty, drug and alcohol addiction, mental health and homelessness issues, but there is also the issue of balancing new developments with protecting our green spaces. These numerous issues affect existing and potential downtown businesses, the ability for the City to attract and retain new residents, the health, safety and wellbeing of every resident.

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

If elected this is something I will happily discuss revisiting with the other Council-elect.

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

To provide high-quality services and good governance (setting the overall strategic direction) for the City of Prince George with the available resources.

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 have heard both support as well as lack of support for this recent decision. I trust that the current Council balanced the research with the needs and concerns of the citizens. As the fee amount has been settled on the best we can do is ensure that the application meets city requirements and that all pertinent laws and regulations are strictly adhered to.

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?

I think that it should not only be open pending scheduled (i.e., paid) usage. It would be nice to see certain blocks of time (outside of annual scheduled events) regularly scheduled, whether daily or on specific days, for community use (walking and running).

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

Transparency when you are serving the public is a must, it is required. Public trust is earned and maintained by transparency and integrity. The wages of elected officials are paid for by taxpayers and thus it goes without saying that they are to keep the public interest ate the forefront by maintaining transparency at all steps during a decision making process wherein their (taxpayer’s) hard-earned dollars are being spent.

Why should people vote for you?

I get things done and am not afraid to call a spade, a spade. When faced with issues or challenges I conduct research, consult the subject-matter-experts and the stakeholders (taxpayers), consider as many angles as possible and decide upon the most logical and fiscally responsible solution which can eliminate, reduce or at least mitigate against the issue at hand. I am hard-working and disciplined but also very compassionate, creative and approachable.

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

If I am voted in, I would love to conduct a baseline metrics survey, both quantitative and qualitative wherein we measure where we are at now as a City, not just in the measurable (infrastructure, status of current projects, budget, number of homeless, etc.) but also in the “immeasurable” (are people in the City happy, how do people rate the quality of life here, are people proud to call Prince George home, etc.). I would like to take the many voiced concerns from residents and business owners and set about finding and implementing solutions to begin addressing our many issues and then in 2 years’ time, or perhaps at the end of the 4 year term, conduct the survey again and see how far we have progressed. This kind of thing produces concrete, reportable metrics that every resident can see, and then they will now if we as a council succeeded, did we make concrete progress towards our established goals? Without this data we will not be able to judge anything more than the quantitative changes (numbers) in 4 years’ time, and the qualitative (how people feel living here, how they view the City’s “image,” how would they rate the quality of life in Prince George) will have no benchmark from which to gauge progress against.

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