Friday, October 3, 2014

City Council Candidate outlines concerns over infrastructure issues

Photo from the City's Annual Rpt 2013
The city's aging infrastructure may yet make its way to the top of list of the election topics this fall, at least if one candidate for Prince Rupert City Council has his way.

On Thursday, Blair Mirau offered up some concerns over the nature of the city's 100 million dollar infrastructure deficit and how he would address the issue should he find success on November 15th.

In a media release and follow up video presentation, the candidate called for a significant change of perspective from City Council to address the city's infrastructure issues.

Offering it seems a shift for voters to consider regarding how the City conducts its business, notably when it comes to the level of taxation in the community, the red tape currently in place and how the City presents itself to would be business operators.

"Local government is in the property tax business, and no business owner expects to earn  more revenue every year just by raising prices  ... Regular tax increases on businesses and residents are unsustainable and is only enough to fund patchwork of bridges, roads and pipes." -- Council candidate Blair Mirau on taxes and infrastructure.

Photo from the City's Annual Rpt 2013
His comments may hit home for residents across the city, with many having seen increasing tax levels in recent years to go along with delays to many projects.

A topic of frequent discussion especially when it comes to the repair or replacement of the city's roads and waterlines.

His review on infrastructure most likely will resonate with residents in the Westview area, as they learn more from the City about the current status of their civic services.

A situation of concern, which this week found that neighbourhood under a Boil Water Advisory.

To address the issue of aging infrastructure and the required upgrades that they will need, Mr. Mirau offers a consideration for a shift in Civic thinking. Looking to move away from the current approach that he believes currently discourages new business and reduces the opportunity to expand the tax base.

The candidate calls for a complete modernization of the Official Community Plan and the reduction of red tape, removing "antiquated and overreaching regulations that discourage new business ventures and inhibit entrepreneurial expansion"

He suggests that by making Prince Rupert more business friendly, the opportunity to increase municipal tax payments would provide more revenue to renew many of the City's current infrastructure issues.

He expands further his thoughts on his infrastructure, through a video contribution through YouTube  and posted to his twitter feed.
It's an interesting discussion point that he is offering up for consideration, one which may meet be greeted with interest from the current contributors to the City's tax rolls, a group that might welcome the addition of some new businesses in the community to help spread the burden of the City's ongoing financial requirements.

Hopefully, it's a topic that some of the incumbents currently on council will want to weigh in on, providing their perspective on the current approach to infrastructure and taxation concerns.

As the three year term for the current Council wraps up, it would be helpful for the election discussion ahead to learn what those in place around the table over the last three years may think of Mr. Mirau's themes on the topic.

Whether you're a current member of council or just an interested voter, we can all examine more of Mr. Mirau's infrastructure thoughts from his campaign website or twitter feed.

For an up to date review of the Municipal Election campaign thus far see our archive page here.

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