|Candidate Name: O’Toole, Kevin|
|Why did you decide to run for office?
I have lived in Grande Prairie since 1965, I moved from Prince George B.C 1) I am a two term city councilor first elected in 2010 (3 year term) and 2013 4 year (term) and now running for a third term as a councillor. I have three grown children all with spouses and a total of 10 grandchildren. I own and have operated a small business (ANS Safety) for 26 years. I do know about budgets and spending and very good at dealing with people. I am also a red sealed Machinist I went through four years of apprenticeship at NAIT and also attended GPRC to gain knowledge in office computer and Cad courses.
One of my goals when first elected was to Have 92 st. twinned and also 68th ave. twinned both are either complete or very close to completion. Council including myself also wanted these projects done but didn’t have the funds and administration searched for funding sources without a serious burden to tax payers. We received MSI funding for both projects from the Alberta government. I am a people person and enjoy the opportunity to provide input from my past experience and from listening to the residents.
|What experience do you have with municipal government, in Grande Prairie or elsewhere?
I have seven years of dealing our local government concerns, I have gone to Edmonton and lobbied at the legislature and met with 5 different Premier’s. I know the process’s and have a good understanding on the different political Parties.
|If elected, your term will run until 2021. What do you want Grande Prairie to look like four years from now?
In four years when this term is complete this is what I would like to see.
The hospital complete and in operation, including a very large parade
Highway 43x complete and the now bypass made into a three lane plus turning lanes with bridge improvements paid for by federal funding.
The Bear Creek reservoir dredged and upgraded to environment standards this will need to be done soon anyway. Paid for provincial grants
A pedway or tunnel crossing at the collage to the new hospital
Discussions taking place regarding Regionalization and going well even have shared revenue policy in place
A large manufacturing plant has move into the city
The province has developed a better police funding model which will be reduced considerably. This savings will allow us to reduce taxes to a negative 3% in the fourth year.
The airport gets full customs and now has international flights to Las Vegas, Nevada, Cancun, Mexico and Phoenix, Arizona. and one flight a week to Hawaii. Airport is in the process of expanding the terminal.
The collage has been granted Poly-tech status in year four
We now have a regional fire service with Sexsmith, Wembley, and the County and an agreement with the MD of Greenview.
Photo Radar has done its job and now only used in only a few locations clearly marked
Private investor wants to build office tower to city specs on Montrose site high end apartments with business on the main floor
|The average property tax bill in Grande Prairie is about $3,500. If we use the percentages from the 2016 Taxpayer Information handout and set aside the portion for schools, that means we use that homeowner’s taxes in this way
To explain some of the labels
Corporate Services include things such as information technology, facility maintenance, and finance.
City Manager’s Office includes communications, human resources, and legislative services, among others.
Community Living looks after transit, the Eastlink Centre, Coca-Cola Centre, Heritage, Parks, and Recreation
Community Safety and Growth covers fire, RCMP, enforcement services, transportation, engineering, inspection, and planning.
How would you like to see that money allocated among those uses?
Community safety and growth 40%
Community living 30%
Corporate services 20%
City managers office 10%
|Many candidates talk about change but what do you think is working well in the city; what would you want to keep the same?
This council has hire a new city manager, new manager for the Eastlink Centre, a new manager for Revolution Place within the last year, new CFO, new purchasing Manager will coming on board, and a new fire chief, changes are already taking place. With change taking place because of retirement and changes to corporate structure this will be an exciting time. I really don’t know what changes are needed and I really don’ think candidates do either they are making statements but are unaware of the consequences weather they are positive or negative to the organization.
|We conducted a survey that identified Crime and Public Safety, Taxes, and Economic Growth as the top three issues for residents. What are your thoughts on those issues?
The city is lacking in manufacturing , industrial, and commercial business’s this is not good the ratio to residential is out of proportion higher manufacturing , industrial, and commercial can offset residential tax base
|When voters ask “Why should I vote for you?”, what’s your answer?
I truly believe the residents of Grande Prairie are customers and should be treated as such, fair and reasonable.
I will strive to make sure council understands what is needed and what is a want when items come to budget.
I have lived in this city since 1965 I have been married to my wife Catherine for 37 years, I have three grown children and 10 grandchildren.
I understand what is required to raise a family and look after our senior population.
I have been a small business owner for twenty six years and understand the concerns with owning and operating a small business.
I have been on council since 2010 and served on many boards, I have a great insight on the goings on with our nonprofits in our community as well with other areas of concern.
I am a straight shooter.