John Prince on the Issues
If you are elected, what will you concentrate on during your term?
"Bridging the gap between the clash of two cultures facing this community - the
previous small coal mining town culture and the new ex-urbanite culture, each with
different values, ideas, needs and wants."
What made you decide to run?
People from every part of this community asked me to. Overwhelmingly, the consensus
from the people I've talked to is that they want a change from the status quo. They want a
new voice with fresh ideas. They want a breath of fresh air! They also want to see the restoring
of the peoples trust in their elected officials by having an open and transparent
council, that works for the greater good of all
the people in our community, and not just for the rich and well-connected.
In your opinion, what is the role of the mayor in municipal
As most people know, the Mayor is the head and chief executive officer of the
municipality. In consultation with his council he develops and evaluates the policies and
programs of the municipality, and administration administers them. The Mayor must possess
leadership skills, be a good listener and most importantly, respect the wishes of his
constituency. In addition, he should have a vision, passion, enthusiasm, and the
determination to see it through. He also must be a people person who is approachable.
What issues need to be addressed in the coming term of council?
Improving economic development in the municipality. Restoring the municipality's shaky
finances and tearing down the "culture of secrecy", cronyism and entitlement
which is running rampant at municipal hall. We must stop accepting this system as normal.
What we have been getting is helter-skelter development, lack of focus, and lack of
sustainable tourism and industry initiatives that will benefit our community. The present
agenda of promoting self-serving development and unsustainable industry and tourism, at
the expense of the taxpayer, must stop. A yearly, steady trend of increases to property
taxes, utility bills and user fees is not a way to run a municipality. It's not fair and
it's not right! People want this trend to stop. I will do my best to accommodate their
- Stopping the Waste and Getting Spending Under Control
The 'Pass has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.
The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass' budget has ballooned from $9.9 million in 2000 to
$15.9 million in 2012. This represents a whopping 60.6% increase!! The municipality
is addicted to spending and the most important job for me as your future mayor will be to
stop the hemorrhaging of our tax dollars and get our municipality's finances in order.
This will be my number one priority.
Is affordable housing a concern you have and if it is what is your solution to the
My solution is the one I, and both the Pass to
the Future and the Municipal Development
Plan (MDP) (2001) that I helped develop back when I was on council and acting in the
capacity of Vice-Chair of the Sub-Division & Development Board collectively came up
with, and which was not, unfortunately, acted upon. Since then we have had the Affordable
Housing Survey (2009) as well. We recommended back then in 1999, 2001 and 2009,
respectively, the creation of a land bank. This is where the municipality would, over
time, acquire land (when it is relatively cheap) for the express purpose of one day having
affordable housing built on it.
As far as doing something now to address the problem? What about the trailer park that is
by the Sportscomplex. Remember, thats where people were kicked out of their homes to
make room for a parking lot, that is only used once a year for two days during the KRA.
Since we already own that land, would not that spot be a good place to start our first
community affordable housing project?
Making the Crowsnest a Better Place to Live
- Municipal council has been too focused on the pet projects and perks of politicians
(Mayor) and not on the fundamental services that people, families and businesses rely on
every day. These essential services are necessary to make the Crowsnest Pass a more
livable community. As Mayor, I will take the following necessary steps to
make the 'Pass a better place to live:
Infrastructure & Roads
The municipality currently has pot-holed streets with Cadillac plumbing underneath. For
years now, despite having an ongoing declining population, we have seen untold millions of
dollars spent on questionable infrastructure projects (at the expense of other lost
opportunities e.g. new community centre (with an indoor swimming pool and exercise
facilities)) with nothing for the naked eye to see in the way of value for money spent.
Obviously our priorities have to change, we cannot continue concentrating in one area only
at the expense of all other areas in our community. Waste and neglect has run rampant here
and needs to be reigned in and addressed, respectively.
Public Transportation System
- The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass is approximately 27km long and for all intents and
purposes has no public transportation system to speak of. This deficientcy must be
addressed. This community needs an efficient and all inclusive public transportation
system. As Mayor I will work with the Province to create a reliable, affordable, convenient,
and customer-focused transit service that the 'Pass can take pride in. Without a public
transportation system commuters and businesses suffer, as well as our environment. A
public transportation system is essential and vital to our economic and social well-being.
People and businesses need to get from home to work, or school. It's as simple as that!
Improving Customer Service at the Municipal
Poor customer service frustrates municipal residents and businesses. Too often, emails
are ignored, telephone calls are not returned, staff are unable to answer questions or
help solve issues.
Excellent customer service doesnt cost a thing. All it takes is leadership and
accountability, and that starts at the top.
As Mayor, I will endeavour to ensure excellent customer service will be the standard for all
municipal employees. In my opinion, we already have an excellent municipal workforce bar
none, both in our municipal office and in the field, but we can always do better. Better,
is what we will do!
Eliminating Unnecessary Taxes
- Abolish the...