In her own words — Ward 2 candidate Kim Conarroe

Kim Conarroe. Submitted photo.

1) Council can be divisive and public reaction to controversial decisions critical. How would you handle dissenting opinions on council or public criticism, and can we count on you to respect all opinions, whether you agree or not?
Healthy debate is essential to moving issues forward and initiating change. It is vital that there are varying opinions. If everyone just nods and agrees without asking questions, issues cannot move forward in a progressive manner. I will listen and express my opinions in a respectful, professional manner. If I did have an issue with a fellow council member, I would speak to them privately and civilly in a respectful manner. I believe it is Council’s job to bring the City together. To do that we need to put egos aside and work for the betterment of the residents and City.
As for criticism, I know that every decision I make, everything I say and do is for the best interests of the residents of Prince Albert. I will be able to look in the mirror and be happy with the decisions that I make.

2) The city is facing several major urgent infrastructure needs, such as the new recreation centre, roads in need of repaving, the central avenue replacement and aging water and sewer infrastructure. How would you prioritize what work needs to be done without breaking the bank? What do you think the top infrastructure priorities are?
Infrastructure is a struggle for every city, Prince Albert is no different. Aging infrastructure, demands and needs when it comes to funding. We need to seek out funding from Provincial and Federal government in order to relieve the pressures. We pay taxes too! It is time that they take ownership and give some of our hard earned tax dollars back though grants and initiatives. I have heard from people that pipes in the ground are important- but so are programming for youth and seniors.
My top priority would be paving roads in Nordale and Hazeldale, along with any roads with in the city that are not paved such as sections of 16th, 17th and 18th Street West.

3) One of the biggest line items in the city’s budget is the police budget. Do you support increasing or decreasing the police budget? If increasing, where will that money come from? If decreasing, where will it go?
Increasing. We need to boost the confidence that citizens have in the City’s Police force. We need to be at the table seeking additional officers. We need to seek funding from the province to get to the root causes of crime (addictions, poverty, homelessness). We need to work together with the experts to find out what is causing high crime rates and deal with those issues directly.

4) The city is facing rising rates of crime and poverty. While enforcement is part of the picture, so is prevention, including supporting the most vulnerable. Should the city play a bigger role in fighting poverty and homelessness? If so, how?
It is important that the city needs to play a large role in fighting poverty and homelessness. We need to bring the experts in these areas to the table and find real solutions. I have a few ideas that I would like to build partnerships with the PAGC and other organizations to move these issues forward.

5) The city has come under fire recently for poor communication with residents. Do you see this as a problem? How will you address this?
Yes, poor communication is a problem. During my campaign I door knocked and was on every door step that I could in the ward, I talked to the residents and listened to their ideas and concerns. I will continue to do this each year. Residents want to be informed and feel listened to. I would address this in various ways; regular ward meetings. I would also help residents to navigate City Hall. I will work hard so that everyone feels heard and valued.

6) What, to you, is the biggest issue facing the city/ward? What do you propose as a solution?
The biggest issue facing Ward 2 is Public Safety. The solution to this is vast and complicated. We need to take back our neighbourhoods through neighbourhood watches, building good police relationships within the community, community meetings, getting non-profit organizations involved to address addictions and homelessness.

7) Why should people vote for you?
I have no personal agenda, the only agenda I have is to make the Ward a better place for every resident. I believe that if you want the world around you to change, you need to be part of the change. I will never claim to know all the answers. But what I do promise is that I will do my best to find solutions. I promise to build partnerships with those who are experts in Poverty, Homelessness, Addiction and move our ward in a positive direction along with the rest of the city. Which means improving public safety, programming for seniors and youth, tax and service fairness for the residents across the river and revitalizing the downtown corridor. I want to point out that it is not always about asking the hard questions, it’s about listening, building relationships and getting things accomplished.

8) What are your plans to improve parks/Little Red? The city has released a Little Red River Park master plan, but its many goals could prove costly. Meanwhile, the city’s playgrounds are also in need of an upgrade. Is improving the city’s recreation facilities a priority?

YES! Improving, restoring city recreation facilities is a priority. The City finally completed a strategic plan, but now needs to move forward with adequate funding. I am critical of the privatization of The Cosmo Lodge at The Little Red, Parkland Hall, not to mention that Dent Ball Park on 13th Street West is now a dirt pile. Ward 2 is the largest ward in Prince Albert and it only has 3 playgrounds; 1 in Hazeldell, 1 in Nordale and one on the 200 block of 20th Street East. The River Bank is underutilized. We need to make it more welcoming and bring back events such as Founder’s Day and Canada Day to the area. It is no wonder our youth are falling into gangs and crime. There is nothing for the most vulnerable to do within our ward. I will work to ensure no other parks or community centers are lost. I will work to find funding to get more indoor and outdoor facilities for the youth.

9)COVID-19 might be spiking again, but it won’t be here forever. When this pandemic has passed us by, what role should the city play in helping businesses bounce back?
At the municipal level the city could look at deferring payments on property tax and utility bills.