In her own words: Ward 7 candidate Dawn Kilmer

Former Carlton Comprehensive High School principal Dawn Kilmer announced her intention to run for the Ward 7 council seat on Thursday. -- 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?

Personally I believe that all members who have the privilege of representing their wards must come to council with open mind and know that each councillor comes to the discussion with our city’s best interest at heart.   We must respect the process, listen and ask questions for understanding.   If I cannot understand the benefit for the city/ward and the process moves forward to a vote, I will vote no.  If I am clear about the benefit and the why, I will vote yes.   I expect the others will do the same.   If my vote is contrary to the group decision, my role is to support the decision the group made and will work to ensure people of Ward 7/city understand the decision.

All decisions will not be made spur of the moment of course and I am certain that the city employees will have guided Council with information necessary to make sound decisions that improve our city.  We are a city full of people with variety of expertise that can also be tapped into for help.

Its expected to have diverse opinions and healthy discussions.  Our city would expect nothing less.

  • 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?

This is a learning curve for me.   I trust once I am privy to more information about what our current processes are, that together with the  new Council, we will prioritize in a way that makes the most sense given our budgets.

  • 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?

This would be answered the same as above.  

  • 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?

We (city) must advocate SHA to provide us with more help on the front lines.  Our  city currently has amazing people who have developed programs that are dedicated to helping people with addictions, mental health issues etc, but we do need more human resources.  

When we get these professionals in our city, we need them to stay as so many people have already done.  The addition of the new hospital, the Entertainment district, our vibrant Arts community and downtown will definitely add to the reasons to stay.  What hooked me was the people already here.  Prince Albert is more than a Gateway, we are a strong vibrant community where people are our strongest asset.  Let’s celebrate who we are!

  • 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?

I see that the city does have a communication plan on our city web site.   We need to work hard to follow it. 

In Ward 7, I plan to send out a bimonthly email to residents who are interested in receiving them.

  • 6. What, to you, is the biggest issue facing the city/ward? What do you propose as a solution?

This was same as number 4.

  • 7. Why should people vote for you?

I would hope people vote for me because I am committed to continuing to build a strong, vibrant, healthy and safe community where people’s voices are heard and everyone feels part of something bigger than themselves.   I always see obstacles as opportunities and am not afraid to do the work to build on those opportunities.

  • 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?

Same as 2- 

The best part about the Little Red is the plan is it is in motion and community members are working hard at adding to the park.  The parts that can be done are being done.  The parts that require more, will need time and partners to find that investment. 

  • 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?

Once the pandemic is over and we begin our new normal, I am certain that our city will work hard together to support each other.   I believe City Council’s role will be to work with the community and all business partners to develop workable directions.  Our future is bright when we work together.