The North Delta Reporter sent candidates for councillor a list of eight questions to gauge their positions on some of the major issues in the 2018 civic election campaign. We gave candidates a limit of 400 words total to answer. Here’s what independent candidate Lori Mayhew had to say:
(Note, all candidates’ answers have been edited for length, clarity and to conform with Canadian Press style, as required.)
1) Why are you running for council?
I bring a fresh perspective to city council, but with considerable experience in working with elected boards. I also have significant experience in working with and creating budgets for large organizations. I’ve heard loud and clear from my friends and neighbours that our current city council just isn’t working for them. I want to change that.
2) What in your opinion are the top issues facing the City of Delta and how do you plan to address them?
There are many issues facing Delta, but I would put housing and transit at the top of the list. Housing in Delta needs to be diversified to increase the options available to people. We need to think creatively to encourage that, and the development by the Higgins family in North Delta is one such example of that. We need to support these kinds of ideas. With respect to transit, unfortunately we don’t have total control over that. We will need to work with TransLink and the mayors’ council to get improved transit service into Delta. We need to get better at moving people in and out of Delta as well as within Delta. It shouldn’t take 90 to 120 minutes to get from North Delta to Tsawwassen.
3) What is your plan for addressing the need for affordable and rental housing in Delta, especially as it relates to medium- and high-density developments/highrises in North Delta?
We need to look at designating areas as rental-only for development, especially around town centres where we can also reduce the need to drive. This will be important to our seniors. We also need to look at requiring a certain number of new units to be priced below market level, so that medium to low income families can afford them. We also need to stick to the official community plans.
4) What is your stance on cannabis production and retail sales in Delta?
This will be a legal product, and while we can regulate where it is sold, I don’t think we can ban it from Delta. Unfortunately, the Agricultural Land Commission has ruled that it can be grown on ALR land, so we cannot ban it from there.
5) A number of Delta’s recreation facilities are in need of upgrading or replacement. Which projects do you think are important to tackle first, and where will you find the money to pay for them?
I believe that Winskill is the last rec center that needs upgrading, so that is where I would start. According to the 2018 annual report, Delta has a reserve of $2.8 million set aside for parks improvements. That’s a good place to start.
6) A new Casino will soon be built at the site of the Delta Town & Country Inn, bringing the city an estimated $1.5 million and $3 million in revenue. How do you think that money should best be spent, and how do you plan to mitigate the casino’s impact on the community?
As a newcomer, it’s hard to say where exactly this money would be best put to use. There are many competing needs. To offset any negative impacts, we will need to work with our police department to make sure they have the tools they need. We will also have to work hard to maintain the sense of community that is so important to so many people who have chosen to live here.
7) Last year mayor and council voted to give outgoing elected officials a “Council Service Benefit” (commonly referred to as a “golden handshake”) to compensate them for not being eligible to join the city’s pension plan. Do you support this end-of-service benefit and do you agree with the decision to backdate it 12 years?
No and no.
8) The previous mayor and council advocated for a 10-lane bridge to replace the aging tunnel George Massey Tunnel. That is your preferred replacement option (or do you think it even needs replacing), and why?
There’s no doubt this crossing is congested. I will rely on the latest study being done to recommend the best way to address and ease this. You can’t build your way out of congestion, though, so we also need to look at transit improvements.
The civic election takes place on Saturday, Oct. 20.