Jonathan X. Cote is running for New Westminster Mayor, and he answered my questions!
1. There are two types of people in the world: people who like simple pop-culture “what type of cheese are you” quizzes that they can then share on Facebook, and people who don’t. Sadly, I don’t have a quiz for you but this is close enough: are you an order muppet or a chaos muppet? Which muppet are you?
Jonathan: Order Muppet
2. When was the last time you visited City Hall? What changes would you propose to make City Hall more welcoming? When was the last time you attended a City Council meeting? What changes would you propose to make City Council meetings more welcoming? Sorry, I guess that was kind of four questions.
A. Yesterday. (note: Jonathan sent the answers on October 5 so he means October 4.)
B. I think City Hall is a very welcoming place, but I would love to see the foyer opened up more to community events to allow residents to feel more connected to the hall.
C. October 1st (Last Council meeting of the term)
D. Council Karaoke???
3. Buy Low Foods recently shut its store in Uptown, leaving a hole in the market for grocery stores. What will you do to ensure that there is proper competition among grocery stores and a Save-On Foods opens in that location, restoring the competitive marketplace that the Competition Bureau foisted upon us in 2014?
My goal is to have every New Westminster resident live within a 5 minute walk to a park. I guess that could also extend to Save on Foods as well 😊
4. New Westminster has a number of advisory committees, task forces, and working groups. Upon being elected, which one would you like to chair the most and why? No need to restrict yourself to an existing one either, if you feel strongly that a new one needs to be formed (that you’d obviously chair) feel free to answer that!
The Mayors Council. (Don’t tell Derek)
5. What is your favourite neighbourhood, and why is it Brow of the Hill?
As someone with three daughters, I have learned not to play this game. Nice try Brad 😊
6. The process leading up to and including the public hearing for the temporary modular housing in Queensborough was… challenging, to say the least. This question is only for the non-incumbent candidates: on the final motion to amend the OCP and rezone the property to allow the temporary modular housing, how would you have voted? Please note that you may describe why you would have voted a particular way, but you must say whether you would have voted in favour of or against the motion on the table.
Note: Jonathan is an incumbent and thus didn’t have to answer this question. He voted in favour of the motion on the table.
7. Who would be on your sasquatch hunting team?
Chinu Das: Her PHD in Planning would come in handy for the search.
Patrick Johnstone: I think he wrote a blog about this once.
Jaimie McEvoy: His encyclopedic knowledge of the history of sasquatches would be an asset.
Nadine Nakagawa: Who wouldn’t want the 2017 New Westminster Citizen of Year on the team.
Chuck Puchmayr: Raising cattle has prepared him well for this hunt.
Mary Trentadue: Mary would provide the ever important small business perspective to the hunt.
8. How do you propose engaging with renters, new immigrants, and youth?
In 2016 the Mayors Task Force on Public Engagement completed its work and released its final report on how the City of New Westminster can improve its public engagement processes. Two of the big themes that emerged out of the work of the task force was that the city needed to adopt strategies to make it easier for resident to participate in public engagement and that the city needed to work harder to hear from voices that are not usually captured with traditional forms of public engagement. One of the most accessible facilities in the city is our public libraries. Our libraries attract a wide demographic of people and are often the first point of contact a city has with new residents. It is these factors that make our libraries the ideal location for public engagement hubs.
9. With absolutely no apologies to Chris Campbell, what would your entrance music be? Please note that if you dare pick We Built This City by Starship you are hereby banned from ever running for public office ever again.
Rocky Theme Song
Thank you Jonathan!