All Candidates Questions

Questions for all Candidates seeking election in Port Moody:

Q1 - In your list of Capital Project Priorities for the City of Port Moody, where does the redevelopment of the Inlet Athletic Park rank?

Q2 - If elected would you be in favor of allocating funds received from current Port Moody developments towards the redevelopment of Inlet Athletic Park?

- If YES, would you commit to approving a funding source for this project in the next six (6) months?

- If NO, what type of funding model and timeline would you support for this project?

Q3 - Costs for youth programs are continuing to escalate – significantly contributing to this is declining volunteerism and increasing facility costs. What thoughts do you have on how the City might be able to reduce the costs to user groups renting City facilities? E.g. Lower rental rates, ability to benefit from potential advertising revenue, other? Did you know that the City of Coquitlam does not charge their youth soccer players any fees for using their many artificial turf fields?

Responses in no particular order.

Tasha Faye Evans

Q1 - I am a soccer mom. I understand how over crowded our fields already are and how much having another option is crucial for the health of our children as well as our league. I also feel this negotiating has been going on far too long. I do not know the Council's reasons for the delay but I have heard and listened to the leagues frustrations and would want to rank getting shovels int he ground as one of my top priorities to champion.

Q2 - Yes, and I would also like to see where we could find other funding, like grants

Q3 - It's appalling to hear how much the league needs to pay to rent the fields!!! I'd have to look into the costs on the city to maintain the fields and power them etc, but it seems to me that there should be some room for that rental fee to be at least discounted. By what you told me at the meeting it sounds like the City is getting a really great deal out of your partnership. For sure if companies are able to advertise, the revenue should be at least 60/40 for our league! I'm also interested in other sponsorships/ partnerships that we could generate to help towards our costs. If there were more working fields then it would generate more income for the City. What about if there was a field that was sponsored by a corporation, like the Rogers arena. We could possibly have the PCT Field. I'm just learning about the City's budget and financing.

Steve Milani

Q1 - Getting turf on the ground will be one of my top priorities if elected as this has been going on far too long. If I were on Council ten years ago and still on Council today, I would be embarrassed that this is still ongoing.

Q2 - Since I am not yet on Council, I do not know if all of the current development funds have been already designated to other projects. If funds are still available then yes, I would be in favour of allocating a portion to this project. If they are not available, then we would have to look at which funds we have coming in and when. We could also consider possible partnerships or sponsorships as a way to fund either partially or fully.

Q3 - My wife and I have three children, all of whom participated in team sports; I know how important it is to keep youth activities accessible. I have already stated publicly that I will work to having the entrance fees for drop-in youth programs at the Rec Centre dropped to $2.00 across to board and not just after a certain time, making it more accessible to our youth. I would also be happy to look into what could be done to benefit the PMSC in this regard.

Mike Clay

Q1 - In my mind the redevelopment of Inlet Field is already confirmed and we are only waiting for the response to the design contract. I will continue to move this project forward as quickly as possible, and am very disappointed in the delays to date, this design should have been completed and we should be in construction tender right now.

Q2 - This project should be funded from the amenity contributions from the Onni Parcel D amendments – if those are not ‘coming in’ for a while, as long as they are secured then they can be ‘borrowed against’ to get the project started.

Q3 - One of the most significant things we can do is secure some space in future developments, like the panatch development, for groups for meeting/office/storage space. This isn’t directly for the field/facility space, but towards the expenses of the clubs overall. The City of Coquitlam has a large revenue source, casinos, which we do not have. Soccer, hockey, and most of the sports already receive substantial subsidies from the City, meaning the ‘taxpayers’ as a whole, I would prefer we find some sustainable roads forward, like having direct sponsorships and capital contributions – ie: developer assistance as noted or funding new club house from donors/sponsors , as they have done in MANY other jurisdictions. I believe there should be SOME user fees for the use of the fields to provide some ‘ownership’ of the facilities by the users and that should also mean they are treated as stakeholders and partners in the management of the facilities.

Sagheer Jan (aka Sager Jan)

Q1 - I have already set priorities for recreational facilities for our youths & seniors which will include soccer fields, tennis and indoor activities for all kinds of sports. This is reflected in my profile, and once I am elected I will make sure that we provide them on priority basis.

Q2 - This is a question to first evaluate what funding sources were available and to what amount, and once we have found the source and the funds needed, I will then support to press to utilize the funds as soon as possible to get the project started without further delays.

Q3 - 1 - Cost of anything escalate and, will continues to escalate specially when businesses are dealing with governments, since they know that they could charge inflated prices as the government officials wouldn’t care to negotiate and will pay whatever they are billed for the products/supplies. I have dealt with these business dealings /nuisance and know how to deal with these corrupt highway robberies. I will make sure that, it doesn’t happen during my tenor to keep the costs under budget. 2- Firstly youth programs if expanded will bring volunteering easily, Port Moody does not have good programs to attract different types of facilities, and e.g. we do not have indoor tennis courts, small indoor soccer courts like offered in Burnaby. When provided, many will volunteer to organize them. I have been volunteering together with my family for CTC (Coquitlam Tennis Club) for over 15 years together with other executives board, all on volunteering basis; why would it not work in Port Moody..?.., because so far the city has not cared enough for it. If elected I will propose and support the idea and will make sure to manage it too.

Amy Lubik

Q1 - Considering how long this has taken, I would say it should be one of the first. Port Moody has a large population of young families with kids who need somewhere to play.

Q2 - I think it makes sense to look for provincial grants that this project may be eligible for (possibly infrastructure grants:; however, if we cannot, I think it makes sense to use developer funds for this project- if those funds are not readily available, perhaps funds can be borrowed a low rate to from the municipal finance authority until they are available. I would hope this could be accomplished in 6 months.

Q3 - Regarding decreasing volunteerism, I would like to see Port Moody work with the other Tri-Cities to create more local employment opportunities, as declining volunteerism can often be correlated with people would would volunteer having very long commute times. Working closer to home provides more opportunity for community participation ( Some municipalities (such as Surrey and New Westminister) have programs to ensure accessible reaction to all residents, and we should be looking to them for best practices. According to BC Healthy Communities, "An inactive population financially impacts all levels of government -Municipalities are affected through increased costs for mental health, policing and social support services. Creating an inclusive community, where everybody has access to parks and recreation services, helps reduce chronic disease and mental health issues and saves health and social services dollars." This is the lens through which we could be looking at recreation costs through to support fee reduction. ( I did not know Coquitlam doesn't charge for their fields and would like to investigate their funding sources to make a similar policy.

Richard Biedka

Q1 - sorry I am not up to speed on which capital items in Port Moody require urgent assistance to rank where the athletic field would place.

Q2 - yes. I would use only funds from developer cost credits for this project. I would propose that a special " athletic field" account be set up and 15 million put in the account to build and service the double artificial field over a 20 year program. The project could start when funds are available. I would also propose that the athletic field project be moved to Moody Middle and leave inlet field for future integration into Rocky Point park.

Q3 - Lastly: users of the athletic fields should be required to maintain the fields in good condition. The rental fee supports that. I am open to other ideas to contribute to funding maintenance of athletic fields to reduce user costs.

Barbara Junker

Q1 - This was a very high priority for me when elected in 2014 and had hoped we would have already had the park done. It is one of my top priorities I strongly believe that this would be a great asset to the city and want to see it completed within the next 2 years.

Q2 - Yes - If the funds are available then I would say yes.

Q3 - If elected this would be something that I would be willing to look into to determine what is financial feasible for the city to do.

Meghan Lahti

Q1 - This is the number one priority for me.

Q2 - I am in favour of allocating the first available funds that come our way, whether it is funds from development or funds through sale of lands. This needs to get built! If we receive developer funds, within the next six months, I will move that they be allocated towards this project. A few things to consider. Developer funds will only be received through ‘up zoning’ or density bonus. As you are aware, the city recently negotiated $15,000,000 though providing density bonus on the Onni site. This is the first time that the city has negotiated a density bonus payment and we have been advised that the money may not be available in one lump sum. In addition, we have been informed that we will not see this money until the city issues a building permit, so the timing is completely up in the air. We do not have any idea when this will happen, it could be months, it could be years. There are no other development applications that are requesting density bonus on the horizon. An alternative source of funding may be through the sale or partial sale of the Fire Hall/Works Yard sites. This would only happen if council decided to move forward, but if they did, I imagine that it could happen within a year.

Q3 - We can lower rental rates or even look at the possibility of removing them for soccer training that is not deemed ‘private’.

Diana Dilworth

Q1 - Number one, with new Library and new Kyle Centre rounding out top three. I was pleased to hear this week that the recent RFP for design work for the inlet field facility was awarded and progress is being made at this time.

Q2 - Yes, the City requires development cost charges and community amenity contributions for capital projects, such as these. Additionally the funds that have been deposited in the City’s reserve fund for the Inlet Park Redevelopment Capital Project can be used immediately to contribute to design costs, if supported by council.

Q3 - The City of Port Moody, as a smaller community, does not have access to the levels of funding that Coquitlam garners from its levels of development contributions and hosting a casino in its city. Having said that, there are number of ways that the city can look at supporting user groups in our community. As Chair of the Parks and Rec Commission, I can assure you the members, on annual basis, review every rental rate and space usage reports to better understand what space is being used, when and how much it is costing and how it compares to neighbouring municipalities. To be specific, if any energy savings were being achieved at specific facilities due to upgrades, those savings could be considered in lowering rental rates. Additionally, it has been quite a while since the City reviewed its advertising policies, and this may be the time to review them in light of increasing revenue for facilities.

Rob Vagramov

Q1 - Inlet Field is a very high priority for me and I have consistently voted in favour of funding this project. In 2015 we had a motion to allocate half of our year’s budget surplus towards the field project, which I voted for, but it was voted down by our city’s current leadership. This is just one example of the kind of thinking that has delayed this project. As far as I’m concerned, it should have been built by now - how long does it take to get shovels in the ground for a field?

Q2Yes. I think the $20M to-be-received from Onni’s recent 2x granted in Suter Brook Village to be a perfect source for this.

Q3 - This is one of the few areas where I think private advertising in the public sector is a good idea. Not only does it bring in funds, but it would “fit” the soccer feel, but giving kids the FIFA experience of having ads on-field. Growing up, I’ve been involved in about a dozen sports, and my younger sister is a top national-level athlete, so my family and I are quite familiar with the benefits of sport for our younger residents. I believe folks from all walks of life should have access to this and am committed to lowering costs.

Sharleen Karamanian

Preface: I have a personal attachment to community athletics. For nearly 15 years both my sons benefited from facilities, including Inlet Athletic Park, that were part of their growth and development.

Q1 - Simply put, this project is one of my top interests. It begs to be developed.

Q2 - Past counselors have the advantage over me. According to your preamble and my own review of the City’s financial plans there has been some but limited movement on this project over the past 12 years. Based on the 2016 and 2017 City Annual Reports, Council has established a Redevelopment Capital Reserve to collect funding and intends to explore funding opportunities with sponsors. Some candidates have actually been on Council over that time and have been involved first–hand in the fate of our Athletic Park so I would be interested to gain insight into their first-hand knowledge and feedback on this project. Yes or No commitments to a long-term project that have been steered by previous regimes prove difficult for a candidate in my position. Of course I would intend to say YES to approve a funding source for this project. If elected I would question the intent and progress of the Field Redevelopment project. My many assets as a Councillor include sound financial acumen. My experiences have me recognizing and understanding in depth the challenge of balancing revenue/expenditure streams with priority community projects. I would need to do my due diligence before I can honestly guarantee a funding source for this project in the next six months. I can attest that I am an advocate for community sports.

Q3 - ‘Your voice matters,” should be more than rhetoric; parents have “fee fatigue.” Everything is at a cost and parents and youth organizations are being financially drained. You can bet that lower registration costs and facility costs would be part of my mandate and that I would like to assess and scrutinize the many variables that go into determining community facility fees and charges. Assessing innovative funding options (like advertising revenues) plays an important role in sustaining community sport. The value of community sports extends beyond the sport itself, it brings communities together through social and cultural activities and contributes to a range of positive outcomes for our youth.