DC candidates in-depth: Amy Kaempf

Talk about your time in the community and community-building. What boards/commissions or committees do you sit, and talk about key projects you have had a hand in?

My time in the community has been spent volunteering to coach volleyball, volunteering to coach soccer with the South Peace Junior Soccer, volunteering as a Scout Leader with the 1st Dawson Creek Scouts program, volunteering the Dawson Creek Alliance Church with the children’s church and women’s ministry, and I recently signed up to help with the Notre Dame Parent Support Group.

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In your opinion, what is the role of a city councilor in a 10 to 20,000 person city?

In my opinion, the role of a city councilor is to be actively involved within the community.  A councilor needs to represent their community and the people who live in it.  A councilor needs to respond to all resident’s questions and investigate his or her concerns. I feel being a councilor is more like a lifestyle as you need to be available during all your daily interactions whether at the grocery store or in council chambers. I feel the most important responsibility of a councilor is to engage at all council meetings and aid in the passing of laws to help govern the city.  In my life I want to be heard so I promise to hear others within our community. My goal is to listen to the issues, find the answers and thank you by name.

Are there any particular issues or local decisions that have you running? Why and what are they?

The particular issues that have me running are the city’s sewer plan, the upgrading of the city’s water distribution system, and being financially sustainable. I feel these issues are important and need to be addressed for the future of Dawson Creek.

What are the three most important issues facing the City?

The three most important issues facing the City are: 1. the crime rate, 2. Limited senior housing and support, 3. having more youth involvement and activities within the City.

Matters such as health and education are more provincial matters and business but are often lumped into municipal politics. What role can a municipal councilor play in health and education when it comes to these institutions in their city?

A councilor can play an active role when it comes to health and education within the city by becoming actively involved within the different committees to help, learn and address concerns as they arise. Attending events and becoming knowledgeable in these particular matters is also beneficial. Supporting and assisting the health and education systems as needed, and if at all possible, will benefit the community.

What can you, if elected as a councillor, do to help reduce crime in Dawson Creek? What ideas can you bring to the table?

If elected as a councilor, I would help reduce crime in Dawson Creek by promoting crime watch programs.  I would encourage everyone to get to know his or her neighbors. I would be knowledgeable of the current crime trends and spread the word as I believe knowledge is powerful.

How do you balance the push for economic growth and environmental sustainability?

A balance is maintained with the push for economic growth and environmental sustainability by ensuring that there is not an overuse of resources but at the same time replenishing the existing ones.  It means ensuring a rate of growth that can be maintained without creating other significant problems especially for future generations.

How do you see industry, small business, and nonprofits’ relationship with the city of Dawson Creek?

The relationship between industry, small business and nonprofits is beneficial to Dawson Creek.  I believe all three components work together and are needed to promote a viable, sustainable, and developing community.

Do you think the downtown core is successful and thriving? Why or why not, and cite examples.

I feel the downtown core has improved over the last couple of years but could still use future development to promote and attract more businesses into the downtown area.  Several fires and demolitions have created vacant lots and nothing has replaced these locations.

What do you know about public transportation options in Dawson Creek? Do you have any ideas regarding public transportation?

In regards to public transportation in Dawson Creek, I know that the City bus is a great option for individuals needing this service.  I feel that increased hours might benefit the users of this service.

It has been said by a handful of current councilors that DC must mind its fiscal gap and are not doing it. One current councilor pegs the city’s own building upkeep bill at approximately $40 million dollars behind. What has (or hasn’t) City Council done, and what more can be done?

To help mind the fiscal gap, I feel that the City Council needs to apply for additional funding and grants that may be available or develop a plan to get the spending at a reasonable and feasible budget.

If elected, what steps will you take to put DC on firmer financial footing?

If elected I want to get a better understanding of our current budget and see if there are areas where spending can be reduced to help sustain a firmer financial footing.

It’s easy to suggest projects, or improvements to services, but it all costs money and the City has a limited budget. Do you believe the City has to raise taxes in order to do what you feel needs to be done? Or do you feel there are services that can be cut? Why or why not?

With the City having a limited budget, I feel that the City should not increase taxes but rather review the current budget and see if certain services may be limited, reduced, or eliminated to offset the suggested projects or improvements.  Depending on the suggested projects or improvements, maybe a long-term plan needs to be implemented to see if the projects or improvements might be feasible at a later date.

Do you want Rotary Lake opened? Why or Why not? If so – please provide a list of steps that should be taken by the city or that the city could recommend to operators. (And in what form, if it should re-open).

As someone who swam in Rotary Lake as a child and has also taken her children to Rotary Lake, I am an advocate of this facility.  However, due to the risks and dangers of this facility, I feel getting a proper plan in place for the safety of the users is the most important process moving forward.

With the removal of Rotary Lake, some have noted the lack of affordable recreation options for families and youth in Dawson Creek? What do you feel council has done in this regard, and what do you plan to bring to the table if elected? (Aside from your feelings on Rotary Lake).

With Rotary Lake being closed, free swimming at the Kenn Borek Aquatic Centre was offered all summer for families.  This was a service that my children and I used regularly and was a great option for families and youth in Dawson Creek. If elected, I want to help promote and continue to offer services to families and youth in Dawson Creek.

Are you in support of a runway extension at the Dawson Creek Regional Airport? Why or why not?

I am in support of a runway extension at the Dawson Creek Regional Airport as this will allow larger airlines to access our City; however, the cost would definitely be the deciding factor whether to implement this extension.

What are your feelings on how City Council has handled the incoming legalization of recreational marijuana?

I feel City Council had handled the incoming legalization of recreational marijuana very effectively by implementing a Bylaw to ensure proper procedures, guidelines and requirements are met within our community.

Should councillors travel to and attend conferences and events inside and outside Dawson Creek that the Mayor may also already be attending, expensed to the City? If so, why and what tangible benefits must come out of these? If not, why not?

I feel travelling to attend conferences and events inside and outside Dawson Creek should be limited as much as possible to reduce the costs being expensed to the City. I feel one representation from the City whether this is the Mayor or a Councilor would be just as beneficial and cost effective rather than sending several City Council members.

You get one million dollars for a single DC or related area project. No strings attached — your choice. Where does that money go?

If I was given one million dollars for a single Dawson Creek or related area project, the money would go to a senior housing and support staff complex.

Don’t forget the DC Mirror council candidate mega-debate at Encana Events Centre Thursday Oct. 11.

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