A closer look at your choices this election - Ward 3

The Westman Journal asked candidates running for Brandon City Council in the 2018 municipal election three questions. Their answers may help you make a decision when you hit the polling booth on Oct. 24.

The candidates for Ward 3 - Victoria

Barry Cullen

What experience do you have that would benefit you should you be elected to Brandon City Council on Oct. 24?

If I’m re-elected to City council I will come to the council table having four years of experience navigating the city budget and operational structures. Over the past four years I have represented the council on the Brandon Area and Planning District Board learning about requirements for development, the City of Brandon Personnel Committee, as well as the Assiniboine River Basin Board of Directors (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, North Dakota). I was on the hiring committee when we selected our present city manager. There are very few areas within the city corporation that I have not been involved with.

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This city is like an iceberg. What you see on the surface is only a small portion of what is below the surface. There is a ton of working parts in this city.

What are the issues you deem to be priorities as they apply to the reasons behind your entry in the election?

My priorities include: 

• Keeping our eye on crime. It is my belief that most crime is linked to addictions. We need to work with the stakeholders and develop a path forward.

• Continue to move forward with a new intake water treatment plant. We need to get out in front of this huge expense on the horizon. Our plant is giving us good clean water but it is nearing the end of its life.

• Now that we are ending the years of flood protection investment, we need to shift our attention to rebuilding our damaged sports facilities. The new soccer park plan is on paper, now needs to invest.

What would you like to accomplish through the next term should you be elected?

We need to move forward on making this city safer for all our citizens. I will request to sit on the police board if elected. I want to get educated and work with our law enforcement team on solutions from the inside.

Hold the line on taxation increases. Governments must live within their means. We cannot keep adding taxes when our citizens are often seeing no increase in their incomes.

I will continue working with seniors’ co-op housing and habitat for humanity on providing fordable housing solutions.

One thing that I have already started to work on is tightening timelines on road and sewer repairs. From the time the road is dug up until everything is back in place, including fill, curbs, sod, everything is taking way too long to complete.

James Montgomery

What experience do you have that would benefit you should you be elected to Brandon City Council on Oct. 24?

I have been successful in the private, public and non-profit sectors. My previous experience includes being the principle caregiver and aide to former MP and Federal Cabinet Minister Steven Fletcher from 2003 to 2009. I was the Constituency Office Manager for the Brandon-Souris riding from 2009 to 2013.

I then moved on to corporate sponsorship and my role as sponsorship coordinator for the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba where I was responsible for selling and delivering almost $1 million each year in sponsorship revenue from local, provincial and national businesses.

I am now the Director of Client Care and Staff for Daughter On Call; a for-profit home-care business in Brandon and throughout western Manitoba. I have a degree in Kinesiology & Applied Health and I have traveled the world, yet believe Brandon is the best place in the world to live. 

What are the issues you deem to be priorities as they apply to the reasons behind your entry in the election?

My priorities are to listen to the concerns and questions of Victoria Ward residents and take those concerns to City Hall. I will never dictate City Hall to residents. I will always listen and respond to concerns. Some other priorities are the problems we're seeing with Meth and discarded needles in the downtown. I would like to see needle disposal bins in high use areas (but out of sight) so that drug users will properly discard their needles. There also needs to be more available to addicts for treatment and the city can play a part in this in partnership with other levels of government. 

What would you like to accomplish through the next term should you be elected?

I want to be proactive and I will embrace the role as councilor.  I will do what I can to keep spending under control and property taxation near the rate of inflation. I would like to see Brandon continue to prosper while addressing the concerns of residents.

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