Kickbush: Impacts on business are key
Occupation: program manager with Telus
Years living in Port Moody: 3
While she hasn’t served on any civic committees, has attended only a few council meetings and is not involved in any Port Moody volunteer groups or associations, mayoral candidate Katie Kickbush says she has the energy and the passion for the city’s top job and her education, life experience and business acumen make her qualified for it.
“I’d like to make a difference,” said Kickbush, who works in customer service for Telus.
Kickbush has a business degree and a marketing diploma, and ran her own landscape and professional merchandising companies for a year and a half. She said her Telus experience, working as a program manager with a customer relations team, has taught her to solve problems in cost-effective ways.
She said, “I’m an entrepreneurialist at heart” and promised that if she is elected mayor, she would make sure decisions didn’t hurt business. For example, she said the city has been talking about closing Murray Street to Coquitlam traffic and hasn’t been sharing with people the downsides such as how a dip in commuter traffic would hurt Port Moody business. (In fact, council has made no decision on the future of the Murray-Clarke corridor, although there are plans to look at various options during a visioning session with TransLink.)
The decision by council to hold the line on growth until the Evergreen Line is approved also concerns Kickbush because of its potential impact on business. “What I could keep top of mind are the impacts on business by development or infrastructure,” she said. “That would definitely be a focus.”
If elected mayor, Kickbush said her top goal would be dealing with traffic congestion and she would like to see reduced traffic along the Murray-Clarke corridor in three years. Kickbush said she would like to see a third lane added along the route and a counter-flow lane on the Moody Street overpass at rush hour.
As for whether the city should take over control of the corridor from TransLink — by seeking its removal from the Major Road Network, Kickbush said she didn’t have a lot of background on the issue but believes the city has a good relationship with the region’s transportation authority and should at least talk to officials rather than taking the road back.
She said the Evergreen Line will change the city and it will be important for council to confine high-density to areas around stations and regulate the look and height of buildings, and ensure that developers pay for infrastructure such as pedestrian connections to stations. She’s not in favour of highrises in some areas if they are too close to single-family homes.
“I don’t want to see development which takes away the ambience of our community,” she said.
When asked about the city’s finances, Kickbush said she has no concerns about the city budget but needs more information. Still, she said the city should keep tax hikes to the rate of inflation and fund infrastructure from development requirements.
“It’s the responsibility of developers to make sure the community they build in is nice,” she said.
When it comes to capital spending, Kickbush said the city has to keep affordability in mind. She doesn’t support upgrading Inlet Park because of the potential costs.
“We could definitely spend that money better elsewhere,” she said, although she did suggest construction of a cycling route to Sasamat Lake if there were extra funds. As well, she didn’t see any value in establishing pay parking to generate revenue or manage parking.
But her biggest concern is communication from city hall and one of the main reasons she’s running for mayor. Kickbush believes the city doesn’t allow enough opportunities for people to give their input on decisions if they can’t attend a meeting. The public can still email council and the city clerk and Kickbush said she’s not dissatisfied with the city’s effort to stay current on Facebook, Twitter and on its new web page, but she said the city’s communication with residents needs work and it’s something she would take on as mayor.
“My experience is it’s difficult to have much of a say in what the council’s changes are or the council’s decisions are,” she said.
In fact, Kickbush is so passionate about the difference she could make as mayor that she would quit her job if she’s elected mayor, even though it would mean a significant pay cut. “I’m thinking the difference I could make is definitely worth the trade-off,” she said.