By Charelle Evelyn / Prince George Citizen
During the municipal election campaign, The Citizen sent out four questions for each of the candidates for mayor and city council to answer about their stand on various civic issues.
Earlier this month, city hall reporter Charelle Evelyn sent out a different sort of questionnaire to the new mayor and council, hoping to learn more about their personal interests and background buy levitra vardenafil. All but Coun. Susan Scott took part.
To find out which city councillor’s favourite album is AC/DC’s Back In Black and which councillor would have KFC as his last meal before his death sentence, keep reading.
Classical music lover Albert Koehler is into his second term on city council and has come a long way from the tricycle-riding tot wheeling around the family farm.
1. Book currently on your night stand (or open on your e-reader)?
A book by Tom Clancy: Command Authority (a great book if someone wants to know what Putin has or had in mind).
2. Three things you’d take with you if you were marooned on an island?
A bible, food for a week or so and a satellite phone.
3. What is the go-to song to lift your spirits?
My spirits are always lifted. Well, there is a nice German song which translated means: The sun is always shining, above the clouds.
4. Favourite movie/TV show?
I do not watch TV shows.
5. What is your earliest memory?
When I was three years old and got a tricycle to play and ride on our farm.
6. Least favourite word?
7. Ideal vacation spot?
Austria, northern Italy
8. Favourite band/musician and/or favourite album?
CD of Johann Strauss: Vienna Walzes
9. If you were on death row, what would you choose for your last meal?
Scrambled eggs with fresh potatoes
10. What quote would you want printed with your obituary?
“Thank you for this life.”
11. What’s your favourite thing to do to unwind?
Walking through nature and the woods.
12. What’s your favourite thing to do in Prince George?
Meeting with friends and people.
13. What would friends say is your most annoying habit?
I do not know that.
14. If you could have dinner with any three people (living or dead), who would they be?
My parents and my wife.
15. What was your first car?
A Simca 1000, which was a French car in Germany, not very special but a nice small car.
16. Which team do you root for during the FIFA World Cup?
17. Best/worst subject in school?
Best: Forestry and Nature. Worst: English literary (my English was the pits)
18. Who was your biggest influence as a child?
19. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
The gift of health.
20. What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
1976 – hunting in the Iranian mountains and driving with a Volkswagen van in dry river beds (with two good friends).
– See more at: http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news/local-news/albert-koehler-20-questions-1.1692576#sthash.FZY6E5oC.dpuf
Last week, I put forward a motion to look more closely at 35 capital projects set to be funded in 2015 with an eye of trimming the tax increase from 2.5% to 1.83% . We need to be looking forward at our tax framework if we want to attract more businesses and individuals to #cityofpg!
I had to vote against the budget for 2015.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 @ 9:34 AM
Prince George, B.C. – Albert Koehler is seeking a second term on Prince George City Council.
Koehler has been an advocate for minimal tax increases and the elimination of the practice of fluoridating the water supply.
Koehler says there has been quite a bit of critique on the hiring of a consultant to look at snow removal and fleet maintenance “That was a decision by Administration and they have the right to make that decision.” He says Council did not have an opportunity to support or reject the hiring Mercury Associates for the $130 thousand dollar report.
He says the problem with fleet maintenance, was “clearly a management problem”. The fleet maintenance report says more than 50% of the fleet is outdated and needs to be replaced.
“Maintenance is not just repairing machinery anymore\’ says Koehler “We threw hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix machinery that should have been replaced long ago.”
He says he often feels he has not been given all the information a councillor should have in order to do the job as the governing body.
Councillor Albert Koehler announced his bid for a second term on Friday.
Koehler said if reelected he hopes to advocate for a balance of investment in basic infrastructure, maintaining a fair tax regime and making the city a more attractive place to live.
“I thought about it and I have a passion for this city. I feel I am not done yet,” Koehler said. “This is a really good place, and it is worthwhile to get involved and make it a better place. It’s easy to complain… but if there is something not right, let’s look at making it better.”
The city has to take care of essential services like paving roads, snow plowing and repairing aging infrastructure, he said.
But that must be balanced against maintaining a competitive tax framework, with increases that don’t exceed the cost of living. The city’s tax rates have risen rapidly in recent year, he said, making
“It’s about making sure our tax framework isn’t just low, but fair,” he said. “We have to get the message out that we are open for business.” (more…)
Albert Koehler is seeking a second term on city council.
The incumbent announced his plans Friday afternoon.
Koehler says he has worked closely with post-secondary education institutions regarding programs and successfully lobbied for more innovation and diversification, during his three years on council. He has campaigned to
reign in municipal tax increases and last year was successful in having council limit the tax increase to 2.5 per cent, however a push this year for 1.5 per cent limit didn’t get the support of council. (more…)
EDITORIAL BY NEIL GODBOUT | PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN
The only thing wrong with Coun. Albert Koehler’s idea of capping the general tax increase for the 2015 budget at 1.5 per cent is that he didn’t go out and get four other members of city council to support him.
The idea is sound because it would force some tough budgetary decisions upon administration and council while also putting control of the budgetary process back where it belongs. City manager Beth James informed city council Monday night that administration are already working through budget models where the tax levy increases by three to six per cent. In other words, James and senior administration will tell a story to the next mayor and city council about all of the necessary spending that needs to happen and leave little room for the elected officials to chart their own direction.
There is no malice or empire building going on here by James and her team, despite the bloggers who see conspiracy theories under every desk at City Hall. Rather, that three to six per cent increase factors in status quo spending, increases in wages and benefits agreed to under existing union contracts, increases from vendors for good and services and setting aside funds for initiatives already approved, such as renovating the Civic Centre Plaza. In other words, anything below a three per cent increase in next year’s tax rate will involve spending cuts.
Koehler doesn’t want the status quo. He still believes taxpayers should pay for inflationary increases but he also believes municipal government hasn’t done enough to control its spending. (more…)
PUBLISHED IN THE PG CITIZEN ON AUGUST 19th, 2014. FULL LINK HERE
BY CHARELLE EVELYN
City council will get to see what a 1.5 per cent tax levy increase looks like, but won’t be holding itself to that number.
During Monday night’s meeting, the majority of council members were unsupportive of a proposal by Coun. Albert Koehler to cap the general tax increase in the 2015 draft budget at 1.5 per cent.
An amendment put forward by Coun. Lyn Hall was unanimously approved to include the 1.5 per cent limit in the work staff are already doing to prepare next year’s financial plan.
Setting the limit at 1.5 per cent would tie the hands of administration, a number of councillors said.
Last year, Koehler brought forward a similar proposal, to tie the tax levy increase to the rate of inflation. By the time council was finished with it, staff were directed to come back with a draft budget with no more than a 2.5 per cent levy increase. (more…)
PUBLISHED IN PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN July 29, 2014
Coun. Albert Koehler is hoping the second time’s a charm for tying the city’s tax levy increase to inflation.
Koehler has submitted notice for a motion to limit any increase to the general levy in the 2015 budget to 1.5 per cent.
A similar motion was put forward last summer, but was ultimately unsuccessful, with the majority of council hesitant to place too stringent a limit on staff learn this here now.
A 2.5 per cent cap was approved by a 6-3 vote with Coun. Cameron Stolz and Mayor Shari Green backing Koehler’s idea to tie the increase to the Consumer Price Index, which was 1.5 per cent at the time. (more…)
PUBLISHED IN PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN JAN 23, 2014Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download
A $6.2-million plan to double the amount of on-street parking downtown has been added to the city’s future spending program.
City council has directed staff to add the conversion of angle parking on Second, Fifth and Seventh Avenues to the list of unfunded capital projects.
Council was provided with three options as to how the stalls could be put in the downtown core between Vancouver Street and Queensway. The other two options ranged in price between $1 million and $8 million.
The recommended plan would include lane reallocation, angled parking, traffic signal upgrades and the building of bulb-outs.
A “bulb-out” is a round extension of a sidewalk out into an intersection that reduces the distance pedestrians have to cross and allows both pedestrians and drivers to see each other clearly on streets that feature angle parking. Third Avenue currently features numerous bulb-outs.
In addition to additional parking, the change would slow down traffic, lending to fewer and less serious accident, said the report. (more…)
PUBLISHED IN THE PG CITIZEN ON JANUARY 7, 2014
Parking scofflaws will have a little more breathing room after council directed staff to rejig their towing procedure.
Among the updated provisions in the document for on- and off-street parking offenses, staff had set out a direction for vehicles to be towed if they already have one outstanding unpaid parking ticket.
During Monday night’s meeting, members of council felt the regulation was too strict.
“The crux of the matter I have… I think after one ticket and then towing is a little excessive,” said Coun. Cameron Stolz, who presented a successful amendment to the procedure to have that limit raised to two outstanding tickets. (more…)