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Admin
21-09-2010, 05:03 PM
This thread is to ask questions of Candidate Shane Bergdahl – Councillor Ward 11.

All members are asked to allow the Candidate to post first in his or her thread. This is to allow the Candidate ample opportunity to introduce their background, platform, and any other information they may feel is pertinent to this discussion.

All decorum expected of members in the C2E Ask Forums will be expected here. An addendum is that posters may ask as many questions as they wish, but they are also politely asked to follow any instructions on posting or reply timelines that the Candidate expresses.

Thank you to all for participating in the 2010 Connect2Edmonton Election Forum!

Shane Bergdahl
22-09-2010, 01:01 PM
Hello fellow Connect2Edmonton members,

My name is Shane Bergdahl and I am running for Ward 11 Councillor.

The outgoing Councillor, Dave Thiele asked me to run as his replacement. Dave has known me for years and felt that I had the skills necessary to champion all Edmontonians on City Council.

I have over 20 years experience in representing people. I am the current Chair of the Mill Woods Presidents’ Council, an organization of 12 Community Leagues representing over 120,000 Edmonton residents. For the past 6 years, I have been the Chair of the Mill Woods Canada Day Celebration. This event draws crowds in excess of 50,000 people every year.

I was the President of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL) for 3 years, the maximum term. I was also on the Board of the EFCL for 6 years, also the maximum term. It was at the EFCL where I first became exposed to City-Wide issues.

I have also been the President of a Community League as well as a Soccer Association and a Soccer District.I also spend almost 10 years in the Armed Forces and obtained the rank of Sergeant.

I have a proven track record of achieving results. I was able to help develop and implement the Community League Wellness Program through the EFCL. I have been able to guide the Mill Woods Canada Day Celebrations to become the biggest neighbourhood party in Western Canada. Now it’s time for me to move into the municipal arena.

Here are some of my key issues.
· Transit
Our City needs the LRT expansion to be fast tracked. This will free up additional buses to further expand into areas currently lacking full service.
· Seniors
Our populations is aging, however, our resources aren’t keeping up with needs. We need to provide more and better accommodations as well as programs for our seniors.
· Schools
Our schools are an invaluable hub of our community and one of its key resources. The City needs to take a more active role in ensuring a fuller use of schools by the community.
· Community Policing
Our “community policing” model has helped to reduce crime. Edmonton needs to continue building partnerships and developing programs that keep our neighbourhoods safe and improve our quality of life.

But, by far, the biggest issue is to reconnect voters with the City of Edmonton.

City Council as well as the City Administration needs to remember that they work for us. We also need to feel that we are part of the process, that our opinion matters. This is something that people feel is lacking right now.

If I am elected, I will work hard at ensuring that your voice is heard.

I will use my experience representing people to help make the City work for YOU!

Regards
Shane Bergdahl
Candidate for City Council - Ward 11

Edmcowboy11
22-09-2010, 02:22 PM
Hello Shane

Thank you for taking the time to come and officially answer questions here on C2E.

One of the first questions I have for you, is in response to your comment about ensuring the voice of people in the community will be heard. With a fairly large population that you want to represent, how do you forsee facilitating the communication between yourself and the people.

Second question, how strongly do you feel about LRT coming to millwoods and is there anything you can see doing to help fast track construction?

Finally, when it comes to larger issues that affect many people within the community, either for ward 11 or for the entire city as a whole, where do you see your role as a councillor for making the decision for the issue that would be present. Should you be the one to speak for the people of ward 11, or should the people of ward 11 decide directly (by plebicite) on all major issues.

Thank you for your time.

Shane Bergdahl
22-09-2010, 11:42 PM
One of the first questions I have for you, is in response to your comment about ensuring the voice of people in the community will be heard. With a fairly large population that you want to represent, how do you forsee facilitating the communication between yourself and the people.

First and foremost is to be approachable. If someone takes the time to call or write, they deserve a response from the Councillor. Edmontonians are tired of being ignored. Secondly, my roots come from the community. I will still attend as many Community League or Area Council meetings as I can and talk to the people. Thirdly, there needs to be a venue or event where the Councillor is available. Could be a Town Hall type of meeting or maybe a bbq. I am also open to ideas. The Ward might be quite large however our elected officials need to be available to the residents and businesses.


Second question, how strongly do you feel about LRT coming to millwoods and is there anything you can see doing to help fast track construction?

We have been waiting for over 20 years for the LRT. We need to work with the other levels of government to help fund this expansion but we need to get it done, none the less.

The SLRT demonstrates how Edmontonians have taken to the LRT. Ridership has gone through the roof. The same will happen with the SELRT. We need to get the designs done and the work started. We also can't wait for the discussions to finish for the WLRT. If they are still arguing in the west, start the SE. We are ready and waiting.


Finally, when it comes to larger issues that affect many people within the community, either for ward 11 or for the entire city as a whole, where do you see your role as a councillor for making the decision for the issue that would be present. Should you be the one to speak for the people of ward 11, or should the people of ward 11 decide directly (by plebicite) on all major issues.

We elect City Council to work on our behalf. It is Council's responsibility to research the issue in order to make those tough decisions. Generally, the vast majority of voters do not have the time or expertise to perform this task. Some do but most don't. City Council should be doing that on our behalf.

Having said that, a Councillor's responsibility is to also discuss larger issues with their Ward. This should be part of their research. If the Councillor performs all these steps and is able to form an educated position, I feel that they can speak for the people in their Ward. That is, after all, why they were elected.

Plebecites tend to be more emotional than logical. As such, voting from the heart isn't always the best answer. Many people do not have the time to fully research the issue to form an informed decision. A plebecite does allow everyone to have a say but can also tie the hands of the Municipal Government. Just look to all the problems in California, some of which are a result of their many plebecites.

Your Councillor has a responsibility to their Ward. Let them do their job and earn their pay. If they aren't doing their job, then they need a good kick in their arse. Councillors work for you.

Regards

Shane Bergdahl
www.electshaneb.com (http://www.electshaneb.com)

Channing
24-09-2010, 11:57 PM
I know you see the LRT expansions as a priority for the City, what are you willing to sacrifice to make them a reality?

Shane Bergdahl
25-09-2010, 09:47 AM
I know you see the LRT expansions as a priority for the City, what are you willing to sacrifice to make them a reality?

Hello Channing,

Yes, LRT expansion is a priority for the City. The real fact is that we cannot afford to do it all on our own. We require the financial support of the Provincial as well as the Federal Governments to help fund this project. If that funding does not materialize, then we will have to scale our LRT expansion accordingly. We cannot continue the project on our own within the same planned schedule without this support.

Even though I believe it is important to expand the LRT within Edmonton, we cannot do that at the expense of other important initiatives. We have a City to run and an infrastructure to support. What good is the LRT if the roads are so bad you can't drive on them, as an example.

The City ignored their infrastructure responsibilities in the 80's and 90's for other projects and now we are playing massive catchup. We MUST maintain this infrastructure and enhance it where we can. The LRT extension needs to be tempered with our other responsibilities.

Jewels are nice but lose their luster if the ring is battered and tarnished. The expanded LRT would be the same if the rest of the City is crumbling. We need to remember that.

Regards

Shane Bergdahl
Candidate - Ward 11 Councillor
www.electshaneb.com (http://www.electshaneb.com)

Shane Bergdahl
03-10-2010, 10:21 PM
As our city grows in size we find more areas being developed farther away from the rest of the city. This is a concern as the cost to service these new areas (police, fire, transit, etc) increases drastically the farther out you go. This puts an increasing strain on services provided to the remainder of the city.

To further complicate matters, people are moving from other parts of the city to these newly developed areas. In a lot of cases, the cost of a new house is drastically less than the cost of a house in a more mature neighbourhood.

With young families purchasing their first home in these newer areas, the need increases for recreation centres, playing fields, transit service, police and fire service. Meanwhile, facilities and services already available in Edmonton's more mature neighbourhoods are being used less and less due to the population shift.

We can't, nor should we, stop the development of new areas within Edmonton. We should however, put some controls around this urban sprawl. We need new development and expansion that keeps pace with Edmonton's ability to service those same areas. If we don't, all will suffer, not just newly developed areas.

We need to encourage people to move back into our more mature neighbourhoods. Edmonton needs to offer incentives to encourage redevelopment of these areas for young families. This will help revitalize these mature neighbourhoods and possibly lead to increased school enrolments, saving our schools in these areas.

I am proposing that Edmonton City Council consider assessing property taxes based on an "Urban Sprawl Factor". Residents in areas deemed 'mature' and in need of revitalization would have a factor of 0.8 applied against their property tax levy. Residents in areas categorized as 'urban sprawl neighbourhoods' would have a factor of 1.2 applied against their property tax. The remainder will face a factor of 1.0.

The reduced tax bill for properties in mature areas would encourage people to stay or move there, and promote redevelopment in those areas. This plan may encourage young families to move to older neighbourhoods, thereby saving older schools from closure.

I believe that this is something that the City can do now at little expense. In fact this may have a minimal impact on the total taxes collected by the City under this new plan with maximum results. If we don’t do something now to encourage the revitalization of our mature neighbourhoods, we risk them slipping beyond repair.

Just throwing money at this problem is not an effective solution. Innovation is required to address it.


Regards


Shane Bergdahl
Candidate - Ward 11 Councillor

Thomas Hinderks
13-10-2010, 10:52 AM
The Alberta Aviation Museum Association, in 2006 a small community museum now the 3rd largest aviation collection in Canada, is a feature tourism attraction in North Edmonton currently serves (5) veterans organizations, (3) Heritage organizations, (2) Youth organizations as well as a series of (6) modern aviation volunteer organizations such as the Civil Air Search And Rescue Association. The Museum also has the most advanced K-12 aviation education programming and is currently an operationally self sufficient not for profit operation that receives no operational funding from any level of government.



This is a facility that currently receives over 150,000 individual uses per year and attracts visitors from around the world.


What do you, as a candidate commit to specifically doing to insure the ongoing success and expansion of the Alberta Aviation Museum with the closure of the City Centre Airport and the damage it will cause to the facility?



I have been directed to ask on behalf of the boards of this facility.



Thomas Hinderks
Executive Director
Alberta Aviation Museum

Shane Bergdahl
13-10-2010, 12:39 PM
Hi Thomas,

The Edmonton Aviation Museum is not part of the plans to shutdown the City Centre Airport. City Council has stated that the history of the museum is to be preserved, regardless of what happens to the airport. I support that move.

The Aviation Museum is an important attraction in Edmonton. If on Council, I will fight to preserve this little gem. This facility is also bursting at the seams and need to either expand or move to a new home.

In order to preserve the history of this museum, I will fight to keep it in the area of the City Centre Airport. I support that whatever is finally done on these lands, that we maintain a historic link to its past and integrate the museum into that development.

Regards

Shane Bergdahl
Candidate - Ward 11 Councillor

Thomas Hinderks
13-10-2010, 05:51 PM
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your response.

Thomas Hinderks
Executive Director
Alberta Aviation Museum