Name: Jennifer Millbank
Occupation/background: mom, lawyer
Why are you running for office?
I am running for office because the residents of Lantzville feel that there are more changes needed at town hall, and have trusted me to carry them out.
What three priorities are important to you and how do you plan to tackle these issues if elected?
Continue the community discussions about water. Now that we have concluded an historic water deal, we can look at how it should be implemented, if at all. We have a whole range of options which didn't exist before, and I can't wait to have discussions with residents and with future members of council about how to move forward with services where they are needed (Downtown? The Winds? The Foothills? Seniors housing?) and how to best preserve Lantzville's character at the same time. I plan to tackle this the same way as I have tackled everything else, by talking to the residents, and by listening to what people say at the council table.
Increase opportunities for families. Lantzville is in the middle of a mini-baby boom and the school population is increasing. Lantzville is known as a great place to raise kids, because taxes are low, and life is a little bit simpler. What we don't have are the programs to match. Our recreation programs are largely directed at seniors, and parents and youth have largely been pushed to the sidelines. What about: Mothers groups? A youth council? More family-oriented activities? The possibilities are endless. I would like to implement this with a re-purposing of the Parks and Rec Commission which needs some clearer direction from council about what projects to focus on. I would also like to see some opportunities for youth in our community to participate in decision making.
Revitalization of the downtown core. As the chairwoman of the Village Commercial Core Improvement Committee, we have been looking at a comprehensive plan for changes to the downtown. This committee has been an overwhelming success, and has been a place where diverse views (business, parents, seniors) within Lantzville can work together amicably for changes that will benefit everyone. After the election, I hope that council will dedicate resources to implementing this plan.
How do you plan to manage taxes and spending?
I have been the most fiscally conservative member of council. I have voted against staff increases, tried (unsuccessfully) to roll back management staff salaries in 2013, reduced permissive tax exemptions and have pushed for greater accountability in the parks and rec budget. I am not always on the winning side of these arguments and will continue to pursue tax savings – balanced with adequate resources for service delivery – at the council table.
What do you think it takes to lead Lantzville? Describe your leadership or co-working style.
I try to speak for the residents that have not had a voice before. I try to ask the questions that residents are asking among themselves but have historically been ignored.