November 4, 2008

Prince George Citizen

Sjostrom, Bello face off for mayor of Quesnel

Citizen staff 

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Quesnel's race for mayor could be shaping up to be a classic left-right battle.
Or maybe not.
Mary Sjostrom, the veteran councillor who is challenging incumbent Nate Bello for the top job at city hall in the community of 9,915 people 116 kilometres south of Prince George, is subscribing to that first take on the election's complexion.
In an interview earlier this week Sjostrom spent much of the time emphasizing her ability to get along with the powers that be in Victoria and accused Bello of failing to maintain a good relationship with those upon whom the city depends for a major amount of money.
"I'm not saying for a minute everything that Gordon Campbell does I agree with, but you don't go out and chastise them and the next day stick your hand out and ask for money and that's what's happening here," she said. "I just want to put a way more positive, proactive approach on it."
Bello, meanwhile, isn't going there.
"I don't see that," he said when asked if the race is about left versus right. "What I see is I'm having a conversation with the people of Quesnel and we've had a great council in the last six years since I've been mayor and I want to keep progressing in a moderate, positive way."
Sjostrom, who once ran a gift shop, said she wants to be more business oriented and, if elected, would establish a "community planning council" that comes up with a clearer vision for how the city is planned.
"We piecemeal it rather than having an overall plan," she said.
Asked who would sit on the council, Sjostrom said she's still working out the details, "but certainly people that wish to develop, the real estate people have great input, industry needs to sit on there, businesspeople and just individuals who have expertise in planning."
Bello dismissed the proposal as redundant.
"I totally believe in a community planning council and it's called city council," he said. "We already have it."

Questions for Councillor Sjostrom

As Sjostrom is challenging the mayor for his seat it is up to her to present her platform and explain to the public how she would manage the City…this is why there are no questions to Bello…These are questions Sjostrom should be asked to respond to regarding the article “Something about Mary” in the Observer October 28, 2008. 

1.      Sjostrom says: “Under my leadership the city will be open for business,”
qnlnews asks: How would you open up city for business?  Has it been closed?

2.      Sjostrom says: “its time for a change”
qnlnews asks: A change from what - to what?   

3.      Sjostrom says:  “we need a leader who has a positive pro-active leadership style”
qnlnews asks:  How are you a Positive pro-active leader?  Does a leader delay projects such as:
Homeless Shelter…delayed almost a year because Sjostrom claimed she needed more information, and when she found she could not delay the process any longer she voted to accept the location.
Zoning by-law regarding RV’s parked in front yards  is specific yet Sjostrom requested more information –  the end result was the owners were in violation of the current bylaw and the bylaw was not changed.
Murdered and Missing Women’s Memorial Monument was looking for a home and again, Sjostrom delayed the process by requesting more information.  In the end voted in favour.

4.      Sjostrom says “I’m a consensus builder.”
qnlnews asks:  If you are a consensus builder how can you consider yourself in agreement with others when you voted against so many motions of council and you delayed many public decisions?

5.       Sjostrom says “a perfect example is the City and Cariboo Regional District’s relationship.”
qnlnews asks
 Why do you feel the City and the CRD still have problems? What is the problem?

6.       Sjostrom says:   regarding Rocky Mountain Vacations “This was long before there was support shown from my colleague.”
qnlnews asks:  What role did you have regarding Rocky Mountaineer Vacations that did not involve the rest of council?  Didn’t RMV decide to overnight in Quesnel only because Prince George was not located close enough to the midpoint between Whistler and Jasper?

7.      Sjostom says:  ‘Long and short-term financial planning are also among her top priorities.’ 
qnlnews asks:  If Financial planning is a priority why didn’t you ask to chair the Finance Committee when you had the opportunity to do so?

8.     Sjostrom says: she would form a Sustainable Planning Council made up of people from all sectors of the community’.
qnlnews asks Just what would your Sustainable Planning Council do?  City has an Economic Development plan so is this not working for you?  The board members of the EDC are: Greg Andrews, Tony Bensted, Brian Black, Peter Brand, Geoff Garland, Bob Graham (Sjostrom campaign contributor), Camae Lynn and Nate Bello.  Are Board members appointed by the City of Quesnel?  Council cannot deal with infrastructure?

9.      Sjostrom says:  ‘With her list of 19 organizations she’s been or is involved in at regional and provincial levels, she plans on using her connections to benefit the city.’
qnlnews asks:  Why are you involved with so many  committees that have little to do with the running of the City of Quesnel?   (Her current out of town portfolio is:  Member of Ministers Council on Employment for Persons with Disabilities,  2010 Committee Chair, Spirit of BC Advisory Committee Member, North Central Municipal Association, Union of BC Municipalities, NCMA Measuring up the North Steering Committee Chair, Liaison for Quesnel Measuring Up and Inclusion Committee. 

November 1, 2008

October 23, 2008


All Candidates Forum
Shaw Cable:  Sunday 3 - Tuesday 2 and 7, Thursday 9

Approximately 80 people attended the All Candidates Forum at the Vasa Lodge to hear what the candidates had to say.  What an impressive bunch of newcomers!  Mayor hopeful, Mary Sjostrom did her best to try and show the current leadership style of Nate Bello needs changing and one of the reasons given was committees should be assigned as to councillors' abilities....then she contradicted herself by saying she would alternate the committee appointments..  Currently Bello asks which committee each councillor would like and he tries to accommodate.  Hardly different than what Sjostrom is suggesting. Sjostrom suggested her leadership style would be proactive...indicating Bello's is inactive.  The climate in the city has changed drastically since Bello became mayor as he shows respect for everyone, even those that do not share the same philosophies.  With Bello it doesn't matter about political stripes, he gets along well will Regional, Federal and Provincial levels of government.   Interesting last night, Sjostrom never answered one question first, always waited until Bello gave his point of view before answering.   Good strategy or afraid to "take the lead"?  The next all candidates forum is at 7pm, Wednesday November 5 at CNC



All Candidates Forum  THURSDAY 7:00 Vasa Lodge

Time for local election information

Heritage Garden - Then and Now

Municipal Election

What did mayoralty candidates vote against?
Nate Bello   Mary Sjostrom
Nate Bello webpage
Mary Sjostrom webpage

What did the incumbent councillors vote against?