Election 2013 questionnaire response: Ray Bessel, Ward 10

[We sent your questions to all the Election 2013 candidates. We are posting their unedited responses in the order that they’re received. – Ed.] 

Ray Bessel, candidate for Ward 10
Ray Bessel, candidate for Ward 10

1. In the context of our City’s growth, how will you support the development of existing communities as opposed to new neighbourhoods?


I support a balanced approach. We must develop existing communities to ensure they are finished, clean, safe, pristine; and shows our pride as Edmontonians. We also need them to be reasonably inhabited for tax base. Some urban development is necessary however we must consider increased drain on our finances to maintain those area. We have to put priority on completing properly our communities and slow our urban sprawl, but not necessarily stopped.

2. How will you support and promote independent locally-owned businesses in Edmonton?


I will work to establish a stronger regional council, where 1.2 million people in our area contribute to the expenses that currently 850000 people pay for. Then we have to look at business tax and ensure Edmonton is the North American destination city for small business.

3. How will you support local food and urban agriculture in Edmonton?


Farmers Markets and local options must be promoted and encouraged.

4. How will you address Indigenous Edmontonians’ history and needs?


I will address by being involved in all cultural groups. Learn about their cultures and their special history that makes them unique. I want all cultures to be preserved; and then have them become an important part of everyday life in Edmonton.

5. How do you envision the public transit system evolution?


Public transit has to be addressed regionally, correctly and must not conflict with road traffic patterns.

6. What will you do to better engage post-secondary research / students / faculty with the rest of the community?


I currently support and promote the U of A Volleyball programs. I will sit on education councils, do whatever I can to promote education and research.

7. Councillor candidates: What is the biggest challenge your Ward faces? What solutions would you seek?


There are many important things, however the most talked about is Bike Lanes. I am very unhappy with the way the bike lanes are done in our area. I support anything that promotes good health, exercise, green transportation, and people being out in their communities. However I will fight to stop anything that does not make Edmonton grow, and Edmonton MOVE, and can be DANGEROUS.

I have talked to people and have to meet one person who agrees with the way the bike lanes are done. Some of my friends who do use bikes, do not feel safe on the bikes; and I see the danger part of it on Saddleback road where trucks with trailers are parked; and sticking half way in the bike lane, and cars try passing me on the rights side when I am turning left; scares the heck out of me….will I get hit….will a biker come along and be hit……will they smash into parked cars. 

Bike lanes are put in completely wrong area where they are, are a detriment to traffic, and I consider them to be unsafe. As stated in my presentation on this; a bike lane should be put where more people would use them; (downtown, Whyte Ave…are begging for bike lanes) and they must be done right. That is, a sidewalk for walking, a fully functional road for driving; and a bike lane for bikes.

It appears the city has taken a great idea, and executed it totally wrong! I will call for a review, study, and stop to areas that it does not make sense. I will call for a repainting of roads to ensure safety , and prevent traffic gridlock.

8. How can our readers learn more about your platform, contact you with questions or concerns, or get involved in your campaign?


Website raybessel.ca facebook Ray Bessel for Ward 10 Twitter rayedmonton

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