The Coast sent all 53 candidates running in HRM’s municipal election the same 15-question survey in order to help their residents and our readers know a little more about who’s running for council. Here’s what Sue Uteck from Halifax South Downtown sent back.
Why should residents of your district vote for you?
District 7 is undergoing a tremendous change with respect to development, traffic, destruction of heritage and potential changes to the land-use bylaws that govern our everyday life. This district needs a representative who has the experience to understand the rules and who works with the residents, the business community, staff and fellow councillors in order to meet the needs of our district. I am that person.
What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?
That there is an election.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
A recipe—just wanted to make sure I was doing it right!
What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?
That I take everything on as a challenge and blame myself too much when the outcome is not positive.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
Well Max Webster at my high school (Eastdale Collegiate, Oshawa, Ontario) was the bomb, but for the big show at Madison Square Gardens it was Bob Dylan..I was 14 and took the train for the first time.
What was the last movie you didn’t finish?
My late husband Larry was a fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I always wished that we could have watched it together.
What pisses you off?
Government misspending. A perfect example is the current situation on Spring Garden Road. This is an area that needs a total fix which is coming in 2018-19. What happens in an election year? $650,000 for street improvements that will be torn up in two years. The total fix should have been now and all those who visit and shop this area, especially those with disabilities would agree. Imagine what $650,000 could have done for the longterm ongoing maintenance of the area.
What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?
Definitely the plan of the previous council of 2008-2012 set in motion what you see today. The Central Library has been amazing. The downtown development plan was the right thing to do but the lack of communication and the now far too late construction mitigation plan has left many residents confused and angry.
What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?
I do not really have any regrets—politically or professionally. Disappointments, yes, but that is the nature of the beast. I regret that my children were under such scrutiny but they have turned into amazing young adults and I am very proud of them.
What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?
My dog Ford, he is always amusing in his big gentle way.
What’s your go-to meal when cooking?
Steak, definitely steak.
What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?
The outflow of our youth is something that needs to change and change now. We need to work with the business community and supply them with a ready workforce. The potential Port Merger is an issue that could have devastating traffic consequences for our District and the City needs to take a strong position on this.
How would you describe your opponents in this race?
I admire anyone who steps up to offer for public service.
What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?
I want to continue to learn what staff members do on a daily basis to do their job. Regretfully as regulations would not allow, I would secretly love to captain the ferry and blast out Frank Sinatra tunes every Friday!
What do you promise NOT to do if elected?
Say that someone else is to blame. It’s your job—step up and take responsibility for both the good and poor decisions.