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Danny Breen

2825
20

Danny Breen was born in the City of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. He is a Graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Political Science) and is currently Vice President of Jenkins Anthony Inc., a Newfoundland and Labrador based employee benefit consulting company. Danny was first elected to St. John’s City Council in the Fall of 2009 and re-elected by acclamation in 2013. He represents Ward 1, which encompasses the east end of St. John’s. While on Council, Danny has served as Chair of the Public Works Committee, Chair of the Audit and Accountability Committee and Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee. He is also Chair of the St. John’s Sport Event Partnership.

Contact Information

Survey Responses

What is your full name?
Danny Breen
 
What role are you running for? If it's a ward councillor position, please specify which ward.
Mayor
 
If you are currently on council, or have served previously, how many years in total have you served?
8 Years
 
Why did you decide to run for office?
I have been involved in the Community in various organizations since High School. Municipal Government has always interested me as it touches the day to day lives of our residents. I felt I had a contribution to make, so in 2009 I decided to run and was elected and re-elected by acclamation in 2013.
 
What do you think makes St. John's unique or special?
St. John’s culture, heritage and its people make us unique.
 
If you were elected, do you plan to hold another paid job while serving on Council? If so, what would it be and how will you divide your time?
No being the Mayor of St. John’s is a full time committment.
 
What changes or initiatives would you advocate for at Council?
My website details my platform but I would promote changes in Taxation, Governance, Economic Development, Community Development and Infrastructure.
 
What, to you, is the most important kind of decision City Council makes?
All decisions of Council have an impact on residents and must be made carefully.
 
Questions for mayoral candidates...
Increasing density and mixed uses are priorities in the new municipal plan. Where would you like to see more density in St. John’s?
There are opportunities for increased density in many areas of the city. The downtown would be one of the areas where it is important for its revitalization.
 
Without a ward responsibility, at-large councilors have more space to focus on specific issues. Do you have one issue you would like to prioritize?
As Mayor I would be responsible for leadership on a vast array of issues. My role would be to build consensus on major decisions.
 
Have you been out canvassing? If so, what are the priorities you’re hearing most loudly?
I have been for several months but certainly taxation, infrastructure, recreation and leadership are the most common issues.
 
What would you like to see included in the new Regional Plan?
Identifying recreation facility locations that can be shared amongst municipalities and a regional transportation plan are critical. Please see my website for further details.
 
What, if anything, would you want done to establish better communications between citizens and developers before development is proposed?
I have always encouraged developers to visit neighborhoods to discuss potential developments with the residents. Input at this early stage better prepares developers and better inform residents of the plan and the potential impacts. This is to the benefit of both parties. I am also proposing a complete review of the Planning process.
 
How would you use the Engage! process and system?
Every major issue in the city requires public engagement. Depending on the type and nature of the issues the engage process should be utilized.
 
In your opinion, what are the three best decisions the outgoing Council has made, and why?
Aside from various operational decisions;
1. Recreation facilities such as Paul Reynolds Centre and Bannerman Park including the Loop
2. Developing a public engagement strategy
3. Program review which resulted in savings of $13.7 million dollars and reduced taxes to residents.
 
In your opinion, what are the three worst decisions the outgoing Council has made, and why?
2016 Budget was based on cuts rather than a comprehensive program review similar to that undertaken in 2016. Decisions may always not be what I agree with but in most cases I will support decisions made by majority of Council.
 
Quick response questions! In 100 characters or less, what is your position on...
Creating a regional government
I am not in favor of adding an additional layer of government.
Amalgamation with surrounding municipalities
Regional cooperation and sharing needs to be maximized first.
Making City Council a full-time job
If it is to be full time then council size must be reduced to be cost neutral
The mail-in ballot system
I am fine with this but we must get to online voting once security issues are addressed
The new Municipal Plan
It is a very robust plan based on significant public engagement
Grants to community and arts organizations
Important aspect of building and enhancing our community
City employee salaries
Change from DB to DC pension plan is significant and revising compensation policies
Creating more bicycle infrastructure
Should be a key part of proposed regional transportation plan
Increasing public transit service
Should be completely reviewed under a regional transportation plan
Corporate and union donations to candidates
Would limit ability for candidates, particularly new candidates to engage with public.
 
How often do you use the following ways to get to work or errands?
Walking: Once a week
Riding the bus: Never
Biking: Never
Driving: Almost everyday
 
Please rank the level of attention you think council should pay to each of these transportation modes in the coming term (1 = most important, 5 = least).
1. Public transit
Other: Question is not realistic. A proper regional transportation plan as proposed in my platform would deal with all modes of transportation and how they work in concert to develop an overall plan.
 
What could the City government do to make St. John’s a healthier place to live?
Increase investments in various recreation facilities, including trails parks and open spaces. Construction of a second outdoor skating surface in Bowring Park and support community organizations and other levels of government with healthy living initiatives.
 
What changes need to happen to have more diversity in age, gender, race, and life experience on Council?
Members of Council need to take a more active role in this particularly the Mayor.