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Jamie Korab

3123
11

I have lived in St. John’s for the last 18 years, and it’s where I call home. For the last 10 years, I lived in Ward 3, the west part of Cowan Heights, with my wife Stephanie and our daughter Kendra. I am currently working at RE/MAX as a Realtor. I am also an Olympic Gold medalist (Curling) as a member of Team Gushue. I am an active member of the Kids Eat Smart program currently sitting on the board of directors and donate my time to “Blind date with a Star” in aid of the Learning Disabilities Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, answer phones for the Janeway Telethon, and visit retirement homes. I was also a member of Team KidSport, where I helped promote an initiative that helps youth facing financial difficulties take part in organized sports.

Contact Information

Survey Responses

What is your full name?
Jamie Arthur Korab
 
What role are you running for? If it's a ward councillor position, please specify which ward.
Ward 3 Councillor
 
If you are currently on council, or have served previously, how many years in total have you served?
N/A
 
Why did you decide to run for office?
I decided to run for office for a number of reason but curling at the world and Olympic level has shown me how to be a leader and how to work hard as a member of a team. I was grateful for the way the community rallied around our team through the years. Now in the twilight of my curling career and just playing on a social level, I have time to give back. Give back to the people and the community that have supported me through each of my endeavors.
 
What do you think makes St. John's unique or special?
St. John’s is unique and special in many ways, from the unique history and demographics, to the dynamic and exuberant people. I have travelled throughout the world and have seen some marvelous places, however, when people find out that I’m from St. John’s they are always excited to speak to me about the rich history and how friendly the people are. I seem to always get that nostalgic feeling in my stomach when I return home!
 
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?
If I am successful in getting elected, I will still be retaining my job as a Realtor, however, my job allows me to be flexible so that I can also maintain my duties as a Councillor. When I was a full time competitive curler with a heavy World Curling Tour schedule, I was still working full time and became very good at balancing my responsibilities and goals.
 
What changes or initiatives would you advocate for at Council?
Some of the changes and/or initiatives that I would advocate for at council are that I will try to improve the quality of living for us all. Ward 3 is a beautiful established neighbourhood, with duck ponds, walking trails, green spaces and much more. It’s a great place to grow a family. I want to ensure that we continue to receive our fair share of services, while also being financially responsible for the allocated funds, and to work to enhance and improve our parks, our streets and leisure areas. I want to ensure that our youth have plenty of safe places to enjoy as well as safer streets through advocating for traffic calming. I want to help people find affordable housing. I want OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD to be a place where WE WANT to stay because it’s where we belong. As a parent living in Ward 3, I will leave no stone unturned as I go forward in building a strong neighbourhood for our families, our seniors and our Children.
 
What, to you, is the most important kind of decision City Council makes?
The most important decision that City Council makes is one that can have an everlasting effect on generations to come. We have to be smart with the decision we make and make sure we are making them for the right reasons, it’s why we have to be financially responsible with our various decisions.
 
Questions for ward councillors...
Do you live in the Ward?
Yes, I do.
 
If you had a whole day off to spend in your ward relaxing, what would you do?
My family and I regularly take advantage of the many walking trails throughout Cowan Heights, usually stopping at the many playgrounds spotted by my daughter. Living in ward 3, most of our daily life happens here, so there would likely be a stop at the local grocery story and as physical fitness is important to me, I would exercise at the gym in my ward (of which I am already a member).
 
What could Council do to make your ward a better place?
I’ve been knocking on doors since May 30th and I’ve heard from many people. Traffic calming is the number one issue that has come up in conversations with our residents. Vehicle speeding and pedestrian safety needs to be addressed.
 
Have you been out canvassing in the ward? If so, what are the priorities you’re hearing most loudly?
Since May I have been canvassing in the ward and most of the issues are around traffic calming, which includes speeders and noise; questions and concerns regarding automatic garbage collection and snow clearing, but one of the main theme that I have heard loud and clear, is to make sure that we are being financially responsible with our decisions. Second, the affordability of housing has to be at the forefront with the rising costs since 2006. The accessibility of affordable housing is one of the biggest concerns that I have heard day to day in our ward.
 
Increasing density and mixed uses are priorities in the new municipal plan. Where would you like to see more density in your ward?
Ward 3 doesn’t have as much new development residentially or commercially as some of the other wards. I would like to see a focus on some of the buildings/commercial properties that are up for lease, be occupied with the current zone restrictions or work with building owners to rezone or work to find occupants.
 
How do you think your ward will change during the next Council term?
The city is constantly changing and we as a council would have to change with it, adapting to challenges and issues as they are put forward. I’m hoping to continue on the work the current council has done on building a new Mews centre (on or near the current location). Ropewalk Lane has been revitalized over the last few years, with new business entering the existing infrastructure and construction of new buildings. I would look to help foster this progress in the coming 4 years.
 
What would you like to see included in the new Regional Plan?
Ideally, I would like to see us increase the well-designed development in our neighborhood, where we can foster an all-encompassing community; where our residents can work, play and live right here in our ward.
Getting around the city and to neighbouring cities is becoming ever more challenging. Working toward a regional Transportation plan will not only help with traffic flow, but will help to connect communities to allow more lateral growth.
 
What, if anything, would you want done to establish better communications between citizens and developers before development is proposed?
Transparency between the city, citizens and developers is key to a successful development in the ward. Some developers speak with the public beforehand on the affects and positives a development will bring before sending a proposal into council. This is a great practice that should be implemented by all developers – a town hall, or even a virtual town hall would be effective in accomplishing this. Important topics and concerns could be discussed and questions answered, giving our citizens a voice and allowing for their input on how they would like the development to move forward.
 
How would you use the Engage! process and system?
I am thrilled that the Engage! Process and system is in place. This could allow Councillors to adapt the system to their wards. For ward 3, I would set up various groups and polls to engage our residents in decision making and ideas, and also use it to focus in and ask for input and provide updates of the status of specific parts of the ward like Mundy Pond. I am very comfortable with using Social Media and technical platforms, and would be excited to get real-time feedback from the residents of my ward on important items.
 
In your opinion, what are the three best decisions the outgoing Council has made, and why?
I’m happy to see that bulk garbage is back. This is something that a lot of residence wanted to see revived. I have heard this mostly from our seniors in the community that are on a fixed income. Some have been charged large sums of money for people to take very little bulk garbage away.

Investment into our green space areas have been welcomed. Bannerman Park, Bowring Park, Victoria Park & Century Park are great examples of the types of investments that the outgoing Council have successfully achieved.

Investment into affordable housing. The city has made great strides in this department. There is still work to be done by working with Canadian Home Builders – NL, Provincial & Federal Government, however it is certainly moving in the right direction thanks to the outgoing Council.

 
In your opinion, what are the three worst decisions the outgoing Council has made, and why?
A decision is made on the basis of information at the time and at the time it may have seemed like a logical good decision but it may not prove to be a bad decision until after implementation to see what the actual results are. Like the old saying goes “you will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. If you don’t try something, you will never know if it was a good idea or not. But in hindsight which is always 20-20 I think.

From speaking with hundreds of residents in Cowan Heights over the last 4 months, it is clear that the Bike lanes haven’t been utilized as they were expected to be. It seems to have created a safety issue and only one side of the road being available for parking. The planning and layout of these lanes is not cohesive with the existing infrastructure, with some bike lanes ending abruptly. I’m certainly in favor of bike lanes and promoting a healthy lifestyle, but the implementation has to be done so that people will use them. I live in this area, and see about 2-3 people actually use this bike lanes annually.

Our culture in this city is a major tourist attraction. The cuts to the arts grants (that many feel is already under-funded) was something that I believe should have been reconsidered. We need to embrace the city’s culture and encourage more people to continue in the proud traditions of this city and province.

Not allowing budget 2015 to happen again. May of those decisions have been overturned. We need to be more financially responsible as a council.

 
Quick response questions! In 100 characters or less, what is your position on...
Creating a regional government
If it saves tax payers money & provides the same or better services, it’s something to explore further
Amalgamation with surrounding municipalities
If it saves taxpayers’ money & provides the same or better services, it’s something to explore further
Making City Council a full-time job
As the city is growing and changing, the need could potentially be there for full-time councillors.
The mail-in ballot system
It has been a game changer on adapting with the times. It has it benefits & challenges.
The new Municipal Plan
Is a great step to moving our city forward.
Grants to community and arts organizations
The heart & soul of our city. It’s something that should be continued to be supported by the city.
City employee salaries
Should be competitive in the market to bring in the best people for the position.
Creating more bicycle infrastructure
We need to create bike lanes that will be used. Better planning and implementation is needed.
Increasing public transit service
Something we need to dig deeper into. Lots of people calling for it
Corporate and union donations to candidates
Corporate and union donations should be limited or spread evenly to all candidates.
 
How often do you use the following ways to get to work or errands?
Walking: Almost everyday
Riding the bus: Almost everyday
Biking: A few times per year
Driving: A few times per month
 
What could the City government do to make St. John’s a healthier place to live?
One way to do this would be to create and enhance public green spaces such as parks, recreation areas (indoor and out) & walking trails. It’s proven that physical fitness is not only good for your physical well-being, but your mental state of mind and overall health and wellness.
 
What changes need to happen to have more diversity in age, gender, race, and life experience on Council?
Education and debunking some of the myths around being on council is important. For myself, I spoke with multiple people on what was involved with being a city councilor prior to making the decision to run as a candidate. I think this information should be more readily available and promoted to encourage more people to get involved. Everyone has something to offer and should have the opportunity to showcase their talents. The future affectedness of the Council depends on the diversity and differences of opinion at the table; these are the things that encourage change and growth in our community.