Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 08/28/2014 3:06 PM | Comments: 0
Paula Havixbeck said city hall will be open to "innovative" thinking if she’s elected mayor.
Havixbeck said the last four years on council has shown her that the civic administration is not open to new ideas, adding local innovative firms are taking their ideas to other communities.
"We continue to do the same things, over and over again," Havixbeck said. "It’s time to get back to some of the great innovation in our infrastructure system that we have lost."
Havixbeck held her news event Thursday alongside a storm retention pond in Whyteridge, adding the pond systems are what used to set Winnipeg apart from other communities but added city hall is no longer receptive to those kinds of initiatives.
"I have seen great innovative ideas, new technologies, literally walk out of our door and go to another municipality to be implemented somewhere else," she said. "We have to harness that and we have to get clever about bringing that (kind of innovation) back to our city….
"My pledge is, we will get back to being an innovation-driven city."
Havixbeck cited the example of a firm that had developed a road-top sealant for chipped gravel roads – common in many parts of her Charleswood-Tuxedo ward and other roadways near the city’s boundaries with the rural communities – but the civic administration wasn’t interested in looking at the product.
Havixbeck said the firm stated the sealant would extend the life of gravel roads but city officials weren’t interested in doing a pilot project to test the effectiveness of the material.
The same complaint has been made by mayoral candidate Mike Vogiatzakis, who brought a New Jersey firm to Winnipeg in March with an innovative hot-mix material for potholes. While several municipalities in the U.S. are testing the product, Winnipeg officials dismissed it.
"We’re not capturing that innovation here so it’s going somewhere else," Havixbeck said.
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