1) Spending at city hall has been made an issue in this election campaign. Why do you think the city is or is not spending taxpayers’ dollars efficiently?
I believe the City is spending taxpayers’ dollars efficiently. City council is very conscious of the public purse. The annual municipal tax increase has been an average of 2% a year. We have done a lot to engage in partnerships that result in projects that enhance Kelowna residents active lifestyle. Examples are the Soccer Bubble in the Mission and the Pier down town. Kelowna is not one of the highly taxed municipalities in BC.
2) What do you think is the single most important social issue facing the city and how do you think city council should address it?
I see affordable housing as being one of the city’s leading social problems. It has been on my radar, is now and will continue to be. Our Council is working on addressing this problem.
• 15% of the Central Green( the former KSS site) development has been dedicated to affordable housing.
• It is now easier for home owners to build safe and legal secondary suites.
I want to look at developing smaller lot size homes and allowing for more carriage homes for young families and singles.
Also, I’d like to see the City insist on a portion of every housing project be dedicated to affordable housing.
3) The recent Conference Board of Canada grade report for Kelowna had the city receiving a low or failing grade on many issues. Do you feel this report was an accurate reflection of our city? Why or why not?
I feel the report is based on old information and doesn’t reflect the new reality in Kelowna.
A lot has changed since that report. It gave Kelowna poor grades for attracting visitors and newcomers.
• We have upgraded the down town look and feel and developed a new pier in partnership with private enterprise.
• A new innovation centre is being built to attract start-up companies.
• We are making gains in offering affordable housing options such as 15% of the Central Green Project, and allowing legal secondary suites
There is always more to do. In the meantime, I welcome a new report which will accurately reflect the changes in the city.
4) What in your background will allow you to deal with conflict within our community on issues that come before city council?
I have been an investigative journalist for over 20 years and listening to people on all sides of an issue is important. As a councilor, regardless of my personal biases, I look for a solution that will be best for the city as a whole. It is valuable to discuss options in an amicable fashion in order to come up with positive solutions.
5) What personal characteristics do you think make you qualified to be a city councillor?
I am a level headed, fair individual who seeks to find balance and order in her world. I do not swing heavily to any one side. I look at possibilities for solutions and do my best to facilitate the same. I am a proven problem solver. In the past three years, I have listened to people of all backgrounds and ages with a view to their coming up with win-win options. I don’t see my role as a “fixer”. Instead, I see my role as an advocate, adjudicator and communicator. I encourage people of all backgrounds to participate in the city’s activities. My aim is to make Kelowna the best mid-sized city in Canada.