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 do not believe that spending at City Hall is out of control. Everyone knows this is simply a silly election ploy from a group of individuals who devised a poorly thought out election strategy. It does not resonate with informed citizens, who know better. Should the city run things efficiently? Absolutely! Should adjustments be made? More than likely. Are some individuals overpaid? Probably. However this has been blown way out of proportion. A core review of the city would be a valuable exercise that would point out deficiencies and provide guidance for a more effective and open city hall.
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?
The drug culture and its relation to crime and homelessness. Kelowna was ranked third worst in Canada. Council must give authority to each department to tackle this issue. Cracking down on organized crime is essential. Proceeds of crime should then be used to help assist in the rehabilitation of those who have suffered as a result of this culture. The calamitous consequence of this dilemma is that much needed resources are necessary to contain this social deficiency that could be used to take care of the genuinely needy, including the many children in our city who go to school hungry.
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?
Of course it was. It’s not like they were out to get us. I love Kelowna but we cannot stand around with our head in the sand and simply hope that things get better. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. When a flaw is pointed out, the smart thing to do is take corrective measures to implement change. We need to reflect on all the good we presently possess and leverage that to bring about the desired result. Nothing short of being the best city in Canada should be our goal.
4) What in your background will allow you to deal with conflict within our community on issues that come before city council?
Allow me to quote Republican Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia “Real estate sales was perfect training for the experience to go into public life because you learn to accept rejection, learn to meet new people, learn to work with people and find common ground. That’s the way you sell houses… that’s also the way you win over constituency. “
I have been a Realtor for 23 years and a Minister since 1986. These professions are front line people oriented careers. They require patience, understanding, good listening skills, negotiation, hard work, humility and the willingness to stand by a quality decision.
5) What personal characteristics do you think make you qualified to be a city councillor?
I am for the most part a compassionate man. If our city is to prosper it needs decisive leadership. I am driven by integrity not by personal gain or agenda. I cannot be bought by the allure of power or recognition.I believe a wise decision is made by carefully considering all the facts. I am not dissuaded by the fear of repercussion when making the right choice, even though it is contrary to public opinion.I am conciliatory and able to inject enthusiasm into others by bringing them to the place where they understand the value of the conclusion.