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?
The City most certainly is not spending the taxpayers’ dollars efficiently. It has been my main concern all along that monies are being squandered on extravagant wages for the City Managers. It’s abominable that the taxes from approximately 147 houses in the Rutland area go directly to paying the City Manager. Then also, dollars are being spent on beautification when they could better be used for practical uses. Although it was necessary to update the services along Bernard Avenue, we lost 140 parking spots. Another great problem is the neglect of upgrades to other areas such as Rutland, 4 Corners etc. Perhaps if some large construction that is regularly slated for downtown could be moved to some of the outer areas then some Parking areas could be available downtown and that would benefit the merchants as well as other businesses.
2) What do you think is the single most important social issue facing the city and how would you address it as mayor?
I would address the problem around low cost housing, especially for men. I would strive to make more services available and thereby cut crime. Fair wages need to be achieved so people aren’t living from paycheck to paycheck. Also, now people who work 3 days a week in The Mission are facing paying atrocious parking costs. How can they deal with this infringement on the cost of living.
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?
– Unfortunately this grade is deserved and Kelowna is probably lucky that they didn’t achieve a D grade. The people of Kelowna are unhappy and this is reflected in everyone’s perception of the City. We have increased crime rates and transient problems because the focus is on tourism solely and lacking in as far as services to the people living here. The “Sunshine Tax” keeps going up and up and fewer and fewer things are done in the different areas of the city. The current council and mayor claim that such a good job has been done during their term but it’s quite obvious that when the City is referred to as “Surrey on the lake”, we have a problem.
4) Define what you think the role of the mayor is in providing direction for city council and as the public representative for our city?
The role of the Mayor should be to lead by example and show the members of council that it is vital to communicate with the people of all areas of Kelowna. The Mayor needs to be a team player and also needs to stand up to City Management as it is the council who needs to run the City and not the Management.
5) What personal characteristics do you think make you qualified to be mayor?
I have already started going door to door and from business to business to assure the people that I will always listen and will always be accessible. I believe that this is the most crucial aspect of the job as, up to now, decisions are consistently being made behind closed doors with minimal input from the people.