Hodge says integrity and honesty his two strongest traits

City of Kelowna: Hodge, Charlie-councillor candidate says media background has taught him to be a good listener.

  • Fri Oct 31st, 2014 5:00pm
  • News

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?

In general I believe senior staff and council do work hard on spending tax dollars efficiently. However there is some excess in spending in a few places such as wages for some senior staff, and a top heavy balance in one or two departments.

We also need to stop hiring out of town ‘experts’ on nearly every study or report. I understand the need on occasion but it happens way too often. If we do not have the expertise on current staff to handle a number of those scenarios then why are we spending so much on senior salaries?

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?

There are three or four key issues including intergovernmental relations over the next few years (negotiations with neighbouring communities, Westbank First Nations, the province…), however from a ‘social’ aspect I would say providing work and diversified housing for young working professionals and university, college, trade school grads.

 

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 have not seen the actual report and only heard snippets of its findings so it is difficult to give a fair assessment. I searched online as well but could not find it.

 

4) What in your background will allow you to deal with conflict within our community on issues that come before city council?

In addition to my six years City Council and five years Regional District experience I also spent some 30 years involved in media. That training taught me how to become a good listener, gather knowledge, see issues from all perspectives, and be flexible in interacting with people from all walks of life. I also completed conflict resolution courses, and have years of experience as facilitator and moderator.

 

5) What personal characteristics do you think make you qualified to be a city councillor?

I am a people person with thick skin who has the ability to cut through rhetoric, red tape and bureaucratic bafflegab. I am trained listener, with a positive attitude and a willingness to ask tough questions. Integrity and honesty are two of my strongest traits. My campaign slogan is Transparency, Accountability and Experience. If I believe in a cause or an issue I will not walk away until it is resolved or properly dealt with. I am a voice of the people and have been an advocate for Kelowna all my life.