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?
Kelowna is in good financial shape. We do need to keep expenses to a minimum and manage City finances wisely. We must invest in areas of our community were we can see significant returns such as infrastructure, roads, transit, parks and water systems. Good government requires good judgment. Good judgment requires the freedom to consider all options when making decisions. Anti-tax ideology limits that freedom and will limit City council’s ability to govern wisely. I will vote against any motion to freeze taxes for four years.
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 most significant social issue facing Kelowna is the high crime rate. Recently the Conference Board of Canada rated Kelowna as a “D” in the area of community safety. The city was third worst in Canada for violent crimes and second worst for drug related crimes. Kelowna needs to invest in police staffing to reduce the crime rate in the city. Our city needs a highly trained seasoned force to move us from 3rd worst in Canada to the safest city in Canada.
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 purchased a full copy of the report from the conference Board, downloaded and read it from cover to cover. Kelowna’s report card is on page 113. Overall, Kelowna was ranked 30th amongst 50 cities in Canada for attracting new migrants to the community. The report was well researched and substantive. Some of the findings were dated because they were based on data from 2011. Most of the results reflect accurately what the challenges are for this city. It was this report that informed the development of the Prosper Kelowna platform.
Prosper Kelowna has a seven point plan to prosper the community over the next four years. We want to create a jobs ready environment. To do that we want to reduce red tape at city hall to speed up the development process and bring good paying jobs sooner rather than later to the city. We want to increase the affordable housing supply through changes in comprehensive zoning to make it easier for developers to build zero lot line fee simple row housing in the north end of downtown and in other locations in the city where land prices are more moderate. We want to reduce crime in our community.by providing the RCMP the resources they need to bring crime under control and make Kelowna the safest city in Canada. We want to provide food security for our citizens through increasing the number of community gardens and connecting food retailers with the local food producers. We want to see improvements in transit and parks. Finally, we want to provide the citizens of Kelowna the opportunity to vote in a referendum on the 2018 ballot on options regarding the use of the $30 million BC Gas Legacy Fund.
4) What in your background will allow you to deal with conflict within our community on issues that come before city council?
I have experience dealing with conflict within groups and amongst groups. I developed a set of Team relational Values that help to manage conflict in groups and organizations. It spells the word TEAM. In whatever situation we need to face problems as a TEAM.
T = Be Transparent with one another by: Receiving and speaking the truth with kindness; Walking in humility;
E = Empower one another by: Speaking to the potential instead of shortcomings; Believing the best about each other; Giving everyone the benefit of the doubt by asking questions before making statements; Valuing the person above the tasks and valuing relationship above who is right or who is wrong.
A = Be Accountable to one another by: Keeping our word; Being congruent in all we say and do; Being accountable to one another; Keeping short accounts, that is, we communicate and resolve tensions with one another quickly and owning and dealing with our stuff, that is, we take responsibility for our own issues, weaknesses and shortcomings.
M = Mind your Manners with one another by: Having soft eyes & voice when we communicate, that is, we are aware of our body language as well as our speech; Responding not reacting, that is, we reflect upon the best way to respond before we do respond; Respecting one another’s boundaries; Being patient, quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
These are the conflict resolution values I will abide by when I am on council.
5) What personal characteristics do you think make you qualified to be a city councillor?
I am an empathetic and compassionate person who cares deeply about this community and I am willing to work hard to make Kelowna the best place for its citizens to live, work and raise a family.