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 majority of spending is going to the right places like services, but for some reason council seems to have made questionable spending decisions and the public should not be happy about it. If you add up all those poor decisions you get a pattern and a big total of taxpayers dollars being squandered.
The fact is that city hall has been run by the city managers and not council, thats a real problem and why you have seen rubber stamp after rubber stamp for development outside the city plan and periodic waste of taxpayer dollars. Its time for SMART decisions by council that have best ROI for taxpayers.
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 think the gap between the rich in Kelowna and those in or near the poverty line is a issues that will continue to grow. This effects a lot of families, so we need to foster business investment to create better paying jobs and sector growth. Seniors in particular are vulnerable as they are often on low fixed incomes, so it would be great to see some leadership from council to bridge that gap to ensure proper services are in place for them.
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 worked with the Conference Board and know its not like they are out of touch or came up with an arbitrary grade. There are things I agree on and not on others.
Kelowna does have a real challenge in building a community that attracts business that offers high paying jobs and gives young people and families an opportunity to thrive not just survive. I dont see any current leadership in that direction. While in Vancouver i had to have my offices in Yaletown and Gasstown to attract and employed over 50 tech & admin people. Kelowna needs to be able to attract and retain skilled people and the downtown core & other community enclaves can do that.
4) What in your background will allow you to deal with conflict within our community on issues that come before city council?
I have had a lot of experience working with opposing views in industry and communities through roundtables, forums of dialogue being contracted by large employers as a third party to examine abuse and leadership issues. Im all about dialogue and making right decisions that may not be the most popular. I know how to engage and bring people together, thats what ive done for the past 15 years on a national and local level.
5) What personal characteristics do you think make you qualified to be a city councillor?
I know how to say No and make tough decisions. But most important is that I really appreciate peoples perspectives and love to hear their story, everyone has a story. This past week i met a father working 70 hrs a week to help his sons build their business and another that has been farming a small plot of land here for 40 years, which is getting squeezed out by development. A glowing senior told me of her dream for and hard work to build a dance company here. There are so many stories to celebrate and that really show the spirit and inner beauty of the community.