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?
Council wastes taxpayers’ money on lavish projects. An effective council should have reviewed all financial projects: Approving $6 million for 30 prison cells at $200,00 per cell is criminal. One cell could have sheltered many homeless people. Remember the 10-million downtown beautification? Council signed a 40-year-taxpayers mortgage to build an over-sized, expensive $50 million Mountie dig.
I have asked how much money bureaucrats spend on consultants. Two years later, no answer, if anything, defensiveness. Against bureaucrats, Council is powerless with its one-employee concept. We need a motivated Council that acts more like a tiger than a pussycat with City bureaucracy.
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?
Poverty. Council told me years ago social problem is a Provincial responsibility, not municipality. Cop-out. Statistics Canada pegs B.C.’s child-poverty rate at 14.3%, with the Canadian average at 13.7 per cent. A combination of slower economy, higher food costs and more expensive housing has forced low-income families to tighten their belts further. Affordable housing is vital for our citizens struggling financially. Besides voluntary organizations, Council needs a wake-up call because it costs citizens more if nothing is done. I have heard from schoolteachers many sad stories about kids coming to school hungry, while Council is feeding caviar to big business.
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?
Kelowna was one of the best places to live and to raise a family. Was the Conference Board of Canada report wrong then?The defensive position of Council from the Mayor on the failing grade was loud. Could Council have improved our ranking had it spent some money on poverty instead of paving roads that were fine?Council priority is all messed up with its OPEN FOR BUSINESS stupidity. I have often thought what would happen to the blood supply if Count Dracula were head of the Blood Bank. A very simple answer: Big business will have an over-supply.
4) What in your background will allow you to deal with conflict within our community on issues that come before city council?
Besides my education (Ph.D.), research, and director on several Boards, my experience as a therapist could be an asset. I am not saying council needs psychoanalysis. It needs Behaviour modification. If that fails, then Electro-Convulsive Therapy: Council cannot spend more than it earns. Are parents not supposed to teach that to their kids? Council has tied its own hands signing on the dotted line it has only one employee, the City Manager. No MLA or MP would accept that. I would not. Hence if Council needs questions answered regarding expensive project, it has to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
5) What personal characteristics do you think make you qualified to be a city councillor?
I speak my mind and never make a statement without backing it up with facts. I research and would ask more questions about important issues than what I have observed. I am not easily intimidated and would certainly not display the herd instinct prevalent on Council. I pray for a time when voters would stay: “I am as mad as hell and I can’t take it anymore.” One question for those who honour their citizenship voting duty: “Could you take a chance with some new faces on council?” If they screw up, throw them out at the next election