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?
I believe that city has been making good, strategic investments and partnerships with organizations and businesses. The Yacht Club, Downtown Marina, Okanagan Centre for Innovation, IHA Health Services Building, Rutland Transit Interchange, Queensway Transit Interchange and recent announcement of investment into Centennial Park are good examples of this type of strategic investment. There is always room for improvement though.
Citizens have been justified in questioning the cost of the washroom in City Park and the new building located at the Glenmore Landfill. The value of every taxpayer dollar that is collected and spent must be demonstrated and justified.
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?
Public safety. I have spent many hours meeting and listening to different citizens. I’ve learned that the sense of safety, security, comfort and overall well-being in certain parts of Kelowna may need to be improved, particularly in the downtown core. I believe that we have had a sense of apathy and sense that this feeling was the natural evolution of a growing city. I reject this notion of helplessness and I believe silence is acceptance. I believe we have a responsibility to ensure that this is a place where ALL citizens feel comfortable.
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?
Yes&No. Kelowna is one of the most desirable cities in world to live. People who have the ability to live anywhere on the planet choose to live here. When factors such as this are in play, market forces drive up the cost for housing/real estate. This is a legitimate concern for Kelowna and does require strategies to increase the availability of attainable housing for newcomers entering the market in Kelowna. The recent announcements of the Okanagan Centre for Innovation will drive innovation and jobs into the Kelowna marketplace. Improved supply and quality of jobs will help improve the report card.
4) What in your background will allow you to deal with conflict within our community on issues that come before city council?
I believe I bring forth a perspective that is diverse and well-rounded. I was born and raised in Kelowna, have taught high school in School District #23, worked for two multi-national corporations and assumed key leadership roles in a private, family-run business in which I was a Partner (Hotel Eldorado, 2003-2014). I also have strong experience in being a Director on many boards. My philosophy is to be proactive and upfront, dealing with conflict head-on and making informed decisions. I am comfortable in asking difficult questions and confronting issues and people directly when required.
5) What personal characteristics do you think make you qualified to be a city councillor?
In my career, I believe that I have demonstrated a strong track record of good decision making. I have proven myself to be honest, upfront, hard working, passionate and driven. I believe that I am a critical thinker that is both forward thinking and pragmatic.