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?
As a Scottish born Canadian I believe in cost effectively maintaining our quality of life. I don’t subscribe to the philosophy of committing to no tax increases. Personally I need more flexibly to ensure we are getting the best bang for buck. If investing $1 Million saved us $5 Million down the road then I would support it. If elected I would strive to ensure that our service to our community is also on the rise and I’m hearing very consistently that better trained front line staff would benefit our citizens and business community.
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?
Kelowna is a tale of two cities. We have two main family income levels; either below $40K or over $100K (per household based on 2006 Census info). This fact leads to many of the social issues we face on a daily basis; whether it be attainable housing, obtaining gainful employment to sustain a family, “not in my back yard” issues, etc. The city should address these issues with a balanced approach. Train for the jobs of tomorrow, enhance our economy, and work collaboratively with our non-profit, government and business partners.
I believe that we should all be active citizens, engaged in making our city and home the best it can be.
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?
How many of you reading this know what the Conference Board of Canada is? When you read a story and the dramatic headline is terrible/brilliant how do you know how much weight should be given to it. In a world of decreasing journalism we are holding our governments less and less accountable. If elected I commit not to rashly respond to headlines created by special interests I will go to the heart of the matter, find the truth from the direct source, and work collaboratively with the current council and staff to ensure we have the best course of action in our sights.
For this report, yes there is work to be done.
4) What in your background will allow you to deal with conflict within our community on issues that come before city council?
If elected to council I bring significant experience dealing with conflict. My calm, consistent, and thoughtful style as a C.E.A at SD#23 meant that I was always given the most difficult behavioural students to work with. I can’t go into detail but I’ve already dealt with more conflict than most see in their entire lives.
I’d appreciate the opportunity to serve you and balance your needs against the needs of the community. Sometimes you won’t like it but I will strive to be as fair as possible. I will find the heart of the issue, decide, and move forward.
5) What personal characteristics do you think make you qualified to be a city councillor?
I am community driven. I have strived to offer this community memorable moments that made our lives richer. Whether that be working at Parks Alive, creating New York New Years, celebrating events/creatives on my castanet column, or writing songs for Kelowna. I am a hardworking, collaborative, team player. I balance perspectives and decisively and strategically move forward. I always bring a positive attitude, I’m ready to listen and learn but I also know how to filter the noise so that I hear the quietest voice or the one that isn’t speaking. Often the voice we don’t hear is the one that deserves our attention. I “Get it Donn”