To the editor:
Federal and provincial governments focus on the economy and jobs. The Economic Development Commission (with Tourism’s marketing support) focuses on attracting investment/helping businesses such as our growing tech industry to create local jobs (Club Penguin, etc). Therefore municipalities, while being attractive to business, can focus on quality of life.
Being ‘Open for Business’ can benefit residents. However, re-creating the 20-year plan (that residents worked on), or using the Alternate Approval Process doesn’t seem to be a springboard to a better life for the majority. Most residents won’t get rich from the jobs created (clerks, waiters, cleaners) or can’t afford some recent endeavours. The annual social membership at The Kelowna Yacht Club [for example] will cost over $1,000; the Paddle Club over $250.
Being ‘Open for Business’ could include more than the downtown. Both youth and seniors (age 50-100) could attend and benefit from amenities that are more accessible (distance, time, cost, barrier free, etc). Many successful people credit the towns that supported their talent or idea, through varied and often modest means, when they were young.
Town centres, aside from services, parks, etc., could provide varied places for planning and hosting gatherings, affordable events, etc. These local initiatives could build community, attendance and support for start-up ventures based on known needs, enhancing their success.
The new council will be busy with pre-approved projects, but your vote may impact upcoming projects, if you vote for people:
• who will improve quality of life not just for people with money to invest, but for our youth, seniors, people with diverse-abilities, those needing to use a food bank, etc.
• who will listen to residents and town centre issues and visions, tempered by residents’ associations, and less on developers’ visions
• who, while facilitating being ‘open for business’ believe in and ensure the city is transparent and accountable
• who only use fast-track approaches to public input when projects are non-controversial or the majority of taxpayers will benefit (the alternative approval process, like negative option billing which is illegal when used by businesses, is a gamble in which the house (city) usually wins).
A ‘world class’ reputation is earned not by the number of projects started or completed but by their positive impact on the majority of the people they represent now and into the future. The same can be said for candidates.
Don’t vote if you’re just voting for whomever’s ‘in your face,’ a group or list of candidates unless from a trusted friend or family members, etc., or you might cancel the votes for your quality of life.
Before voting ask: Who best matches your wish list? Why are they running? Can they do the job? Who applauded their past projects and where is their endorsement/marketing support coming from (and going to)—investors, special interests, or people like you?
If you have time, view http://www.kelowna.ca/CM/Page161.aspx, then click on ‘Meet Your Candidates’.
K. Kelly, Kelowna