Q: What do you see as the main issue in Agassiz and how do you propose Council can address it?
A: One of the main issues is land availability for residential and commercial growth. Living in the District of Kent we are surrounded by prime agriculture land in the ALR. With continued regional growth we have used up all our bare residential land.
The challenge for council is to find areas that have minimum impact to the ALR, such as Mt. Woodside. Council has to follow the OCP because that is the plan we have set out for ourselves.
Our commercial property consists of two lots in the light industrial area and empty lots and building in the downtown area. A business of any size would have to do some land assembly which would which would be expensive and a deterrent. As a council we should work on an incentive program to get owners of empty lots to do something with them.
Q: The Municipality needs to collect taxes to provide sufficient services to all of its members. Explain the benefits or pitfalls in providing tax breaks to businesses or farms as you understand it.
A: Giving tax breaks to businesses or farms may give the existing ones the incentive to grown and expand their business or farm.
Tax breaks may also make setting up shop in the District of Kent more attractive. The downfall to this is that tax breaks for new business gives them a distinct, competitive advantage over the existing businesses that have been here supporting the town all along.
Remember, when you give one sector a tax break the other sectors have to make up the difference.
A number of year ago the council of the day which I was a member of copied an idea from Chilliwack. It was a tax deferral program for any business that spent $100,000 or more. It helped in the development of the plaza near the Legion and brought in Subway. Reviewing our DCC’s should also help new and existing businesses.
Q: While the community elects the Mayor and Councillors, the District staff does the day-to-day work of running operations. If elected, how do you plan to foster relationships within the workplace to keep the District running smoothly?
A: You foster relationships with good management staff. Each manager looking after his own department. Keeping the lines of communication open. Rewarding staff members for doing an awesome job. It comes to hiring the right people, which the district has done a pretty good job of.