District of Kent Q&A: John Wouda

District of Kent: Wouda, John - council candidate

  • Nov. 14, 2014 4:00 p.m.

Q: What do you see as the main issue in Agassiz, and how do you propose council can address it?

A: The main issue is an attitude shift by management staff. From the moment someone walks into the District office, to when they have completed their project, that person should be getting VIP treatment and support. They are the ones creating jobs for district employees and providing new opportunities for our communities.  I constantly hear complaints of how the District makes it difficult for people, across the board, to start and complete projects-farmers, developers, the business community, and even event planners. The doing-business process needs to be streamlined, the district staff needs to be capable and forward looking to serve the public, rather than increasing barriers, lengthening the development process, and discouraging new economic activity.

The council needs to ensure the need for this attitude change and implement a plan to improve this behavioral change. And if that doesn’t work, resignation(s) will be required.

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: Benefits in providing tax breaks to businesses or farms: when cost of doing business is reduced and encouraged by the local government ie reduction in DCC’s, waiver of fees, will leave the employers with more money to invest, which can produce more employment, stimulate economic growth, and the outcome is more services to all people.

Pitfalls in providing tax breaks to businesses or farms: there should be no pitfalls. A tax break should coincide with an aggressive campaign to strum up business and support, to get those cash registers ringing more!

Q:  While the community elects representatives, 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: I plan to have open communication within the staff of our District.  I will work on prioritizing needs and wants of this community, will help solve problems, encourage all staff to treat each other as co-workers to achieve our community goals.  Will also set in place an exit for those who don’t feel that this is where they can best use their talents.

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