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Frequently Asked Questions

What is your # 1 priority?

My #1 priority is economic development. We need to create an environment that actively promotes and enables businesses to locate here. This has many benefits to our community.

  • Increases the tax base and revenue so that we don’t always have to go to our citizens for more tax dollars
  • Brings higher paying jobs to our community – making Vernon a place where local businesses can thrive and people support their economy
  • These employment opportunities help young individuals and families of all ages become sustainable and keep them in Vernon to live and play here.

Through a climate of strong economic development we can stop the migration of young people and families from leaving our community. This is my #1 burning issue. This will also create an economic climate for more young people and families to move here to live.

What are your ideas for economic development?

One area I would like to go after is the Hi-Tech sector. These are generally higher paying jobs and careers. We have so much to offer with the quality of life and lifestyle we have in our community. This leads directly to the next common question.

What is your vision for downtown Vernon?

I believe that a healthy and vibrant downtown is the center point of any community. We have many wonderful small businesses downtown. I travel with my current work and we do have much to be grateful for within our downtown. I would like to see a downtown that is a destination for citizens and tourists.

Here is an idea. We need to have more residences downtown. With more people living downtown, our downtown would see an increase in local customer traffic. This will be profitable for businesses and they would employ more people. This will create an environment where more businesses will want to be located downtown. This will bring more people to shop, eat and have coffee downtown. Now we will see more life downtown. Restaurants, Bistro’s and Coffee Houses would be open later which in turn brings more people downtown. See where I am going with this…

We could build up. I believe that we should build to the model where there is retail space on the main floor, then offices ( Hi-Tech for example) and then residences. I believe that an increase in residences downtown will in turn lead to a rejuvenation of our downtown core.  People want to be where other people are.

A priority of mine as mayor will be to actively promote and move to mixed-use developments to re-energize and revitalize downtown.

Benefits of mixed-use development include:

  • greater housing variety and density, more affordable housing (smaller units), life-cycle housing (starter homes to larger homes to senior housing)
  • reduced distances between housing, workplaces, retail businesses, and other amenities and destinations
    better access to fresh, healthy foods (as food retail and farmers markets can be accessed on foot/bike or by transit)
  • more compact development, land-use synergy (e.g. residents provide customers for retail which provide amenities for residents)
  • stronger neighborhood character, sense of place
  • walkable, bike-able neighborhoods, increased accessibility via transit, both resulting in reduced transportation costs
  • Jobs – supporting and facilitating employment opportunities that can help individuals and families become sustainable and save for their future

What does your wife think of your decision to run for mayor?

Excellent question. We are both passionate citizens of Vernon. Jane is very supportive and behind me 100%. We are a team and we make decisions together and we believe that this is the right time. We realize and are fully aware of the demands on the mayor. I am totally prepared to give 100% of my time to our community when I am elected as your mayor.

Please feel free to contact me at jamieforvernonmayor@gmail.com.

Above all, please remember to vote!

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4 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Hi Jamie, I am one of Jane’s co-workers, I have enjoyed working many years along side her, I agree with how you describe her so when she told me you were running for Mayor I was very interested in getting to know about you.
    While I understand your priorities and where they fit into the Mayor’s role and are very important to running a city and keep it going, I am more concerned at this point the things that have happened in the past year or so that have impacted Vernonites every day living.
    I of course am talking about the recycle program for one. And moving of the tourism sites for another.
    I believe that the City Council is more than just managing the business aspect of our city.
    They should be our voice when other governments make choices for us without consultation. I think that the current council probably knew about both the mentioned situations way ahead of time and I further believe the people of Vernon should have been able to vote on both issues. I would like to see us be able to vote more on these kinds of issues and would prefer a Mayor and counsel who is willing to stand up and fix this so we can choose for our own city what the majority wants instead of what a few elected people believe what is best.
    I saw no commonsense in either of the decisions that were made on these issues.

    When I see commonsense on the smaller issues I have much more confidence that the Mayor will use that same commonsense in making the bigger picture of business and economic development of Vernon happen throughout his term.

    Thank you for listening.
    Candis Hansen

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    • Good evening Candis,

      Thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Your comments are important to me. I totally agree with you Candis. There is so much I could say to your email but it is summed up in one of the reasons I am running for mayor. I want to be your voice and the voice for our fine citizens. I have talked to many people and one of the themes that I hear consistently is the people don’t believe that their voice is heard and that their say matters. I believe it is time to change this.

      Thank you once again for reaching out.

      Sincerely,
      Jamie

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  2. Hello Jamie,

    I like how you think. My largest problem with past councils is the waste of funds. Purchasing property in the millions, paying high costs to demolish buildings to turn them into parking lots or holding properties for projects not yet approved. How will you as a politician ensure that we stop wasting money like this at council. Perfect example of this is all the land purchased around the Elks hall for a new cultural center that would house a library, museum, and art gallery. The old medical clinic behind Greyhound that is now a sidewalk. The house on Lakeshore that was bought to possibly expand Cummins rd to Lakeshore.

    I also want to know what your plan is for transit. Transit released a plan on improving the system over 25 years. The problem is what BC Transit views as an adequate system in 25 years is where we need to be today. Honestly the system we have does nothing to serve the working class or younger generation. If you want to attract high tech companies they will be running 2 shifts. Workers will need to be at work at decent times and will want to use transit to shop and play. Workers will live Up Silver Star, Preditor, and Kelowna. What is your vision for transit?

    Will you take the lead on getting rid of parking meters that drive business to the north and have aided in killing off the downtown?

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    • Good evening Donald,

      Thank you for your comments. I hear you and your frustration. I believe it is all about accountability Donald. I,like you, see many things happening that I shake my head at in wonder. This is why I am running for mayor, to keep city hall accountable. I believe in the voice of our citizens and that we are in a partnership together in running the city.

      With regards to transit, I do hear the concerns and I share your frustration. I will have to look at transit further and I have read the transit plan. Saying this, I do realize that to bring transit to a level that our citizens want and expect, there will be a cost. Transit is important and we will have to look harder how we can improve transit to where it needs to be. I will definitely be looking into this Donald.

      I hear you on the parking meters. Parking meters are just one of the issues we have downtown. I will also be looking into how we do business downtown. One of my priorities as mayor is our downtown. Below are the my answers to the questions I submitted for the Downtown Vernon Association forum that was held on October 20th.

      Jamie Morrow, Mayoral Candidate

      Answers to the Downtown Vernon Association October 20 Mayoral Candidate Forum

      The City Centre Neighbourhood Plan was adopted by Council on November 14, 2011.

      “The community has envisioned a vibrant city centre where people of all ages and backgrounds live, work and play. Thriving local business, NEW JOBS and HOUSING, stream-side trails, a diverse arts and entertainment culture, green space and public amenities draw residents, employees and VISITORS to the area. The City Centre is the heart of the region and a source of local pride. The City Centre Neighbourhood Plan offers policies and tools to achieve the community’s vision for Vernon’s City Centre’.

      1. As Mayor what will you do to retain, attract, and support Downtown as a place of employment? Ie. Youth, young families, skilled workers.

      I believe that a healthy and vibrant downtown is the heart of a strong community. We have many wonderful small businesses downtown. I have the opportunity to travel with my current work and I sincerely recognize that we do have much to be grateful for within our downtown. I would like to see a downtown that is a destination for citizens and tourists.

      We need to continue to promote the lifestyle and regional benefits that Vernon has to offer to attract new businesses, youth, young families and skilled workers within and outside our community. I believe that this starts with question # 5.
      Along with the CCP, one of our OCP’s Guiding Principles is:

      “Revitalize the Downtown

      Reinforce Vernon’s City Centre as the key redevelopment area in the city. Strategic infrastructure investments, policies and programs promote development that results in more jobs, businesses, attractions and residents locating in the area.”

      We need to act now towards mixed-use developments downtown. We need to build up, go vertical. I believe that we should build to the model where there is retail space on the main floor, then offices (High-Tech for example) and then residences. I believe that an increase in residences downtown will in turn lead to a rejuvenation of our downtown core. People want to be where other people are.

      With more people living downtown, our downtown would see an increase in local customer traffic. This increased traffic will be profitable for businesses and they would employ more people. This will create an environment where more businesses will want to be located downtown. This will bring more people to shop, eat and have coffee downtown. Now we will see more life downtown. Restaurants, Bistro’s and Coffee Houses would be open later which in turn brings more people downtown. See where I am going with this….

      Right now the downtown core seems to turn off at 5:00pm – even on the weekends. There is nothing other than a couple of hotspots where people may stay out after dinner. The downtown Friday market was a good start but I think about Kelowna – they are ‘open’ downtown and people go for the culture, the excitement and the life. We want a place where people work, eat and live downtown.

      The large vacant retail space is a huge issue. Just one idea is to make this a local indoor market where people can rent small space kiosk type sections.

      A priority of mine as mayor will be to actively promote and move to mixed-use developments to reenergize and revitalize downtown.

      Benefits of mixed-use development include:

      • greater housing variety and density, more affordable housing (smaller units), life-cycle housing (starter homes to larger homes to senior housing)

      • reduced distances between housing, workplaces, retail businesses, and other amenities and destinations

      • better access to fresh, healthy foods (as food retail and farmers markets can be accessed on foot/bike or by transit)

      • more compact development, land-use synergy (e.g. residents provide customers for retail which provide amenities for residents)

      • stronger neighborhood character, sense of place

      • walkable, bike-able neighborhoods, increased accessibility via transit, both resulting in reduced transportation costs

      The downtown City Centre and mixed-use developments are a top priority of mine as mayor.

      Taking this a step further, as mayor, one of the sectors I would like to attract to downtown is the high-tech sector. These are generally higher paying skilled jobs and careers employing mainly younger people and younger people with families.

      2. As Mayor, what will you do to combat both real and perceived safety challenges Downtown?

      I think the safety challenges are a combination of real and perceived. We need to enact a campaign that promotes the strengths and benefits of downtown – from the unique businesses to the wonderful selection of bistros and restaurants to the great selection of coffee houses etc.. We truly have a beautiful downtown with so much to offer. The more people that we bring into the downtown to shop, wander the streets and enjoy the amenities we have downtown, the more that people will talk about the benefits of downtown as a safe destination. Negativity leads to more negativity.

      We need to take over our downtown. People have to believe and feel safe. This is almost self-correcting, by having more people downtown for reasons like coffee, entertainment etc., there will be more people. When there are more people, the feeling of safety increase – like the sunshine festival – surrounded by people of the same mind. The negative element in our community will be less prevalent in the downtown core if there is more population around. Focusing on the positive that we do have a safe downtown, and building on this, will lead to a more positive downtown environment.

      What will you do to combat both real and perceived parking challenges Downtown?

      I am not naive to the parking challenges downtown. If we take out the meters, people will complain that there is no parking because many people will take advantage of this. If we leave the meters people will complain that there is no parking downtown. I believe that my answers above will help to alleviate the negatives of parking downtown. When the downtown becomes a destination and a safe, cool and fun place to shop, people will want to come downtown and will park and walk because they want to be downtown. Every community large or small has parking issues. We have to change the mindset of people wanting to park downtown. If we create the environment that they want to be there, they will park and walk the short distance to get where they want to be.

      3. ‘Fostering growth in the local business community is a key objective of the CCNP’. As Mayor, what is your plan to attract new business to the Downtown core? Ie. Filling vacant storefronts, encouraging new developments.

      As well as my answers above that pertain to question # 3, as mayor, I would push to promote a shop local campaign. In business, we want to retain our customers. As a city, our residents are our customers. As mayor, I would push for a campaign that builds on a sense of community pride that supports our local businesses and economy. Encouraging our residents to support our local economy simply makes sense. A couple of ideas are profiling local businesses and entrepreneurs and our abundance of local food products as a sampling. There has to be diversity downtown to attract people to go. We have some staple businesses and they’ve become destination businesses. People go because they are there. We need more people who think of the downtown as a place to go for a walk and browse. Promoting shop local and profiling the downtown core is a priority of mine.

      4. As Mayor, how will you maximize downtown’s strengths and minimize downtown’s weaknesses?

      Promoting all the benefits of downtown that I have mentioned above will maximize the strengths. As mayor, promoting a sense of community by supporting our local businesses, promoting a shop local campaign, profiling local businesses and entrepreneurs will lead to more business downtown. By building mixed-use developments will demonstrate that we have faith in our community and that we are open for business. Construction is always a good sign and the downtown will start to benefit from this. Entrepreneurs from within our community and outside our community will see us progressing and want to locate downtown to capitalize on the future growth. It has to make good business sense to be there. Businesses need to be able to see the traffic and picture the benefit from more people being down there. We need to make downtown top of mind for people by promoting a fun and unique shopping experience.

      5. ‘The CCNP provides a wide range of housing options to meet the various needs of the population. Housing is close to quality public spaces and a range of public and private services and amenities’. As Mayor, how will you encourage vertical growth? Ie. Residential housing.

      As mayor, a priority of mine is going vertical with mixed-use developments. I have also mentioned many of the benefits in question #1. I want to see more residences downtown and mixed-use developments will provide this opportunity. When people live downtown, they attract people to visit. This is win-win for the City Centre and our citizens. I mentioned one of the main benefits is greater housing variety and density, more affordable housing (smaller units), life-cycle housing (starter homes to larger homes to senior housing). More opportunities for youth and young families will lead to a rejuvenated and energized City Centre.

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