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 email@example.com.
Above all, please remember to vote!