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Election 2014: Borrowing for Infrastructure

October 24, 2014

Election-2014The Chamber is asking all candidates a series of business related questions so you have the information you need to make an informed voting choice.  Questions and answers will be posted here twice a week.  Check back regularly and follow the Chamber on Facebook for notification of new posts.

Question 4: What is your position on borrowing for new capital projects such as cultural facilities or infrastructure. How would you involve the business community in a discussion about this issue, primarily as it impacts on business taxation?

Candidates for Council

Robert HackingRobert-Hacking

Borrowing for major capital projects allows the residents that will see the immediate benefit from such projects be responsible for the cost of the project. 

As with your own business, we must first have key plans in place to identify the project needs and the funding required so we are not reactive in our actions.  In the next 4 years, we will see significant plans be developed such as: the Recreation Master Plan, the Community Cultural Plan, the Sewer Master Plan, in addition to major water twinning projects.  Our business community is a key partner in such discussions, and will be part of the critical community engagement that we undertake.

Capital projects have great impact to the appeal of a community as well as its financial position for decades.  It is also a serious responsibility that requires stewardship that looks beyond the next four years.

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Bruce HallquistBruce-Hallquist

 

We should only be borrowing money when absolutely necessary, for a project that is at the end of its life, hopefully after some grant money has been awarded and with the borrowing interest rates being favorable. Anything of a major nature would be involved in community consultation. There is just no way around these things not having an tax impact on all parts of the community, but I will, as I always have, try to get the best value for dollars spent and a project in magnitude that is appropriate going into the future for Summerland. Alternate sources of non tax revenue from non revenue producing community assets, such as the gravel extraction plan that is going to be in place shortly,will help fund new capital works.

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 Doug HolmesDoug-Holmes

Given the municipality’s debt load situation, new borrowing should be seen as a last resort. We have over-extended ourselves in recent years. Sometimes borrowing is necessary because cutting capital budgets for short-term cost savings can result in long-term expenses. But Council needs to become a better borrower; get more return from borrowed funds and keep the long term in mind. Careful planning is needed to prioritize and determine timescales for infrastructure upgrades. All economic strategies and development plans should consider the impact on taxation, and all will require engagement with local stakeholders including the business community. The availability of provincial or federal funding for specific projects will also have an impact on priorities. And we need to look for opportunities to develop cost-sharing partnerships with businesses and community organizations. Summerland Council requires fresh thinking to re-imagine local infrastructure as more collaborative and participatory, more sustainable and effective.

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Denise MacDonalddenise-macdonald

Don’t overextend on projects unless they are critical to resident’s public safety and health during times of economic strain.

Would re-instate a Finance Committee composed of community members with diverse financial experience to consult with.

Continue to foster a relationship between staff and council based on co-operation and trust so that all internal ideas of cost savings can be investigated.

Recommend that council adopt a 10 year Strategic Financial Plan.

Build a Strategic Financial Plan that is accessible to the residents. The greater the input from the community, the greater and more resilient the Plan.

Investigate setting some debt cap limits for the District.

Manage capital costs and build reserves for cultural facilities and infrastructure.

Need for creative ideas to make taxes work harder.

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 Daniel Papadopoulos

Response not available at publication

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 Janet PeakeJanet-Peake

Borrowing money for any of the suggested projects should never be undertaken lightly. It should be discussed seriously and thoroughly by council and with the business members through an organization such as the Chamber of Commerce. The impacts, implications and the reasons for a project should be presented and discussed with the business community and the public at large.

Some infrastructure projects are mandated by the province to be completed by a certain date or an emergency situation occurs such as a major roof repair or a bridge washing out and those situation may require a swifter decision than planning for a new capital project. In an emergency it should still be possible to put the situation and financial impact out to the business community via the Chamber of Commerce and via the media to the general public. If the economy is in a slow period and the municipality has low capital reserves ( that is savings ) then non essential borrowing should not be considered.

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 ken-rodockerKen Rodocker

It is important to improve our infrastructure and look at possible cultural facilities.  So, yes, I would look at the feasabilitily of borrowing funds in a fiscally repsonsible manner to accomplish this.  We could have a forum, based on the Business Adivsory Commission format, using a webpage link facilitiated by the Chamber of Commerce.

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Mark SmedMarkSmed

Borrowing only makes sense when the district is looking at doing large projects, beyond what the town can pay for in a single year.  This weekend I read some of the hundreds of pages of reports on the condition of various components that make up our infrastructure. Borrowing to pave roads or replace an aging water line does not make sense.  Unfortunately, if these systems have been neglected over other projects, it may be required to either increase taxes or borrow funds. I would not support any change to our tax structure until I have a better understanding of our financial situation and the condition of these systems

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Erin TrainerErin-Trainer

I am not against borrowing money for infrastructure projects if there is an urgency to get them completed. As well, if provincial or federal grants are available, I believe it’s worthwhile to make use of this money and borrow the remainder (if required) to complete a project.

Much of Summerland’s infrastructure is aging and will need to be upgraded in the near future. To avoid borrowing, I think it’s a wise decision to establish a capital reserve fund. Money from district land sales and/or gravel sales could go toward the fund each year.

I think it’s vital to include the business community in these discussions. This community requires good infrastructure in order to conduct business – but at the same time – can’t afford to pay much more in taxes.  If a borrowing opportunity did present itself, it would be critical to hear from business owners through a consultation process.

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Martin (Marty) Van AlphenMartin-(Marty)-Van-Alphen

I am not too keen on borrowing money for new capital projects such as cultural facilities or infrastructure. My preference will always be to seek out grants such as those which have enabled us to complete the round-a-bouts and flood control on Prairie Valley Road. We have also traditionally done very well with partnerships or joint-use agreements such as our Recreation Centre, Centre Stage Theatre and more recently proposed Skate Board Park. The Municipality is also actively exploring a way of Investing in our own Community through RRSP’s (please see more information on this exciting initiative on the July 14th, 2014 Council Report titled “Local Investment for Economic Development Opportunity Development Cooperatives”). Finally, I will continue to lobby senior government to provide funding for projects such as Councils #1 priority which is the water-twinning in Garnett Valley.

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 Richard Barkwill

In his report to council on October 14, Tom Day the CAO, said Summerland had a “massive infrastructure deficit that is growing and growing”…. ”just getting farther and farther behind” This is the responsibility of the existing council and their spending. My proposal to extend sewer to the Municipal lands at the foot of Cartwright would see those lands increase in value far more than the cost of the service extensions. The land could then be sold with the profits used to fund new capital projects. Putting this land on the market also has the benefit of satisfying all of Summerland’s needs for developable land in mid-term future and makes it economic to develop the land beyond Deer Ridge next, including the municipal land recently taken out of the ALR. Whether you are for or against the land swap this plan makes the swap entirely unnecessary plus funds our needed infrastructure.

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Toni BootToni-Boot

 I am certainly open to the possibility of borrowing for capital projects, but would agree to doing so only after a comprehensive review of the proposal.

My decision would only be made after I feel I fully understand the financial implications and I am satisfied pertinent questions are favourably answered including, though not limited to:

-Where does the proposed project stand priority-wise amongst other capital projects?
-Will the project make Summerland more self-reliant, i.e., fill a need in Summerland or  be the means toward filling a need?
-Will the project benefit the majority of citizen
-Are there cost-sharing programs that can assist with funding.
-Are there fundraising opportunities that are appropriate for the capital project? For example, cultural events and/or programs to raise awareness and garner financial input from within and outside our town?
-Are business and/or investment opportunities possible as a direct or indirect result of the capital project?

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Erin CarlsonErin-Carlson

If we need to rebuild infrastructure to replace existing infrastructure, we will have to find ways to pay for improvements.  If cultural facilities begin wearing out and the people rely and use these spaces on a regular basis, they should be replaced as needed.

We must realize that needs are different than wants.

Borrowing money is a burden on all tax payers of Summerland and all residents benefit from improvements.  Better infrastructure and cultural facilities may attract more business!

There are processes and regulations in place and we elected officials must follow them.

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John DornJohn-Dorn

Saving up for projects is always preferable to borrowing. If we are going to borrow, especially for infrastructure, now is the time with low interest rates.

Involving the community at the drafting stage of projects avoids dis-affecting taxpayers after the fact. My policy of consulting with citizen and community committees supports this approach.

It would have to be a sizable cultural project to warrant borrowing unless sports facilities such as the pool and arena are included.

In order to entice new businesses and entrepreneurs (which I maintain is top priority) our infrastructure and amenities have to be first-class. Investing wisely for the future pays off.

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Marty Fisher

Response not available at publication

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 Joel GreggJoel-Gregg

Debt is a tool, like a sharpened knife.  In the hands of a skilled surgeon  it can be very useful, but in the hands of a mad man it can be lethal.  Being 41 years old with boys 10 and 7 years old and being heavily invested in our community, I have a personal interest in making sure our community is well maintained, both financially and infra-structurally (made up word).  Borrowing is not only a great way to leverage our assets into capital projects, but it also offers a way to invest in our local financial institutions (who in turn invest back in our community).
If borrowing makes sense, and if we as a community stand to prosper, I have no problem wielding this tool.  Let’s ensure we place “skilled surgeons” around our council table and not “mad men.”

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Candidates for Mayor

David GregoryDavid-Gregory

USE COMMON SENSE. With respect to a cultural facility, Summerland’s  long-time community plan was to link a new Cultural/Event Centre with a new library. Joined buildings share facilities such as staff rooms, restaurant, classrooms and makes a cultural/event centre more realistic and affordable. Joined community buildings also allow for greater grant opportunities. Three current councilors rejected such a proposal, a proposal fully supported by the business community.  Loss of this cultural/event centre is loss for our community and business community.

With respect to infrastructure, linking projects to grants is imperative. A weakness of  Councils including mine,  was not  delegating a staff member to explore grant applications. We are simply missing too many opportunities for financial assistance.

Communication between Council & Chamber already exists and should be maintained. We should use the Federal Gas Tax fund to improve the safety for roads and sidewalks especially around our schools and senior facilities

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Orv RobsonOrv-Robson

We have two separate borrowing ventures in this question.  In my view infrastructure would take precedent over borrowing for cultural facilities.  If Federal and Provincial Funding Grants (Build Canada Fund) were made available for either project, then as a Council we would have to look and ensure we had the required one-third Municipal portion available to fulfill our obligation to the project.  Business to Residential taxation ratio is 2.7 to 1, which has a significant impact on the bottom line for business.  If the loan is paid back in five years, it is not necessary to go to a referendum.  These ventures are costly and will likely necessitate public input through a referendum, which would ensure dialogue with the businesses.  That is why it is important to have growth, to meet continuous demands for tax dollars and have a healthy business core.”

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Peter WatermanPeter-Waterman

Functional status of facilities and infrastructure must be updated if there is not already a recent report. The ideal situation is to set aside replacement funds over time. Repairs and operational costs have to be factored in. At some time operational costs and repairs and maintenance exceed the cost of borrowing. Therefore some combination of allocated reserves and borrowing has to be considered. If such potential borrowing can be assisted with grant funds, a project becomes realistic to consider. Under current regulations if the borrowing period exceeds 5 years the project must go to referendum or the use of the alternative approval process takes place. The business community is a critical part of the discussion as their current share of the multiple of residential taxation ranges between 1.95 for class 5 and 2.7 for class 6 businesses. Thorough consultation must take place.

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 Roch Fortinroch-fortin

A decision to spend funds on Capital Projects is an important, yet complicated, decision.  Borrowing monies in order to construct these improvements complicates the decision process even further.  Often the Provincial and Federal Governments have grant programs available for municipalities to use for Infrastructure Upgrades, Cultural, Sporting, Convention & Health Projects or Downtown Re-vitalization  Projects.  It is my position that every dollar spent by Summerland, needs to have a maximum economic and social impact on the businesses and residents of Summerland.  At the same time spending monies on project should have minimum impact on the tax paid by everyone in the District.

Prior to making final decisions on these types of initiatives, a clear picture of the costs and benefits needs to be prepared and openly debated.  As major participants in the taxation process,business owners in Summerland need to be informed and have the opportunity to present their opinion on the matter.

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Christopher Boisvert-GilmanChris-Boisvert-Gilman

With the formation of the Summerland Community Component Working Group – Police, Arts, Tourism, Agriculture, Developers, Environment, Youth, Seniors and Business in particular, new capital projects are feasible. Brain storming includes potential impact on business taxation and highlights the SUMMERLAND FIRST PROGRAM. Spending on new projects must show Wisdom.

August 25, `14, Summerland’s council gave $60,000 Okanagan Library that already had beautification monies. A 17 year old said: `I would have put the monies towards fixing the leaking arena roof.”

Summerland must have a plan for maintenance for infrastructure.  Summerland has a pothole program. A used asphalt paving machines costs approximately $40,000; working with a local trades program, students work on the machine [winter], experience a practicum [spring] and full-time summer employment; our pothole workers could start paving by 2015.Christopher brings to the Mayor`s seat innovative cost effective thinking with open, accountable and fresh approaches to problem solving!”

Shalom.


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 Celebrating Small Business

October 23, 2014

It’s Small Business Week in Canada – the national celebration of entrepreneurs and the contributions of their small businesses to our country’s economy.   Across British Columbia, 98 percent of businesses are small businesses, employing more than a million people.  And here in Summerland, small businesses are the heart and soul of our community and the engine of our local economy.

Some of the Chamber’s jobs are to promote our member businesses, invite investment in Summerland, connect with other organizations who can provide expertise and/or funding to our local businesses and partner with the District of Summerland on economic development initiatives.

This year, we’ve done this through the creation of a comprehensive new investment and relocation guide, something our community sorely needed.  With financial support from the District, we’ve also created and launched a library of economic development videos.  You can check these out below, or on our web site. And we’ve held events to connect with sectors we don’t always hear from, most recently our trades businesses and a growing number of agricultural technology businesses.

But it’s important to remember that celebrating and supporting our small businesses is not just the Chamber’s job.  It involves all of us.

We have more than 700 licensed businesses in Summerland and they cover the gamut of every possible product and service.  Do you need something beautiful to wear?  It’s here.  Exotic ingredients for your favorite recipe?  They’re here.   Services for your car or your pet.  Here.  Every possible kind of health and alternative care provider?  Check and check.  You can find them all here in Summerland and on the business directory of the Chamber’s web site.

In fact, there’s very little that you need to leave town to buy.  And the cost of gas and travel time make it even more attractive to shop locally.  Don’t forget that the owners of these businesses are local parents, coaches, volunteers and your neighbors and they are making a difference to the health of our community every single day.  Support them this week and every week and celebrate small business.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at manager@summerlandchamber.com or our Chamber President, Arlene Fenrich, at president@summerlandchamber.com .

Christine Petkau is the Manager of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce. 

This article was also published in the Summerland Review, October 22, 2014

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Election 2014: Controlling Taxes

October 22, 2014

Questions-to-candidatesThe Chamber is asking all candidates a series of business related questions so you have the information you need to make an informed voting choice.  Questions and answers will be posted here twice a week.  Check back regularly and follow the Chamber on Facebook for notification of new posts.

Question 3: The business community is critical to Summerland’s long-term viability. What strategies do you think Summerland should adopt to control tax and fee increases over the next four-year term and how would you involve the business community in this discussion?

Candidates for Council

Richard Barkwill 

The people of Summerland question the value of previous expenditures and whether they reflect the proper priorities in view of our current level of debt.  For example, many of the people I have spoken to find the new electronic signs on the highway aesthetically lacking and unable to perform their intended function because they are too difficult to read at highway speeds.

Furthermore, their $100,000 cost represents approximately 1% of Summerland’s property tax revenue. Property taxes went up 2% this year, that means half of this year’s tax increase went directly to pay for the highway signs. Taxpayers feel that this $100,000 could have been put to better use and I agree.

Proper consultation with the business community will help ensure spending priorities are in line with community expectations and that there is a reasonable value proposition attached to all expenditures.

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 Toni BootToni-Boot

It is difficult to hold business taxes and fees at current rates, given the last few years of spending beyond budgeted resources. But that is a reality. We need an experienced Economic Development Officer to:

1) attract businesses to fill the new Bentley Road Industrial Park (an existing resource). New businesses (thus new tax revenue) will help alleviate the tax burden currently shouldered by Summerland businesses.

2) in collaboration with the business community, Chamber, Council liaison, and others, create a Business/Economic Development Plan for our town. Again, the more viable businesses we have in Summerland, the more the costs of doing business here can be shared without having to face large tax and fee increases. Let’s work on being innovative and being open to new ideas. We can create a unique ‘destination’ downtown that includes elements that are open for business elsewhere too: storefront retail AND global or e-commerce retail.

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 Erin CarlsonErin-Carlson

Pressure to increase costs for current businesses could be alleviated as more unique business owners join in the growing variety in Summerland.   Worth exploring is a group recently brought to my attention, called Accelerate Okanagan. Their mission is “to increase the number of technology companies that start and grow in the Okanagan” (accelerateokanagan.ca). Technology and science have always happened in this town and could be even more visible if we choose to focus on such sectors.

The business community needs to continue to partake in active discussions to explore avenues for increased local and valley wide presence.  We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, however we should be prepared to put energy into making the conversations effective. We are living in exciting times and by bringing new ideas and partnerships to town, everyone will benefit. Summerland is embracing change and has a very bright future if we continue along this path.

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John DornJohn-Dorn

Summerland needs to attract more companies that will add to the business tax roles. With so many firms struggling, the last thing they need is another 2% tax increase like this year.  A larger business tax role takes the pressure off of increasing taxes for both shops and homeowners.  The Bentley Road industrial area is a good start but it must be fostered.

Council needs to re-constitute citizen and business committees.  If all stakeholders, including businesses, are consulted in the draft stages of District matters, budgets and policy can be scrutinized to ensure every taxpayer receives value for money. Council needs to re-focus on spending our taxes on critical infrastructure projects and economic/cultural promotion only. We have the amenities and lifestyle that is attractive to potential investors. Summerland simply needs to get out and compete. The Chamber has created the tools to boost Summerland, now let’s market ourselves.

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 Marty Fisher

(response not available by publication) 

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 Joel GreggJoel-Gregg

As a downtown business and commercial property owner, I have paid $50,000 in property taxes and fees over the past 3 years.  If any of the other 20 candidates have paid more, I will shake their hand and give them my first vote!  I am willing to bet that none have a more vested interest than I do in controlling our tax and fee increases.  For our next municipal budget, I will take a close look at how our business taxes and fees are calculated and ensure that they are reasonable and “business-friendly.”  As for involving the business community, how much more involved can a business owner get than to gain a seat at the council table?  I have attended several business-after-business sessions and plan to attend more regularly.  Feel free to share your concerns and comments with me then, or any other time.

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Robert HackingRobert-Hacking

Much more revenue to the District is realized through a 2% increase in assessed value (growth) than through a 2% tax increase.  As fixed costs rise with inflation, we must continue to pursue sources of revenue other than taxation and fee increases.

Partnerships are critical to good discussion of concerns and ideas that lead to real solutions.  The Summerland Chamber is a significant advocate on behalf of local merchants, and has been a key partner in ensuring the business needs of Summerland are voiced on committees and directly to Council.

Significantly, as an active business operator in Summerland, the same concerns you have affect me directly as well.  I have stepped up as a councilor to represent small business entrepreneurs and have provided a direct voice on the issues, as I believe representation at the council table is the strongest form of involvement possible.

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Bruce HallquistBruce-Hallquist

There is no easy answers to this question of controlling taxes, when you have as much aging infrastructure in place as we do,  for the small population that we have in Summerland. 177 km of road,219km of water pipes,74km of sewer pipes,181km of electrical lines,which had a total maintenance bill of $2.6 M  in 2013,not counting any new capital works to same. We need some reasonable growth in the years to come and  need to spend money prudently to minimize any tax increases. A reasonable growth rate will help  in keeping taxes to a minimum, growing from the core out and stop  the sprawl. More people are needed to share the load ,provide some new customers for our business’s as well as some new volunteers for community organizations.

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Doug HolmesDoug-Holmes

The best way to control tax and fee increases is to stop spending money impulsively like there’s no tomorrow. Any changes to the tax regime need to be viewed holistically and fairly for all taxpayer groups — business, agriculture, homeowners, non-profits. All are critical to Summerland’s long-term viability and all struggle with taxes. I’m a long-time board member of the Lakeshore Racquets Club, a non-profit society that maintains its lakeside grounds as public green space.

Over the last two councils, the club’s municipal taxes have trebled to $20,000 annually, without any explanation. When questioned, a senior District of Summerland employee (who’s no longer working there) responded by threatening to expropriate the club’s land. I’d like to see Council treat taxpayers in a more cordial and cooperative manner. We can’t continue with the same old top-down style of governance; we have to embrace a new era of openness, engagement and respect.

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Denise MacDonalddenise-macdonald

 Be prudent with tax dollars, limiting projects to Garnet Valley water/road upgrade and other public safety projects.  Bring all stakeholders to the table to discuss ways to find efficiencies in the existing system.We may need to cut back on some services (to be determined) if economics indicate restraint is needed. Such a move needs community and stakeholder involvement to have buy-in and support during economic recovery and change.

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Daniel Papadopoulos

I don’t know extensively about business  tax structure in Summerland, tax is important, over-taxing can have serious impact to a small business.
Discussion to implement a sort of temporary tax incentive or tax break to create a desire to do business here. If business owner met quarterly, and  show support for each other.  give input on current events, there could be a better understanding of what is impacting local business.

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Janet PeakeJanet-Peake

Yes the business community is critical to Summerland’s long term viability. Her are some strategies to control taxes and fees. A municipality should look to creating revenues other than from taxes. The budget process should be required to control and / or reduce spending throughout each department. If increases are suggested by a department then comparable cost savings should be put forward as well.During tough economic times fees should be frozen whenever possible.

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 ken-rodockerKen Rodocker

To ensure business rentention, we must be careful of raising taxes and fees. Businesses cannot take an increase in taxes and fees in this current economic climate.  It is time to look at retention ideas such as a Business Advisory Commission. This would offer free assistance and advise to bussinesses, whether they be financial or otherwise.  I see only one way to reach our 700 + businesses and that would be through a webpage link facilitated by our Chamber of Commerce.  This could be an ongoing system of communication with the business community, allowing questions to be shared and answered in an open forum.

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Mark Smed

MarkSmed

I reviewed the agenda and minutes for the Economic Development Strategic Action Committee and read the District of Summerland Economic Development Forum from February 2012. Many people in the community have approached me as well.  Clearly we need a committee to facilitate economic development.

The district could provide co-op advertising funds to businesses that are marketing if the campaign includes a portion of the marketing to promote Summerland. It benefits the whole community when a campaign can present Summerland in a positive light, or bring people and dollars here.  Non-profit societies that are organizing and promoting events could receive additional funds because these organizations make Summerland a great place to live.

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Erin TrainerErin-Trainer

Taxes and fees are required to pay for district operations including staff and infrastructure. If we want to keep taxes and fees low, we need to continue to review our budget and look for places to save and/or cut. We can also continue to explore ways of generating revenue such as gravel sales, provincial and federal grants, district land sales (RCMP property) and agricultural land leases.

It is critical to involve the business community in these discussions. As a councillor, I would be open to participating in these discussions in conjunction with the chamber. It’s all about striking a balance between the services we expect and the cost we’re willing to pay.

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 Martin (Marty) Van AlphenMartin-(Marty)-Van-Alphen

The business community has a place to be involved and collectively put forward their ideas, concerns and strategies to control taxes and fee increases called the Chamber of Commerce. One suggestion to involve the whole business community in the discussion is for the Chamber and the Municipality to come together to host an Open House. The ideas which would flow from that could guide the strategic plans of both the Chamber of Commerce and the Municipality of Summerland.

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Candidates for Mayor

Christopher Boisvert-Gilman

Chris-Boisvert-Gilman

SUMMERLAND FIRST PROGRAM will help control tax and fee increases. Summerland has a reputation as unfriendly to potentially new businesses. With higher than neighbouring communities taxes and concern about increased fees, a business looking for a new home will seek a different more amenable place. Arts, Tourism, Agriculture, Developers, Seniors, Police, Youth must be on the same pagew as Businesses. We have to agree to disagree on some issues, seek common ground and build on it. Summerland businesses should be given priority and preference over Penticton, Kelowna or Burnaby! Corporately Summerland must lead by example. When we are working on the same page, new businesses will want to be a part of the Summerland First Program too. Summerland is not the provincial or federal government. Fiscally we can ill afford to behave as if it were. We all need to be ready to do whatever is good for Summerland.

Shalom.

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Roch Fortinroch-fortin

Taxes and fees paid by the business community are substantial and provide valuable revenue to the District of Summerland.  The burden of these taxes to each and every business is significant.  My economic strategy is to reduce this burden on business.  It is  my opinion that the best way for Summerland to reduce the burden of fees and taxes is to work with businesses to increase their revenues thereby increasing their net profit.  This can be done by ensuring Summerland attracts more consumers (visitors or local residents) and provides incentives for them so spend more time within our boundaries.

The role of the District should be to attract consumer traffic and the role of the business community is to find ways for consumers to stay longer and spend more. Citizens of Western Canada need to become aware of where Summerland is and how much we have to offer them.  Festivals, sporting events, attending business and tourism trade fares, entering Summerland Floats in selective parades and advertising are just a few approaches we could take to increase revenues and thereby reduce the burden of taxes on our business community.

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David GregoryDavid-Gregory

Taxes and fees pay for costs of municipal services. Of those servicing costs, almost 50% are utility costs. USE COMMON SENSE. Some of us tried to separate our water system years ago, so later we would need a much smaller, less expensive water treatment plant. Some of us tried to separate the water system when the roads were dug up for sewer. Councils disagreed. This was a multi-million dollar mistake….and today and into the future, your taxes and fees will be paying for that mistake! The strategy for the next four years should be to identify which servicing costs are increasing at the greatest rate and attempt to reduce those rising costs. Recent Council decisions have made cost controls more difficult. When the Chamber of Commerce presents their quarterly reports, their report should include recommendations from the business community. And Council should listen and respond.

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 Orv RobsonOrv-Robson

“Healthy business requires a vibrant community and remaining healthy creates many challenges to business owners. Provincially businesses are taxed three to one over residential taxes.  This can cripple the growth of business in a small community, therefore, it is extremely important that tax increases be held to a minimum, I will continue to support minimal tax increases. Population growth is imperative to stimulate business.  As a council we are prohibited from supporting individual business ventures. Our role is to ensure the infrastructure, services and planning are in place to attract business to Summerland.

If I am elected mayor it would be incumbent upon me to listen to the business community.  To promote the right climate for attracting businesses that will fit into our present resources, farming, wineries, industry and tourism requires working in consultation with the Chamber and the businesses.”

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Peter WatermanPeter-Waterman

Property taxes, levies and fees are for operational purposes, and replacement of everything from equipment to infrastructure. In Summerland we have a number of property tax classes but primarily class six (retail and business) and some class five (light industrial). In addition there are levies that we all pay; for sewer, water, and electrical. Increases are related to cost of living but ours is a different basket of goods that is a little higher than the homeowner’s. We have very little control over some of these costs. In fact many of these costs are running at over 3 percent and tax increases have been kept at 2 percent. Our recently restructured finance department is better positioned to evaluate our position. Open discussions with business, council and municipal staff will assist in assessing business needs and therefore help the municipality adjust to what is really required to meet those needs.


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Election 2014: Growth and Investment

October 17, 2014

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The Chamber is asking all candidates a series of business related questions so you have the information you need to make an informed voting choice.  Questions and answers will be posted here twice a week.  Check back regularly and follow the Chamber on Facebook for notification of new posts.

Question 2: List 3 specific steps (and their desired results) that you would take to encourage growth and investment in Summerland.

Candidates for Council

Martin (Marty) Van AlphenMartin-(Marty)-Van-Alphen

I believe:

We need to aggressively promote and advertise our Bentley Road Industrial area as it’s great to have the industrial land available but the rest of British Columbia and the world needs to know.

To encourage growth we need to have the appropriate land zoning in place to offer multiple housing options including market entry homes for young families.

To encourage investment I will continue to take every opportunity to meet with any and all potential investors new or currently in Summerland as I have done numerous times in the past.

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Erin TrainerErin-Trainer

  1. I would support the Summerland Chamber with its ongoing initiatives to promote Summerland as a tourism destination and a place for investment. I would offer to be a liaison between council, businesses and the chamber.
  1. I would continue to move forward with infrastructure upgrades and projects. I would also help identify future projects, and start planning how we’re going to pay for them.

Summerland needs good infrastructure in order to facilitate growth and investment. For example, we need to upgrade our water treatment systems to better manage resources for current and future agricultural businesses.

Roads, sewer systems and recreational facilities cost millions of dollars, but are vital for a prosperous and healthy community.

  1. Finally, a small but free initiative: I would help organize a community-wide clean-up. This brings people together and keeps Summerland looking attractive. (I have organized four clean-ups in Trout Creek with excellent results!)

_____________________________

Mark SmedMarkSmed

Agri-tourism provides a large number of jobs to Summerland. We have wineries and other agricultural producers.   We need to build upon this base and support new and existing businesses.  We need to identify target markets and sell ‘Summerland’ as a brand. A catchy logo would be the umbrella that local businesses can rally under, for instance.  By promoting our brand, we market every business.

I would like to see the costs associated with improved bus service to and from Penticton. By improving transportation we now draw shoppers from Penticton. In addition, many seniors and young families can choose to live here while still having the ability to reach Penticton easily.

Finally, we need to provide better access and more opportunities to live an active lifestyle.  I have talked to families and seniors who leave town to visit other communities in the Okanagan to bird watch, hike and bicycle.

_____________________________

Ken Rodockerken-rodocker

Its easy to say more housing, fill our empty store fronts, bring in Industry. However the reality of it is we need to unite and rejuvenate. Utilize whats already here to create an economically sound community.

Invite our wineries , our produce growers and our arts community downtown to celebrate Summerland and watch it grow and prosper with our support.

Its not a three step program , we need to focus our resourses and I can not stress this enough , unite and rejuvenate our community.

My mom used to say , dont invite company over unless your house is clean.

_____________________________

Janet PeakeJanet-Peake

Response not available at publication time.

 

 

_____________________________

Daniel Papadopoulos

Encourage growth growth through business and light industry. Then there will be more jobs in the community, and more money to be spent locally. And a desired result would be to see more traffic downtown after 18:00.

_____________________________

Denise MacDonalddenise-macdonald

  • Experienced/concerned with down-loading costs of government regulations and Acts coming out of senior government. Summerland needs a council questioning the cost/benefits of new regulations.   The Multi Material Recycling Program is a good example.  Ensure costs/benefits remain sustainable or consider alternate model.
  • Establishing businesses: Put out a welcoming mat for newcomers. Ensure staff communicates clear ground rules regarding permits, taxation and zoning, establish/implement time lines. Longterm growth: Explore opportunities for creative zoning in the ALR land excluded years ago (Summerland Hills Golf Resort and area).  Consider zoning for Agri-Industrial Park.  Enable added value type ventures which would encourage innovation, sustainability, economic growth and financial resilience for the municipality and Penticton Indian Band (if supportive).   Phased development approach, building on success, as economic trends permit.
  • Existing businesses: fill gaps of service, streamlining and perhaps sharing senior municipal staff positions with Penticton/RDOS staff which could result in reduced taxes for businesses.

_____________________________

Doug HolmesDoug-Holmes

  1. Ensure the infrastructure is in place to encourage investment and growth – upgrade roads, utilities, recreational and cultural assets, etc. Companies are attracted to and benefit from efficient public works and services, good schools, healthcare, parks, leisure facilities, cultural activities, public safety, housing, and overall quality of life.
  1. Develop a Cultural Strategy to help create a more vibrant and prosperous community. Cultural activity turns communities into places of interest, and that social impact leads to an economic impact. The connection is well documented – investment in culture is essentially an economic development strategy.
  1. Come up with a community identity for Summerland by brainstorming with stakeholders and engaging the public. We need to establish what sets us apart, what’s our unique selling proposition. Then, working with the Chamber, target market that identity through psychographic segmentation rather than waste money on expensive blanket marketing campaigns.

_____________________________

Bruce HallquistBruce-Hallquist

Encourage redevelopment and new development in the downtown and lakeside  areas, making for a more sustainable community.

Encourage new industrial development in our newly zoned industrial park on Bentley Rd. creating some new jobs and tax revenue in our community.

Continue to streamline the red tape at city hall in all departments, to make it easier for business’s to set up and do business in Summerland.

_____________________________

Robert HackingRobert-Hacking

There are three significant areas of improvement we must address to enable success for all Summerland residents:

  1. Increase the availability of Market-entry housing options to provide much needed housing stock for young families and small business employees. Young families are consumers, but our production line workers and entrepreneurs need affordable housing options as well.  This will improve the core population, the demographic mix, and the customer and tax base of Summerland.
  1. A healthy range of housing options will position us to encourage relocation and investment of commercial interests to Summerland. With a notable increase in population growth and residential development, key projects such as Wharton St. and Bentley Rd Industrial Park become much more appealing to external investors.
  1. Analyze our commercial tax structure for fairness. Our business community shoulders a disproportionate share of the tax burden, are we getting comparable value for our tax dollars?

_____________________________

Joel GreggJoel-Gregg

According to Statistics Canada, between 1996 – 2011 (most recent census) we experienced a population growth rate of 6%.   Over that same period, Peachland, Oliver, and Osoyoos experienced growth rates ranging from 13-21%.  I believe growth to be integral to our collective future prosperity, and I’d like to see us target a 10% growth rate over the next four years.

  1. Ensure development land has been properly identified and allocated to achieve this goal.
  2. As I did with the corner of Kelly Ave and Jubilee Rd, other unsightly properties around town and our lake shore must be developed. This will serve to enhance our tourism industry, generate employment, and further beautify our community.
  3. Investigate an agritourism plan and initiate if non-existent, or add support if present.  With our vineyards, orchards, Research Centre, etc. we have a great opportunity to be a fantastic agritourism destination.

_____________________________

Marty Fisher

Response not available by publication time.

_____________________________

John DornJohn-Dorn

  1. I would support a Mayor’s Task Force to pursue ideas for economic development and growth in Summerland. Nobody has a “magic wand”, and by engaging all segments of the community, an on-going task force will report multiple creative action plans to spur the local economy.
  2. During the financial downturn the position of an Economic Development Officer was eliminated. Signs indicate that businesses are gaining confidence and investing again especially in neighbouring provinces. I believe it is an opportune time to re-instate that position either on a volunteer or performance based contract basis.
  3. The best way to stimulate our economy is to attract new citizens that will bring their own jobs. They are best enticed here as tourists. Summerland should partner with the Thompson-Okanagan Tourist Association to draw “prospects” to the valley. We should also budget to send representatives to trade shows and other events in Alberta to promote our unique lifestyle.

_____________________________

Erin CarlsonErin-Carlson

In order to move forward we must recognize what we have and how we can build upon it. Tourism, our town core and agriculture are pillars of our economy.

1) We have awesome mountain biking, agri-tourism, botanical gardens, farmers market, beaches, unique shops, hikes, etc. Fresh ideas and advertising work, and we should keep forging ahead with the strong start we’ve got.

2) In town, let’s start with the Wharton St. property (in stages) to enable people to move and live downtown. Let’s talk about serious incentives for downtown building owners to rent out their space at an affordable rate. We should artfully enhance downtown so that people ‘stop and look around’.

3) I would encourage interested parties to put suitable land into production, while we retain our valuable flat land near town. It’s a great time to be a farmer, so let’s encourage and enable farming.

_____________________________

Toni BootToni-Boot

  1. Set aside funding for an economic development officer. We need an experienced and educated EDO on staff whose primary mandate is to lead a collaborative group in creating an Economic Development Plan. We need a Plan before we can implement one!
  1. Insist the Mayor delegate a Councillor as support person, sounding board, collaborator, advisor, etc. to the EDO. This person is the liaison between the EDO and Council-at-Large. We need to let Staff (and Committees) present well-researched, unbiased material upon which policy can be implemented and action taken!
  1. Make it easier for folks to do business in or invest in Summerland.

This requires changes in policy – something Council is elected to put in place!

_____________________________

Richard Barkwill

Response not available by publication time.

_____________________________

Candidates for Mayor

Peter WatermanPeter-Waterman

Step one:

I would bring back a proposal submitted by T.O.T.A. to market Summerland to the rest of Canada and the world. This proposal received unanimous approval by Council in February of 2012. This was to be a pilot project with Summerland. This project would have put Summerland in the forefront of many tourist’s travel plans, with a boost in tourism dollars.

Step two:

Our recovery and growth will come from our considerable local resources. I believe that we have tremendous capacity to work together with many good ideas. I am proposing a “Mayor’s Task Force” to bring all our business players together. I believe our business, retail, development, winery, B&B, and agri-business can come up with answers.

Step Three:

There are some aspects of the proposed OCP that I agree with. We need to examine what might be useful. But we need to have a plan that we can stick with. We must create certainty for our development community. They need to be confident that investments they make are not wasted. The result will be investment with confidence as the overall economy improves.

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Orv RobsonOrv-Robson

Present Council made a concerted effort to improve our industrial base. This resulted in the Bentley Road Industrial Park, which is open and ready for development. Marketing is happening through the property owners. The Chamber of Commerce and the District of Summerland are ready to assist in the development.

Recent changes to the zoning of the downtown core, which allows more density have been implemented. Now property owners with applicable lot sizes can make application to sub-divide their property or construct Carriage Houses on appropriate size lots. I would continue to encourage these measures to increase density in our core.

Since 1996 to the census of 2011, we increased our population by 696. Over 15 years, that is less than .5% growth per year. B.C.’s average growth is 4% per year. Healthy growth is 1.5 to 2.0%. We have to increase our growth area; this is why the change to our OCP is so critical. I will work with the entire community to promote Healthy Growth which will result in a Healthy Community.

_____________________________

David GregoryDavid-Gregory

  1. Downtown Densification as per the OCP: We need more people living downtown supporting businesses. Following my term as Mayor, there has not been one 4 storey building, not one 3 storey building……yet this Council had 3 publicly owned properties where they had total control over building size.  Council chose one storey buildings. We lost eleven parking stalls on Main Street for our customers. We need a little common sense.
  2. Improve Community Profile: Summerland needs honest, transparent, professional leadership, which includes serious monitoring of costs and services: important drivers for growth and investment. Some servicing costs are increasing unsustainably. Needs to be addressed.
  3. Treating Developers Fairly: Current council is holding developers to higher standards than the District of Summerland itself follows.  i.e. major connector road specifications & groundwater management.  Treating developers fairly encourages them and others to do more business in our town.

_____________________________

Roch Fortinroch-fortin

  1. Health and wellness is the fastest growing industry in this country. Summerland has a dedicated group of health care providers as well as exceptional private and public facilities. Make Summerland a centre of excellence for research and treatment, i.e. dementia, diabetes by building on the foundations of our existing health care community.
  1. Agriculture is the backbone of Summerland and I will focus on an industry to support our farmers. Eco-agriculture tourism will promote land stewardship and strengthen the relationship between the community and the land. Such programs as Farm Stay and expanding our local farmers’ markets will attract locals and tourists alike.
  1. Become the community of festivals. I will hire on a contract basis an event coordinator to return past events and create new that will involve our colourful and diverse community. Partnering with the Chamber of Commerce would create a bridge between community, business and tourism.

____________________________

Christopher Boisvert-Gilman

Chris-Boisvert-Gilman

As Mayor I would spearhead:

  1. A Summerland Community Component Working Group;

Leaders from: Police, Business, Arts, Tourism, Agriculture, Developers, Youth and Seniors, will meet monthly (minimum) and brainstorm Summerland issues with a specific focus on growth and investment. If we are united on our approach we as a community will flourish.

  1. Policing: 2 am – 7 am = no police coverage; three police officers = prohibitive cost. Option #1: Hire second Bylaws/Peace Officer) Option #2: Hire Auxiliary policeman.

Randomly patrol the industrial areas and business downtown. Businesses like the Gold and Silver Exchange so they aren’t forced to leave due to repeated theft.

  1. “Reach out to Summerland Businesses Initiative” City Council must take a stronger position of support of all our local businesses including our agricultural business community. This means aggressively shopping/buying local more than Summerland has in the past. Lead by example!
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Election 2014: Leadership Skills

October 16, 2014

Election-2014

Summerland’s Mayor and Council manage a budget approaching 28 million/year.  Over the next four years they will deal with hundreds of separate and complex issues.  These issues often affect businesses differently than households.

This year the Chamber is asking all candidates a series of business related questions so you have the information you need to make an informed voting choice.  Questions and answers will be posted here twice a week.  Check back regularly and follow the Chamber on Facebook for notification of new posts.

Question 1. What important leadership skills would you bring to an elected position and how would these skills be applicable to the business community?

Candidates for Mayor

Christopher Boisvert-GilmanChris-Boisvert-Gilman

  • A “Unifier” – Summerland is fractured into seven groups – (Business, Arts, Tourism, Agriculture, Developers, Youth and Seniors) each is important. UNITED Summerland businesses will grow.
  • A “servant-style” of leader. Reaching out to the businesses as Mayor getting opinions, feedback and consulting means business will be heard. As Mayor one should get to each business quarterly. I will!
  • Lead by example: “Community Accountability Sessions” will be reintroduced – part of my managerial style. The community as a whole needs answers; when there are problems such as the downtown state of affairs; ALL must work/brainstorm for a solution.
  • Creative problem solving.
    Okanagan music business owner/operator; developed Business Plans 2012 – 2013; hired to chair/use Robert’s Rules of Order(Canadian Student Association – Kamloops); S.F.U. Chaplain; founder of Canadian Council for Family Rights and a provincial Chilliwack Community Component Working Group(six years); awarded/operated two federal contracts at the same time.

________________________

Roch Fortinroch-fortin

During my career in the RCMP, I addressed major challenges requiring interaction with all levels of society, both private and public sector.  As Officer-in-Charge,  I assumed the leadership role of various detachments in the Acadian Peninsula and managed an operating budget of over two millions dollars.  This required due diligence and accountability to 21 municipalities.  In addition to my role as Officer-in-Charge, I was responsible for the planning and operation of major events throughout my career.

My experience as an effective mediator and innovator attained mutually agreeable solutions and earned me recognition at the national and community levels.  These achievements reflected a positive impact on the people of those communities.

These skills have facilitated me in setting up two successful businesses in Summerland and earned me the Rising Star Award from the Summerland Chamber of Commerce in 2013.

________________________

David GregoryDavid-Gregory

1.Getting Things Done: In the past, poor water quality hurt Summerland businesses. During my term as mayor we finally got a water treatment plant and expanded Thirsk Dam: on time and on budget. All major utility services were reviewed. This Council: six years waiting for water meters……maybe next year?

2.Marketing is Everything: Community Leaders must focus on making Summerland more appealing. As Mayor, more parkland, walking trails and lake trails than any other Council. I support attractive buildings; not concrete boxes. I have written many articles/books about Summerland.

3.Experience: Council must hire a new administrator. If Summerland can attract the right person, this will have a positive, long-term impact on Summerland and the business community. I have the experience. I have three terms on Council and two terms on the School Board. Actually, at the time, I wrote the “Hiring Policy” for our School District.

________________________

Orv RobsonOrv-Robson

As a volunteer Director and Chairman of the Summerland Charity Society (Penny Lane) over the past 14 years, I was part of the team that took a concept for a business and developed it into an asset that had two fully paid for and successful businesses and buildings downtown Summerland, plus we put back $3 million dollars into our community.

I recognize what is needed to start up and achieve success in a small town.  I was able to contribute to this successful business by using my skills in the fields of decision-making, negotiation, good listening and media liaison.  I acquired marketing knowledge and I am very aware of the costs and challenges relevant to business.   As a Councillor over the past 3 years, I gained experience in the requirements necessary in the development of business particularly in the area of zoning, licensing, sign bylaws, taxations and variations.

________________________

Peter WatermanPeter-Waterman

In my past professional life I worked with diverse groups running seminars, and large meetings where discussion and co-operation were key. Over the years I developed interpersonal skills that are critical to consensus building. Developing easy, trusting, friendly relationships has served me well in business and in a position of public trust as a Municipal Councillor.

The business community is diverse- small business retail, development, arts and culture entrepreneurs, larger industrial businesses, as well as the many faceted agri-businesses and tourism ventures that make up our economic fabric. My skill set and experience will be useful in bringing the players together. There are many highly skilled individuals and enterprises in the community that can contribute and move the community forward.

Candidates for Council

Toni BootToni-Boot

Looking over the past ten years as founder and sole proprietor of Grasslands Nursery, I credit my staff and my ability to lead with the success of the business. I find being honest, encouraging their input, and maintaining a confident, positive attitude are key in gaining and maintaining their trust, respect and commitment. I worked with each staff member individually to discover their particular strengths and was able to delegate tasks accordingly.

I believe we all enjoy the diversity and flexibility of my leadership skills at Grasslands Nursery and I see them as fully applicable to working with the business community – something I fully intend on doing should I be elected to serve Summerland as a councillor.

________________________

Erin CarlsonErin-Carlson

I have been known to take charge of situations since elementary school. Upon graduation from SSS in 2006 I was awarded the Global Citizen and Leadership awards.  I stand up for what I believe in and encourage others to speak their minds as well. I respect a good debate and am confident and forthcoming with my opinions.

Our business community is full of creative, smart people who have big ambition in this town. I would seek out these people and encourage them to participate in decision making and vision making in order to promote growth and prosperity. I am not a professional in every field and will not pretend to know what is best for you. I will listen, learn and work with local businesses in order to help them gain the tools they need for success.

________________________

John DornJohn-Dorn

As a seasoned business owner I continue to live through the many challenges that my fellow entrepreneurs contend with. I recognize that the business community is a key to prosperity in Summerland as it contributes a high proportion of taxes without consuming the equivalent in services. That is why I believe that business, especially its representative body “The Chamber” must be included in the District’s decisions every step of the way.

My experience has formed my leadership style. I know that when people feel their input has been heard and respectfully evaluated, they are accepting and supportive.

My life-long experience starting as an 18 year old Cub master, through to serving as President in Kinsmen, K40, Summerland Youth Centre Association and the Summerland Legion has taught me to successfully deal with ranges of issues and personalities. This experience has developed my leadership style, described as consensus seeking, along with foresight and vision will best meet the needs of Summerland.

________________________

Joel GreggJoel-Gregg

I earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an Accounting emphasis in 1995.  My experience includes 7 years of public accounting (2 with Deloitte in Sacramento), 3 years as controller for a home builder in Ontario, and most recently 9 years managing the Jubilee Dental Centre and Jubilee Fitness Club in Summerland.  I enjoy reading books on leadership from authors such as John Maxwell, Steven Covey, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, etc.

What I have learned from my experience and continuing education is that you can only lead if people are willing to be led by you.  Leaders must first earn the trust and respect of those they expect to lead.  Trust is gained by listening to others and demonstrating an understanding and empathy.  Until I’ve had the opportunity to earn your trust and respect, I hope my background and experience will afford me the benefit of your doubt.

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Marty Fisher

Response not available at publication time.

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Robert HackingRobert-Hacking

I have been operating a business in the downtown core for over 10 years; quality customer service is the key ingredient for doing great business in Summerland.  In my role as Councilor, I have provided key leadership on issues of importance to Summerland merchants.  Items such as; highway directional signage to attract in travelers, a sensible and fair Sign Bylaw that embraces the unique branding our merchants need to express, and have supported all efforts to reduce burdensome red tape and regulation at City Hall. Doing business in Summerland is a monumental challenge, we need to all push towards a common goal of our collective success.

________________________

Bruce HallquistBruce-Hallquist

I bring over 40 years of leadership skills from within our community. Both in my private business life,27 years of retail and other interests as well as through participation in different community organizations, which included many iterations of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.

Most recently I was involved, for 11 years, in a society which raised some $3M youth activities in our community, through the Penny Lane retail operation. I have also spent numerous years on your Councils and served on many different committees.

________________________

Doug HolmesDoug-Holmes

I would bring critical thinking, strategic thinking, action planning, and adeptness in communication and marketing. Leadership skills are learned through experience over time and I’ve had a long career working with private and public sector organizations worldwide in management, consultancy and staff roles. I’ve worked in business development and marketing for Microsoft Corporation, I’ve been managing director of a small enterprise, I’ve served on the boards of non-profits. In all cases, I’ve been involved in strategic planning and, just as important, seeing those strategic ideas come to fruition. (It doesn’t matter how good your strategic plan is if you can’t implement it.) I’ve developed solid communication skills through my writing (books and journalism), public speaking, board meeting presentations, and by being a good listener. In any formal discussion, I strive to reach a win-win situation.

________________________

Denise MacDonald:

  • can give ethical and effective  civic service.
  • Has understanding of the history of various community issues and the interrelationship between different sectors.
  • is a critical, creative and reflective thinker that is willing to question, discuss and evaluate the impact of various issues either through collaboration or consultation.  Many years experience working on various boards working alongside others to set and obtain goals.  Participated in  ‘Industry Strategy’ study for the tree fruit industry to  improve long term profitability to the sector.
  • has respect, appreciation, and understanding of the many diverse ideas of how communities grow and develop. Has the ability to relate to the business community and the social community.
  • has strong appreciation of the commitment needed and risk taken in any business venture.  Businesses need government to be consistent, efficient,  fair, transparent and pro-active when it comes to enabling businesses to operate efficiently.

________________________

Daniel Papadopoulos

Important leadership skills I would bring to an elected position are:

  • Determination to finish a project and work through to reach goals.
  • Financially responsible, brainstorm ideas to prepare for the budgets.
  • The understanding of business and the ability to discuss it.

________________________

Janet PeakeJanet-Peake

Response not available by publication time.

 

 

________________________

 

Ken Rodockerken-rodocker

As a business owner and having managed businesses for the past 35 years, I have been a leader and have mentored many leaders. The most important leadership skill is communication. To run a town or a business it is imperative that you communicate properly and effectively, so that you can understand problems and outcomes.

With proper communication a leader is aware of the running of there  operation, such as moneys spent, jobs done to completion and satisfaction, all  inventories of assets and liabilities,  daily and monthly financials and human resources. All these things would apply in the running of a town as they do in business.

________________________

Mark SmedMarkSmed

I have been involved in a number of organizations where I was able to provide leadership. Part of my job is to manage other technicians where I work.  A good leader should know his strengths and weaknesses.  A leader involves many people in the process and consultation with individuals who are knowledgeable is critical.

I will be entrusted with the authority of the people of Summerland, by being elected as a member of council.  In my role as a member of council, it will be critical to remember that I am a trusted servant of the community.

________________________

Erin TrainerErin-Trainer

As an entrepreneur, I understand the importance of good leadership. As co-owner of ET2media (a video production & communications company), my clients rely on me to develop creative marketing strategies and material that help reach their organization’s goals.

As the manager of the Penticton Farmers’ Market, I also provide leadership in a variety of areas including planning, conflict resolution, and communication. I’ve learned how to collaborate with stakeholders and work within a budget.

In my previous career as a news writer and producer, I helped lead a team of journalists and technical staff each day to create a two-hour newscast. I developed skills to give constructive criticism and support.

I believe my ability to make informed decisions in a timely manner will be an important asset to the local business community. As a Summerland councillor, I look forward to contributing my leadership skills to the team!

________________________

Martin (Marty) Van AlphenMartin-(Marty)-Van-Alphen

My family and I have lived in Summerland for the past twenty-six years and since settling here I have held the following community leadership positions:

  • Member of the Summerland Kinsmen Club
  • Director and President of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce
  • Member of the Apprenticeship Board of Okanagan University College
  • Chairman of the Summerland Economic Development Board
  • President of the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism
  • Chairman of the I.C.B.C. CAR Shop for the South Okanagan
  • Member of the Summerland Advisory Planning Committee
  • Councilor for Municipality of Summerland

Having started-up, owned and operated a successful collision repair business for fifteen years and currently running a farming operation in Summerland, I believe that the most important skills that I bring to the Council table specifically for businesses both old and new are; enthusiastic support, knowledgeable advice, effective advocacy and old fashioned know-how.

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Chamber and District Renew Service Agreement

September 11, 2014

The Summerland Chamber renewed its agreement with the District of Summerland this week to provide tourism and various economic development services to the community for the next five years.  Similar contracts have been in place since 2001.

However, in the past few years, the Chamber Board has worked to streamline our strategic plan so the services we deliver in each area remain consistent and relevant.

Generally the Chamber works in 3 key areas.  These are member services which we provide on behalf of our 700+ local business members, as well as tourism and economic development services which we provide on a fee-for-service basis to the District.

The Summerland model is a very cost effective one.  In neighboring communities, similar services are provided by multiple organizations with associated costs for staffing, etc. while the Summerland Chamber provides comprehensive services under one roof.

In the past few years the Chamber has created or enhanced all of our tourism and investment promotional tools.  This includes a library of visitor and investment videos, a new tourism website, revamped visitor guides and a comprehensive investment and relocation guide.  Visit the Chamber website at www.summerlandchamber.com if you have not yet seen these items.  The last upgrade will be the new Chamber website which will be launched before year end.

We’ve also emphasized expanded partnerships and mutually beneficial relationships with tourism and economic development branches throughout the South Okanagan.  We currently represent our community in more than nine separate initiatives and work with more than a dozen regional partners.

As the second largest community in the South Okanagan we need to be represented in these regional partnerships.  The Summerland Chamber of Commerce professionally fulfills this role and acts as a cohesive marketing arm for Summerland – promoting our community in person, via print and online as a place to visit and do business.

We look forward to continuing to serve all our stakeholders in the coming years.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at president@summerlandchamber.com or Christine Petkau at manager@summerlandchamber.com.

Arlene Fenrich is President of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.  All of the members of The Board of Directors serve as volunteers.

This article was also published in the Summerland Review, September 11, 2014

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Cycle Project Moving Forward

August 14, 2014

What a difference a year can make!

Fourteen months ago the Trail of the Okanagans bike path advocacy group was formed to promote the plan for a world-class regional biking network. With seed funding and the initial vision provided by the Summerland Rotary Club, the group quickly gained traction and tourism organizations, local businesses, politicians, regional economic development professionals, the RDOS and various government departments, as well as interested members of the public came on board to support this cause.

This long term vision builds on existing infrastructure to create a regional bike path will allow cyclists to travel from Osoyoos all the way to Sicamous on connected trails, many of which are already in place.  Two key gaps in the pathway are in Summerland – the stretches adjacent to Hwy 97 along Okanagan Lake between Lower Town and Illahie Beach and between Sun-Oka Park and Penticton.

The Trail of the Okanagans, working with the District of Summerland, achieved a major advocacy milestone in July, when the funding to close the first of these gaps was announced.  Our own MLA, Dan Ashton, who was instrumental in making this happen, along with Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Todd Stone, and Mayor Janice Perrino, were in Summerland on July 3, to announce a contribution of $420,000 to be combined with an additional $80,000 from the District of Summerland to complete the pathway between Lower Town and Illahie Beach.  The Ministry of Transportation has already proposed design plans and work will commence in spring.

On July 3, Minister of Transportation Todd Stone, MLA Dan Ashton, and Summerland’s Mayor Janice Perrino, along with members of the Trails of the Okanagan Committee gathered for the announcement of a new one-kilometre section of lakeside trail that will connect lower town and Trout Creek.

On July 3, Minister of Transportation Todd Stone, MLA Dan Ashton, and Summerland’s Mayor Janice Perrino, along with members of the Trails of the Okanagan Committee, gathered for the announcement of a new one-kilometre section of lakeside trail that will connect lower town and Trout Creek.

Two complementary initiatives are also moving along.  Currently, utilizing a BC Healthy Communities grant we are working with Penticton to develop a survey that will identify the public’s bike habits as well as barriers to doing more biking and what you’d like to see improved.  This survey will be available shortly and will be posted on the District’s and the Chamber’s website and facebook pages.  Please make sure you are following these sites so you can participate.  We need your feedback.

Throughout the region our local Visitor Centres have daily requests for information about biking and hiking trails.  The RDOS has excellent mapping resources and we are working with our South Okanagan tourism partners to present these maps in a way that is the most user-friendly.  These resources will be available by autumn both in print and online.

: Regional committee members discuss new bike trail guides geared to visitors.   l-r, Colleen Pennington, EcDev officer for Penticton; John Powell, EcDev officer for Okanagan Falls; Raquel Miriam and Chris Bower from Tourism Penticton.

Regional committee members discuss new bike trail guides geared to visitors. l-r, Colleen Pennington, EcDev officer for Penticton; John Powell, EcDev officer for Okanagan Falls; Raquel Miriam and Chris Bower from Tourism Penticton.

Step by step, these initiatives are going forward and are being supported because of the tremendous opportunity to impact our regional economy.  The development of this world class resource will create new business opportunities and support many existing businesses by dramatically extending our tourism season.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at manager@summerlandchamber.com or our Chamber President, Arlene Fenrich, at president@summerlandchamber.com.

 

This article was published in the Summerland Review, August 14, 2014

Christine Petkau is the Manager of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce. 

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