1) Yes or No: Should Owen Sound allow bricks-and-mortar marijuana shops to operate in its boundaries? Why?
Yes. It's going to be legal and these shops will be legitimate businesses. Marijuana is very easy to obtain now. Perhaps, with these new businesses, it will take away from the black market.
2) Yes or No: Should Owen Sound lower its property tax rate? If yes, how would you achieve this? If no, why?
No. Unless our taxpayers want to give up the services we have now, there is no way to lower taxes. We managed to save $800,000.00 in annual costs through our service review, and another $300,000.00 with our police review. We will continue to look for ways to be more efficient.
3) Yes or No: Should Owen Sound continue to offer a vacancy rebate on commercial and industrial property? Why?
No. I think it's time to remove it, however, people like Peter Vandolder who has done so much for our community would have taken advantage of the rebate with the PPG building. He has taken that building and turned it into good paying jobs. That said, I don't look at the rebate as an incentive to keep downtown stores empty. Landlords make more when they are rented.
4) What is your plan to attract new industry and jobs to Owen Sound?
I will continue to help create a positive environment for growth, business, and development. The Skilled Trades and Innovation Centre will help, and our Marketing plans to attract tourists and industry. The "Are you Most" campaign is well underway as well, which is targeting entrepreneurs and is proving successful.
5) What is one other issue facing Owen Sound you would like to speak to, and how will you address this if elected?
Emergency Services costs. We have saved hundreds of thousands through our police review, and are in the process of trying to expand our police force. On the fire side, we will continue to pound on the door of the provincial government to fix the arbitration process. Emergency services are nearly half our entire city budget.