1) Yes or No: Should Owen Sound allow bricks-and-mortar marijuana shops to operate in its boundaries? Why?
Yes. If history has taught us anything, prohibition of substances drives usage underground, and the only people who benefit are operating outside the law. We should make sure that we have a good framework of bylaws in place so that we maintain some kind of control over the whole process.
2) Yes or No: Should Owen Sound lower its property tax rate? If yes, how would you achieve this? If no, why?
Yes. Nobody wants high taxes. We will lower the tax burden by increasing revenue. The goal should be to attract and retain more young folks, and court innovative industries to set up shop in the city. We should also look to neighbouring municipalities to see how we can share costs in order to bring the overhead down across the board.
3) Yes or No: Should Owen Sound continue to offer a vacancy rebate on commercial and industrial property? Why?
No. If we are going to lower taxes without gutting services, we have to inspect some of the other avenues where we are losing potential revenue. This is one of those avenues.
4) What is your plan to attract new industry and jobs to Owen Sound?
We need to be innovative, and progressive. Gone are the days where lax environmental standards were attractive to industry. We need to show tech companies that this is a community that values our environment, and that we're willing to be creative. If we can show them their employees will have an outstanding quality of life, then they will invest in us.
5) What is one other issue facing Owen Sound you would like to speak to, and how will you address this if elected?
We could do so much to make the harbourfront attractive to tourists. I would like to see floating docks installed along the inner harbour. I would like to see the establishment of dedicated food truck locations. I want to make better use of our tourism building, which is well situated- we just need to get the traffic flowing through there. We have a spectacular asset, and I hope that I'm not alone in wanting to see it flourish.