1) Yes or No: Should Owen Sound allow bricks-and-mortar marijuana shops to operate in its boundaries?
This is still an emerging topic. Council will receive information in the near future on controls which may exist for the municipality relating to zoning. I would not opt out of the business opportunity as it just has people buying outside of Owen Sound or online which as I am told exists.
2) Yes or No: Should Owen Sound lower its property tax rate? If yes, how would you achieve this?
We can scrutinize spending more closely. I know as a business owner that not all capital spending is a need. Our taxes in Owen Sound are high and there is a difference between a need and a want. Master plans for example have a long list of 'nice to do's' not 'need to do's. I have a proven record of spending on what is needed opposed to what is somewhat wanted. The generator at city hall is a fine example of that.
3) Yes or No: Should Owen Sound continue to offer a vacancy rebate on commercial and industrial property?
Vacancy rebate programs are being cancelled across the province as they have not been proven to the catalyst for business development as originally hoped.
4) What is your plan to attract new industry and jobs to Owen Sound?
Attempting to continue to lessen commercial and industrial taxes has to help. Our businesses face logistical costs higher than their counterparts. You cannot ignore that. We have to continue to bring those rates closer to the county rates for the same tax classes which does give businesses enhanced value to doing business in Owen Sound.
5) What is one other issue facing Owen Sound you would like to speak to, and how will you address this if elected?
The tenth street bridge reconstruction has been underestimated in my opinion on its' overall impact to Owen Sound to this point. Every resource we have for the next 24 months should be working on reducing the impacts of the job as it relates to public transit, emergency services, commute times, downtown business viability and more. It also provides the opportunity to consider closely or implement ideas such as one way pairings on 8th and 9th street with angled parking to enhance these streets and the downtown.