Gretchen Gebhard - Council Candidate

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Gretchen Gebhard - Council Candidate

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A thread for Gretchen Gebhard, council candidate.
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mechanic_virus
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Re: Gretchen Gebhard - Council Candidate

Post by mechanic_virus »

Please list 5 of your top priorities, and how you would deal with each issue if it were completely up to you.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Gretchen
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Re: Gretchen Gebhard - Council Candidate

Post by Gretchen »

Thank-you for your question. Five priorities for me would be, water, affordable housing, transit, the C21 zoning downtown and hold the line on taxes.

I would tackle water with more education, stiff penalties for misuse from both farmers and homeowners. Incentives for builders to make their new construction with all kinds of green initiatives including water conservation. We need more metering, water is precious and we should charge for its’ use accordingly.

Affordable housing is becoming more attainable for families who currently rent. According to one property manager a 3 bedroom home that would have gone in a day with multiple takers for $1600 per month now takes a couple of weeks to rent at $1300. That is good news for renters. As the strata construction completes and the speculators are forced to abandon their deposits or close on the transaction, there will be more apartments available to rent as well. Those who desire homeownership are not so fortunate. According to the Economic Development Commission the average family income in 2005 was about $62,000 with both parents working. Even if you up that for today’s salaries it leaves little room to raise the hefty down payment required for a traditional mortgage with 25% as a down payment. I suggest we lobby the Province along with other municipalities to get some of the “windfall” from the property transfer tax. Currently those funds go into general revenues .With the tremendous growth here, can you imagine the amount of PPT that has been collected by the Province from our area over the last five years? What about the Feds? Why not increase the amount of money a first time buyer could borrow from their RRSP as a down payment? Affordable housing is a Province wide, and a countrywide issue. All levels of government can, and should be involved.

Transit must be made more usable by extending the schedules and modifying the routing. Too many of us couldn’t use transit as it currently exists, either it takes too much time, or it just doesn’t go where the people need to go.

The C21 Zoning has its merits, but I have a real concern regarding the old C7 zoning. If I heard correctly at the last forum a couple of Mondays ago, the old zoning would still be available for development in its current form. This could really mess up the plans of the C21 zoning should someone decide to go with the C7 plan and not require a variance. When Robert Hodson brought this up the response he got was that it was not economically sensible. Not all people with money require the best economic solution.

The economic climate we are experiencing today is downright scary. Now is the time to hold the line on costs of everything for everybody. The high number of residents in Kelowna on fixed incomes is great. For the young people who are trying to accomplish homeownership every nickel counts. Lenders are cautious; they will take every dime that a new homebuyer is committed to spend into account when granting that mortgage. The good news is, interest rates are very low, and real estate is always a good investment.
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mechanic_virus
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Re: Gretchen Gebhard - Council Candidate

Post by mechanic_virus »

Thanks, Gretchen.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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