Peter McFadden's Speech from Oct. 26 Forum

pmcfadden
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Joined: Oct 14th, 2011, 11:58 am

Peter McFadden's Speech from Oct. 26 Forum

Post by pmcfadden »

For those who were unable to attend last nights All Candidate Forum (Oct. 26), here is a copy of my speech.

My name is Peter McFadden and I am running for City Council. I am a chartered accountant with 30 years of experience. I have designations in tax and business valuations and a Masters degree in finance. My practice takes care of small to mid size business and many not for profit entities. I see both sides of the equation in my practice. I want to bring the knowledge and expertise I have acquired over 30 years to City Hall.

I am not going to stand up here and promise more police officers on the road, or more bus routes, or less traffic congestion on lakeshore. It is not a reality at this time. We would have to go into debt or increase property taxes substantially to achieve all this. I know that citizens do not want this right now.

What I can promise is that I will be your numbers guy. I will take a hard look at the budgets and where the money goes. I will be the guy on the team that says “this is what we have to spend so how do we split it up equitably among all the various priorities that we face”. The next few years will be crucial because we can’t keep asking our existing taxpayers to keep paying increased taxes. We will have to watch our pennies and being Scottish and an accountant I am your man.

We have to look at increasing our tax base so we can spread the tax burden over more individuals. We can capitalize on the good news we got today that Kelowna is the number one place to set up a business in B.C. and 13th in the country. We should continue to promote business and this will increases jobs. We must make sure everyone knows that City hall is open for business. We must work on building that trust and making it as easy as we can for business and developers to do their job. The times we are in now are only temporary and if we continue to plan ahead we will be ready when the economy turns around to capitalize on the various developments that will come our way.

Tourism is another major contributor to the local economy and job creation. So let’s get all the service providers on the same page. Let’s talk about branding ourselves as many other cities have done successfully. This helps all providers to work together as a team and helps make the experience a positive one for our visitors. These are the people that will want to come back and maybe even relocate and invest here. So let’s welcome them!

In Summary:
*I am interested in future development for all of Kelowna,
*In restraint at city hall with regards to tax increases,
*In enhancing the tourist industry in our city.

*Vote for me, Peter McFadden November 19th.

*You can find me on Facebook (Vote-for-Peter-McFadden), Twitter (@PeterMcFadden2) and the City Hall web site.

Thank you.
EdCase
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Re: Peter McFadden's Speech from Oct. 26 Forum

Post by EdCase »

We have to look at increasing our tax base so we can spread the tax burden over more individuals. We can capitalize on the good news we got today that Kelowna is the number one place to set up a business in B.C. and 13th in the country. We should continue to promote business and this will increases jobs. We must make sure everyone knows that City hall is open for business. We must work on building that trust and making it as easy as we can for business and developers to do their job. The times we are in now are only temporary and if we continue to plan ahead we will be ready when the economy turns around to capitalize on the various developments that will come our way.


Brave words, Peter; but how precisely do you intend to make this happen? What type of businesses do you want to see locate here and how do you intend to attract them? What do you mean by making it "as easy as we can" for developers to do their job? We have some good developers in this city but we have also had a number of get-rich-quick artists, usually from out-of-town, who have no commitment to this community other than to milk it. How do you intend to ensure that development is in the best interests of the community?

Be careful with the CFIB results. We fell from 5th place overall in 2010 to 13th in 2011. Our score also dropped and our scores on perspective and policy were in the 'modest' category. I've lived here a while and have yet to see any council that had the first idea of what a coherent economic development plan should look like. Our economy has been founded on real estate speculation and low value added commerce and attempts to change this have been under-funded and and under-resourced.

The times we are in now are only temporary and if we continue to plan ahead we will be ready when the economy turns around to capitalize on the various developments that will come our way.


For too long, this community has smugly thought its location and surroundings are all we need to attract people: we have attracted a lot of retirees and part-time residents, but little in the way of serious new businesses. Developments will not just 'come our way': what do you intend to do to support a more proactive approach and building a community that is attractive to high value added businesses, or is Palm Springs North all that we should aspire to be?
pmcfadden
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 14th, 2011, 11:58 am

Re: Peter McFadden's Speech from Oct. 26 Forum

Post by pmcfadden »

I want to see any legitimate business that has a positive impact on the economy locate here. Information and software companies would be perfect for us. Business that deals in the movement of information is huge. We all know that can be done from anywhere in the world and we have a beautiful place to do it from. So we should get that message out. We now have a fantastic infrastructure with the hospital expansion and the university expansion. The spin off business from these two infrastructure projects is large. This put better paying jobs into the economy and these people require more services in our town and that just adds to the positive impact of job creation. I believe this also remove some of our reliance on development and real estate to keep our economy moving.

With regards to developers, we have to do our due diligence up front on these projects. Look at their track record and then decide if we want to be in bed with them. There are good and bad developers from out of town and in town. There location is not an issue for me it is the track record that is important. I talk from personal knowledge of being affected by not so good developers. I was an owner in a project that we could not live in for two years and I still don’t know how that mess happened. Was it the developer or the city, I guess it was a little of both.

I am aware of a lot of good developers in this town that stand by their work and are proud of it. I would like to see big developments in Kelowna handled by developers in Kelowna but sometimes the projects are too big. What I hear from the developers in town that the process at city hall can take an extremely long time and some of the issues that the developer has to address should not be issues. Sometimes the developers miss the window of opportunity to build their project because of this time lag. I don’t want staff at city hall to waste anybodies time. I want a win-win situation. If there is a legitimate problem then let’s address it fast and move on. There are always two sides to the issue and I would strive to see that the communication channels are open between the developers and city hall staff and would be very interested in seeing how the process can be streamlined for everyone.

I was surprised at the CFIB results myself quite frankly. I believe there is a big disconnect between the people coming here to set up and what really happens. They come because it is a beautiful place to live and then they deal with the problems of starting up business, many in the tourist industry section. I think we can do a better job of promoting this city to tourists and foster an attitude that tourism is good for this city. Linked with a positive development plan for downtown it will enhance business opportunities. This can have a positive effect on the growth.

We are in an economic downturn and it will reverse. I believe with the infrastructure we now have in this city we have a better ability to weather the storm. What I was saying is that we have to be prepared for when the economy turns around to move forward. Projects will come in and we will have to be prepared to act upon them. As part of an overall plan we can let the country know we are open for business. Send positive information out there. Look at incentives to get the right business here. Work with any and all serious business companies in our country to get them to look at locating their work force here.
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Captain Awesome
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Re: Peter McFadden's Speech from Oct. 26 Forum

Post by Captain Awesome »

Peter,

Good words.

I especially appreciate you being open about NOT changing Kelowna forever with fighting crime, more bus routes, free pretzels, and other pie in the sky promises that other candidates promise just to have something to talk about. Leadership, execution, vision - those are all election buzz words, and don't show character. Admitting to your limitations and knowing your strengths does.

Good on you.
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