Mark Thompson - Council Candidate

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Mark Thompson - Council Candidate

Post by Jo »

This thread is for Mark Thompson, council candidate.
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Re: Mark Thompson - 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.
Mark Thompson
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Re: Mark Thompson - Council Candidate

Post by Mark Thompson »

As you know the council is made up of 1 Mayor and 8 councillors. IT takes 5 votes to accomplish anything. I have nine years experience as a councillor in the City of Saskatoon and I also served as Vice President representing 12 Cites. I know that you have to work with the whole council to have the best chance of getting things done.

The following represents a brief overview of some key priorities and a 10 Point Action Plan that address some of these key priorities. These comments are provided with the full knowledge that there are many other issues that need to be dealt with appropriately.

I Support the Establishment of a Ward System

I Support the Comprehensive Plan for Downtown

We Need a much Improved Transit System

Five Priorities Include

1 Improving Transportation
Our Transit system needs to work much better. It is currently an inadequate system for students, workers and our seniors. The Transit System needs many more routes and available times need to be expanded to make the system convenient to users. With only 3% of our population using the Transit System it is clear that its needs improvement.

The arterial road design in Kelowna is creating serious congestion. We need to find creative ways to deal with Highway 97 congestion. There is a desire for more safe cycling an walking components.
2 Addressing Economic Development
We need to become more focused on how policies affect economic development
We need to be extremely aware of how the City affects Job Creation
We need to seize opportunities to advance the Cities strengths
We need to reduce barriers to economic development
We need to include Health an Education opportunities as Key Levers to create economic development
We need to remove Barriers to Affordable Housing.
We need to move forward on the Comprehensive Plan for Downtown
We need to ensure that there is a clear map for financing quality city services
3 Improve Citizen Participation
There is something wrong when City Hall closes at 4PM 5 days per week.
We need to review the timing of City Council Meetings. Are we being fair to working citizens to hold most regular meetings of council when the majority of working people are at work.
The current Council Procedure Bylaw needs to be improved to encourage public opportunities to address council on important matters.
Communications with key stake holders need to be improved.
We should seriously consider the merits of the ward system
4 Address Environmental Issues
An important issue on this front is water quality. We should promote the idea of creating a Valley Authority with regulatory responsibility for Water, Sewer, Shoreline and other maters related to water and sewer . This would be a provincial appointed authority with provincial and municipal appointees. This body would be give regulation authority.
The most ovious issue to be addressed with respect to environmental stewardship is the lack of quality Transit Services
We need to be supportive of reasonable polices which support the notion of being “Green”
5 Advancing Overall Quality of Life
We need to review all decision from the perspective of will it help make the city a healthy city.
We need to address crime issues and ensure that we pay attention to the need to have an effective Police Service.
Fire Protection services can play a larger role in education
Police Fire and Ambulance service should be available to all of our citizens within an appropriate time interval.
Responsible Financial Planning is an important component to ensure better quality of life for all.

Kelowna can be so much more. It has so much potential to be a truly great city. The city is growing rapidly and it is suffering from a lack of leadership. Planning that takes major arterial roadways consistently immediately adjacent to schools is symbolic of major planning problems.

The lack of adequate transit service creates major issues in particular for our students, workers and seniors.

One must ask what the decision makers were thinking about when they decided that City Hall would close at 4 PM 5 days a week. How is it possible that we close our libraries during the best hours for our citizens to use them? These examples are clear indicators that City Hall does not hold service to clients as a high priority.

Economic Development is the engine that provides funding for desirable social programs. Without economic development the regular sources of funding for a city simply do not leave enough funds for appropriate regular and social initiatives. There will always be job losses and we need to be ready with new jobs. We must be concious of the need for affordable housing for our middle class.
When teachers and nurses can not afford housing we will find ourselves without essential services.

There are some that want to see a perfect plan for the downtown before they will endorse a plan. While the attempt to look for a perfect plan is laudable it is not pragmatic. Cities that play too much politics, become known as antidevelopment and tend to have downtowns that become obsolete and become serious crime locations. Kelowna is extremely lucky to have such a beautiful setting and it holds great promise for progress. I urge people to see how good the plan is.
( I have no association with any developer)

An overall increase in allowable density and the utilization of the concept called Mixed Use Development will go a long way towards improving the efficiency of our City.

This City needs an improved ability to lobby for Provincial and Federal funds. Kelowna like other cities needs to obtain infrastructure funding. The Provincial and Federal governments are both talking about wanting to invest and the City of Kelowna needs to be better prepared to lobby for our share. These funds will disappear quickly to those Cities that are friendly and ready.
There is much more that I could say but the following 10 Point Action Plan is an attempt to summarize important priorities and provide leadership to make Kelowna a better place to live, work and play.

10 point Action Plan
1. Responsible Financial Planning
2. Expand Transit Service Routes and Times
3. Enhanced Economic Development
4. Make Kelowna a Centre of Excellence for Health and Education
5. Focus on New Tourism Initiatives including a National Multipurpose Trade and Convention Centre
6. Create Easy Access for Citizen Participation and consider the Ward System
7. Remove Barriers to Affordable Housing
8. Action for Environmental Stewardship
9. Develop a World Class Centre for Innovative Research and Development
10. Become a Model Healthy-Safe City

I welcome you to review more on

Mark Thompson
Candidate for City Council
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Re: Mark Thompson - Council Candidate

Post by mechanic_virus »

Thanks for your reply, Mark.
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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