Friday, October 31, 2014

Platform Positions 9  & 10 ...

9) In 2013 the City approved a tax exemption by law (five year window) that allowed businesses in the downtown to receive up to a 10 year tax exemption on improvements to their buildings that increased the taxable value of the property in excess of $10,000.00. The City then expanded this program in early 2014 to include all businesses across the entire City of Trail for the balance of the bylaw term. I support the revitalization of our communities business real estate assets and this bylaw is a tangible way of doing that. For those who are looking to renovate and improve their business properties in Trail - the time is NOW.


10) I had a conversation last weekend with a few residents about the All Wheel Park (skate park) and their comments really got me thinking about the process this project has gone through and what will be required to get the park built. Although I have only considered this project once while on council and did vote in favor of the cost sharing arrangement 50/50. I am now convinced that the City will have to shift/reorganize some other projects and increase its financial participation to get the All Wheel Park built in this next term.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Platform Position 8 ...

I believe in the Getting to Home program and the great work they have done in our community to reduce homelessness. Since inception a little over two years ago, the program has assisted in finding permanent shelter for over 200 people. That is over 200 women, children and men in our community that now have a better and more secure quality of life because of this program. I will continue to support the program because I know it works. Thank you to the team at CDS who are so committed to this work; Sheila, Gail and of course Jan, as well as the many other volunteers who give of their time to make it happen.


This one is short, simple and effective...

 ** Authorized by Mike Konkin, CGA, CPA, Financial Agent, 250-368-1278.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Platform Positions: 6 & 7

6) Development of the city owned Esplanade lands is a key component in the revitalization of our downtown. I support the construction of a riverfront mixed use condominium project with some retail and service business space incorporated into the design. If built in a phased approach, and priced correctly- these units should not be difficult to market. The Columbia River is our city's greatest natural asset and we need to make the most of it. More to follow on this project soon.

7) The current City of Trail "Booth" that you see set at markets and other events is council's first foray into improving citizen engagement with in person contact. I believe there are more ways that council can stay engaged with the community on an ongoing basis. Town hall meetings are a more traditional method of engaging the public and social media is a more modern, but less personal method. I am of the opinion that focus groups with very specific objectives can also be an excellent way of gathering community feedback on important issues.

Authorized by Mike Konkin, CPA,CGA, Financial Agent 250.368.1278

Friday, October 24, 2014

Platform Positions 3,4,& 5

3) I believe that in order to secure the long term sustainability and safe access to KBRH, a second access road must be built. If re-elected, I will continue to advocate for this improvement and vote accordingly. KBRH is a critical part of our community and our region. We have to do everything we can... to make it a better facility and ensure we are providing the best patient care possible.

** UPDATE:10-24-2014- IHA has proposed a 40 Million dollar upgrade to KBRH as a result of their recent facility study. While no final decisions have been made. I strongly believe this is the direction we should be moving in. This would include improved access and expanded parking facilities for patients, visitors and staff.

4) If re-elected, I will move to increase the responsibility and scope of the Protective Services Portfolio with a greater focus on public safety and information sharing. This will include closer co-ordination with all Emergency Responder Groups (Police, Fire, Ambulance, Emergency Management and DND). I will also promote an enhanced public reporting structure that improves the timeliness and access to information when significant events occur.

5) Lastly, I strongly support the proposed Regional Fire Training Centre and our current system of full time and volunteer firefighters. We need to give our firefighters the tools and training to do their very difficult and dangerous jobs safely and effectively.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Platform Position 2 ...
 
I support the construction of the Riverfront Centre Project. Ultimately it will be the voting public that decides the future of this project on Nov 15th. The cost to residential taxpayers on the construction of the facility works out to be just over $20.00 dollars per 100K of property assessment per year. This facility will be a modern gathering place with multi use spaces, up to date technology and it will be a place to celebrate our rich cultural heritage. Once constructed, it will form the centerpiece for the civic plaza on the waterfront. I am hopeful that we have the collective vision to see the anchoring effect a project of this nature could have on our downtown. Lastly, I wish to point out that the concept design drawings of the facility located on the City website are just that, conceptual. There have been no final decisions made as to what the external fa├žade of the structure will look like at this time. That process will take place at a later date, if approved.
 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Platform Position 1 ...
 
The Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital is one of our community's greatest assets. Our residents rely on it not only for the excellent health care they receive, but also as a major employer. It is a key amenity that is carefully considered when families are looking to relocate to our area. The current two site facility model in conjunction with Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson, is the model that the Interior Health Authority supports and is committed to for the foreseeable future. While there continues to be calls by some for the construction of a new facility, the reality is that a new facility is not in the plans for Interior Health any time in the near future. My position remains unchanged from 2012. We need to spend our health care dollars on improving health care services for our residents today, not endless studies or money parked in an account waiting for something to happen that isn't a part of the long term capital plan. See below for the motion passed by Trail Council #168-12, from our General Meeting on March 12, 2012. It is worth noting that all of council stood to their feet to register their votes as this motion was passed unanimously. It was the first time during this session of council and the last time a standing vote was recorded. I stood for KBRH then and I continue to do so now. Let's end the bickering between neighboring communities and put more resources into patient care and state of the art equipment today.

168-12  


Moved: Councillor Jolly

Seconded: Councillor Cacchioni

 "That Trail City Council unanimously and unequivocally support the retention of the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in its current location and the maintenance of its Regional Hospital status in perpetuity, and further that all capital funding for our region be dedicated to the refurbishment, upgrading and support of the existing facilities currently operating in the region in order to deliver the highest level of patient care to those in need of health care services today; and that a letter be sent to the Interior Health Authority and the Minister of Health indicating so."

 Carried unanimously.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Round 2 ...

As we prepare for the next civic election and a new four year term, every incumbent elected official has to ask themselves a few questions. First, what have I/we accomplished over the last three years? Really, this is about the effectiveness and ability of the individual and their council group to accomplish their objectives. The second question we need to ask ourselves is – can we do better? Well, I do believe that much has been accomplished in the three years since this council took office. Some immediate wins of note would be; the purchase of the Regional Airport, Phase One and Two of the Downtown Plan were implemented and council has the blessing of the electorate now to move ahead with the construction of a new pedestrian/utility bridge across the Columbia. Initiatives still awaiting completion as we head into the next four year term are; the finalization of the inter-municipal agreement on the bridge construction, the Boundary Expansion at Waneta into the Industrial Park and  the Economic Development & Tax Agreement with Teck. During the past three years the City has also taken some other progressive steps forward by revamping our website, launching a Facebook and Twitter presence as well as engaging with the community at local events through our public information booth. Our technological leap forward in the social media realm is overseen by Andrea Jolly (no relation) the City’s Community Promotions & Events Coordinator - a position that did not exist prior to this council term. Many would argue that these steps were overdue, and perhaps some of them were, but more importantly – they are now done.

In addition to the progress noted above, the City has spent a significant amount of time and effort engaged in regional negotiations that have been challenging to put it mildly. I do have renewed hope however that some of these regional issues are resolvable in the near term. We were heartened to finally reach agreement with Warfield on Recreation and Library funding for the immediate future and I am proud to have been a part of the negotiating team that brought the two communities back together. Some issues remain outstanding within the region that will come to the fore of this next council term .Chief among them would be a new Economic Development Services Agreement in the Lower Columbia and the composition of the service participants. Last but not least is the often discussed issue of amalgamation, which could spell the beginning of the end to these sub-regional squabbles if handled with the proper care and  attention it deserves.
The change we have experienced over the last three years in our city has been a long time coming and has been welcomed by most, but not all. It was and still is necessary though. If we wish to remain competitive and viable as a community that families wish to relocate to and call their home, we must accept the reality of the very competitive place we find ourselves in and adapt to a new way of community building. Simply put – we must embrace these changes, not fear them or pretend they don’t affect us.
There is much to consider as the world around us grows more complex by the day. New challenges regularly arise that local government must deal with and the cost of implementing new strategies and plans never goes down. This changing and evolving set of circumstances demands a creative type of leadership that looks forward to what we can accomplish and how. Investing in infrastructure is one of those priorities that is critical to the renewal of our city and should not be viewed as just another expense.  Community investment and renewal helps keep property values growing and has a positive impact on population growth for small communities. We must invest in our collective futures by building a community that we can proudly call home today, instead of hearkening back to a different era when the world was a different place and so was our place in it.

I sincerely believe Trail’s best days are still ahead of us. And we all need to believe that in order to make it a reality.  That is why I am running for re-election to Trail council. I look forward to meeting and talking with you over the next 40 days to hear your thoughts and ideas on how we can improve our great city.

Let’s move forward together Trail…

Sincerely,
Kevin Jolly

 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014