Dean Enters Race for Council

Evelyn Dean - Meaford Council Candidate

Evelyn Dean – Meaford Council Candidate

First of all, tell us a little about your background and overall platform in 100 words or less.

Evelyn Dean, a results oriented senior executive, with over 25 years of municipal experience, has been providing advice to Councils, Boards and senior executives in small and large public sector organizations. She has resided in Meaford since 1996 and as an owner of two home based businesses is well aware of issues facing local business owners in Meaford.  She is an active volunteer such as Chair of the Beautiful Joe Heritage Society, resulting in developing Beautiful Joe Park as a Meaford tourist destination, a leash free park, and as President of the Owen Sound Grey Bruce YMCA, helped bring about the new Regional Julie MacArthur Recreation Centre, improving health and wellness services for the region.

I am running to help our community be seen as a good place to start and grow your business and live, where best practices, strategic partnerships and collaborative approaches help us to be more cost effective and improve services to meet our growing community needs.

Local government should be as transparent as possible as how taxes are being used to support businesses.What do you see as the major issue(s) facing business-owners in Grey-Bruce?

Issues that have been shared with me recently indicate that businesses currently have concerns related to:

  • Some municipal policies or procedures
  • Lack of  suitable technological infrastructure in the Grey Bruce area
  • The quality of services received and the impact on businesses to grow and thrive
  • The level or transparency of information regarding taxes and the feeling that businesses don’t think they are getting value for their taxes from the services provided.
  • Insufficient problem resolution support available to support businesses to address their concerns to remove barriers to help their businesses grow and thrive.
  • Lack of good mechanisms for government and businesses to work together in a collaborative manner  to resolve broader issues affecting the business sector to help our local businesses thrive.

What strategies do you have in mind to stimulate economic growth in the area? Do you feel economic growth should focus on: 

A) Bringing in new business developments or

B) Encouraging small businesses presently in operations?

  • Economic growth happens when others who are seeking to invest in our community see a healthy local business environment that is supported actively by the community and the local municipality.  To get started our municipality needs to work more actively with our local businesses to assist them to grow and thrive. We also need to improve our capacity at resolving business related issues in a timely manner.
  • Our economic growth should be guided by a long term vision and plan that is created by undertaking a comprehensive community based process to get agreement of a community vision. This long term vision would include what is needed to support local businesses to thrive and the types of businesses the community would like to attract.
  • Ensure, where possible, the municipality has policies, procedures and resolution processes in place that help to resolve issues that arise as they relate to municipal services, where the policy or process may have an unintended impact of discouraging business in Meaford
  • Encourage policies that support local businesses such as buying “local”.
  • The municipality should be working hand in hand with the business community (communities), their various business associations and economic development committee to:
  • Identify key strategies that each key business area would like to see addressed both at a local and regional level.
  • Support the business community to identify key priorities and develop an agreed upon action plan and required resources to address a priority area. Identify other municipalities that may have addressed this issue effectively with their business community and identify best practices.
  • Develop a steering committee, a reporting and accountability structure back to the key stakeholders and strategy for obtaining the necessary resourcing to implement a community or regional business based strategy. Evaluate its effectiveness to meet desired results.
  • Support the growth and development of an effective business owner led economic development committee in Meaford

Do you think local business taxes should be:

A) Increased

B) Decreased

C) Maintained at current levels

This is a good question that should be asked of all local businesses to assess what the current concerns are. Taxation is always a complex issue.

Opinions regarding taxes are also related to how businesses feel about the services they receive for those taxes.  Local government should be as transparent as possible as how taxes are being used to support businesses. If issues are identified, efforts should be made to get an overview of the types of issues and concerns businesses are experiencing in this area and the impact it is having.

Based on the types of issues that are identified, if they are within the control of the local municipality I would want to ensure that these issues can be raised and resolved to support the business community in order to help them thrive.  For example, are permits provided in a consistent and timely manner to meet the needs of customers building requirements, if not why not and resolve.  Is the garbage being picked up as required? Are businesses needs being met by the current level of policing services.

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Address: 954 1st Ave W.
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