Earth Harvest Cafe Owner Running for Mayor

Jim McPherson - Meaford Mayoral Candidate

Jim McPherson – Meaford Mayoral Candidate

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

Firstly, I am a Grey-Bruce small business owner. I and my wife opened the Earth Harvest Cafe in downtown Meaford 10 years ago. Prior to that I was a partner in a residential land-development company in Alberta. I have a degree in journalism and a Masters degree in Public Administration.

People in this community have asked me to run virtually every day since the last election. I understand that people’s pockets are not bottomless. I will ensure all residents can afford to live here and I would like them to be able to work here too. We need to create an environment in which the public is served by an open, accessible and accountable Council and Administration. I want to be a mayor that listens, understands and works together with citizens to achieve successes in our community.

What do you see as the major issue(s) facing business-owners in Grey-Bruce?

Rising input costs are a big issue for businesses everywhere right now. Rising energy costs, rising shipping and transportation costs and in our municipality the added pressure of water/sewer costs and rising municipal taxes. We need to ensure that our citizens and local businesses are not overly burdened.

People in this community have asked me to run virtually every day since the last election.  What strategies do you have in mind to stimulate economic growth in the region?

I think we have to make sure we have an open and accessible administration, understanding and friendly to the needs of business. We also need to attract small to medium businesses to the area to employ local residents. When a resident works in an area, he/she shops in that same area. We want to keep as many dollars circulating here as possible.

Do you feel economic growth should focus on:

A) Bringing in new business developments, or

B) Encouraging small businesses presently in operations?

I think we need to do both — create an environment that attracts new business and maintains and grows the businesses that currently exist in our community.

Do you think local business taxes should be:

A) Increase

B) Decreased

C) Maintained at current levels

I don’t think businesses can afford to have taxes go up. We have to make sure we receive the most from our tax dollars. I believe there was no need to increase the BIA fees by 50%.

Should there be any changes in the services offered to local businesses?

As water/sewer costs have gone up so much in the municipality, I would like to see businesses that purchase greater volumes of water have a better pricing rate. Businesses should get a break in pricing when they bulk purchase greater volumes.

 

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