Fresh Face O’Leary in the Race for Council

First of all, tell us a little about your background and overall platform in 100 words or less.
I was born and raised in Owen Sound and have been married to my wife Lee Anne for 32 years. Together we raised our two boys here (Mark and Andy) and we own and operate two car washes on 10th street west in Owen Sound. Andy and my daughter-in-law Ashley have given us a grandson (Evan Michael) so the future of Owen Sound is more important to me than ever.
I have spent the better part of the last 25 years coaching hockey, and I plan on using the skills I have learned to, turn Owen Sound into a championship city. I look at city taxpayers and the business community as members of my team, and I look forward to playing a part in bringing new business to our region.

What do you see as the major issues facing business-owners in Grey Bruce?
Obviously taxes are a major issue and we have to bring more business here to ease the strain.

What strategies do you have in mind to stimulate economic growth in the region?
Working relationships have to be improved with our neighbours. Locally, there are barriers that are in the way of new business coming here. We need to make it easier to start a business by having guidelines that can be adjusted on an individual basis, as opposed to policies that say “our way or no way.”

Do you feel economic growth should focus on
A) Bringing in new business developments
B) Encouraging small business presently in operation
Both. If someone with a business wants to expand or open a second location, we should be helping them do so. That being said, we need to focus on new business as well to ease the strain on existing businesses.

Do you think local business taxes should be:
A) Increased
B) Decreased
C) Maintained at current levels
Business taxes are too high but, realistically we should maintain at current levels. The more new business recruited, the better off our taxpayers will be. I would not give up on the chance to hit a home run and convince a major manufacturer to come to Owen Sound either.

Should there be any changes in services offered to local businesses?
Perks would be nice but the reality is this city is more strapped financially than most people know. What I do know for sure is this: The business community should have a voice on major decisions made by our city council. The Small business enterprise centre provides excellent service for small business as well as youth starting up business as well.

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