Runner’s Den Owner Running for Council

Scott Greig - Owen Sound Council Candidate

Scott Greig – Owen Sound Council Candidate

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

My name is Scott Greig. I am 40 years old, married 14 years to Tracy and father of 2 children. I am the son of long time municipal politician Howard Greig who served twice as Grey County Warden.

In 2006 Tracy and I opened Runner’s Den, a business in downtown Owen Sound receiving the Owen Sound Chamber of Commerce New Business of the Year Award. In 2013 we relocated our business to revitalize a component of our downtown more than doubling our previous store size. I look to bring that same competitive initiative to help grow our community.

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

Being a business owner myself I realize that there are many issues facing businesses in Grey Bruce. It is the global economy which we compete in whether the business is selling retail goods or manufacturing products.

It is the geographical location of our communities being outside higher serviced regions. Servicing encompasses high speed capacity and for our area, a real lack of high speed capacity. It also includes tangible servicing such as transportation availability and association with businesses within the same sectors. An example being the automotive industry utilizing plants close in physical location.

Another issue is excessive government bureaucracy. The excess is not so much at the local level rather often at provincial and federal levels. An example here is new provincial legislation on local trades. This is a tremendous amount of employment in our area now being forced into meeting new government policy. The end result is that rather than paying good wages to their employees, there is further reason to reduce employees, increase cash transactions or increase their prices.

What strategies do you have in mind to stimulate economic growth in the region?

Firstly, I will bring forth a competitive, customer service driven persona to city council. I have demonstrated that operating our own business. I compete locally, regionally and globally due to the internet and realize the requirement to establish relationships with customers. That is what business is to the municipality. It is a customer and I would treat as such.

An issue facing the area is the lack of high speed capacity. I would examine what can be done with the communications providers and for instance if a facility was required to facilitate expansion of high speed within our municipality work to make it happen.

Owen Sound has various properties which are not in use. A solution may be to utilize one of these properties and as such at a deal beneficial to the communications provider. But if the net result is enhancing the capabilities of existing businesses to stay in Owen Sound or lure new ones then I would deem that a success.

Many candidates may suggest establishing round tables, having daytime public consultations or so forth however I realize that the individuals driving business are occupied with growing their business. Rather than focusing on future round table establishment which sounds good, if business tells me taxes are too high then my focus on council is not a round table to look at taxes, it is to examine municipal spending and resist more tax increases. I am a results oriented individual and I would bring that decisiveness to council.

Do you feel economic growth should focus on:

A) Bringing in new business developments, or

B) Encouraging small businesses presently in operations?

Firstly you embrace existing business. They are a customer and it takes far less investment to keep a customer than to gain a new one. The term small business I will apply to all business in Owen Sound but I would like to initiate consultation with key management to have feedback quarterly as to market conditions for their business, what is good and what issues are currently being looked at.

Secondly, we are mandated by our current taxation level to grow our assessment base better than we have been. I will point to empty gas stations on visual lots within Owen Sound as opportunity to further relationships with our neighbouring municipalities and grow our city. We need their support and capabilities while we work with developers to prepare the site for development.

5) Do you think local business taxes are should be:

A) Increased

B) Decreased

C) Maintained at current levels

Business taxes will slowly continue to blend into the same scale as the county which I believe will occur over the next few years. While that is beneficial for Owen Sound businesses from a competitive standpoint it will further pose difficulty on the residential base which is overtaxed. I will bring fiscal responsibility forward for all parties as I speak on behalf of both.

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

The first change I would look to implement would be the removal of the door which positions itself between the developer and key staff when entering. I support a new open door customer service approach as the first change to business for growing our community.

People have ideas and investment dollars. You can embrace them for choosing to look at our city to invest or place enough roadblocks in their way that they will go elsewhere. I desire for them to invest in our city.

One Response

09.23.14

Dear Scott,

I attended the all candidates meeting at the Bayshore, Owen Sound, during which there was an invitation for those not in the question line to approach the candidates via social media.

Two nights before I had attended a presentation in Kitchener by David Suzuki and his Blue Dot tour in which he recognized the total abandonment of environmental issues by our currant Federal government; but, he proposed, we still have the individual ability to make headway at home and at the municipal level to create change in our own communities.

In the meeting last night, I realized there was no mention by candidates of environmental issues. Two issues my partner and I discussed at home were the gaping field of prime Real Estate(Kennedy Foundry) and the mediocre garbage and recycling depot (WM contract services)

The Kennedy property will be a blight on our downtown until the contamination issue is confronted and dealt with. We need a more modern and ethical approach to waste management than dumping it in Michigan.

I recognize that politicians sometimes struggle to think and act beyond the here and now and would encourage you to consider these matters for the long term.
What are your thoughts, as a start, on the Kennedy property and on contracted waste disposal? I would love an answer either directly to my partner Leslie Sinclair and myself, or maybe to the public, during your pre-election appearances.

Sincerely,
Bruce Brown and Leslie Sinclair
4th Ave East

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Address: 954 1st Ave W.
Owen Sound, ON CAN N4K 4K5

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