McKean Looking to Replace a Retired Ellen Anderson

 John McKean - The Blue Mountains Mayoral Candidate

John McKean – The Blue Mountains Mayoral Candidate

Mayor of Blue Mountain Ellen Anderson will not be running for re-election, opening up the position to a fresh face. Michael Seguin, who has been a councillor in the Town of the Blue Mountains for three terms is up against Deputy Mayor Duncan McKinlay.

Do you have any strategies prepared to encourage local economic growth? Which issue should this next term’s council give to more focus to: A) Bringing in new business developments, or B) encouraging small businesses presently in operations?

I recognized the Town of the Blue Mountains had one of the highest development charges in the region and pushed for change.

The Town of the Blue Mountains has recently lowered the development charges in an attempt to stimulate growth in the residential, industrial commercial and agricultural sectors. I advocated for our new Official Plan to be changed to allow more accessory businesses in the rural areas.

I will strive to achieve more efficiency in the town’s service delivery operations, to keep our tax increases in line

What do you see has been the largest challenge over the last 10 years, faced by business operators in your region?

The slow down in the economy has had a noticeable negative impact on businesses. Tourism plays such a big part in our area and resort operators and other businesses have noticed a shift to more day trip visitors as opposed to longer visits.

Do you think local business taxes are at a fair rate, or should be lowered or raised? Should there be any changes in the municipal services provided to businesses, (such as garbage removal)?

Taxes are a cost-recovery function and if businesses wish to see some change in service, by all means make council aware of your concerns.

Recently, some businesses in Thornbury wished to install perpendicular signs which were not presently allowed by the current sign bylaw. The concerns were noted and exceptions to the bylaw were permitted. I believe the sign bylaw needs to be changed to a more modern reality and will work toward that end.

What three things would like to see achieved during your term as mayor?

  1. I want to see a better financial arrangement between the Town of the Blue Mountains and Grey County regarding service levels.
  2. A streamlining of the services provided by the town to our residents.
  3. Promoting an “Open to Business” attitude

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Basics of Bookkeeping (Three part workshop)
Tuesday September 19th and 26th and Tuesday October 3rd, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Business Enterprise Centre Training Room $95 (HST included)
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This three part Bookkeeping Workshop will allow you to use the tools and information to confidently understand your financial statements and your own books. Class size is limited to 8 to allow a hands-on, individual learning opportunity for everyone.

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Wednesday September 20th, 9:00 am – 11:30 am, Bayshore Community Centre
FREE – Pre-registration is required
Facilitator: Cliff Bilyea
Discover the basic steps involved in starting a business, evaluating your idea, determining your market and basic rules and regulations. Attending the is workshop is mandatory for anyone applying to the Starter Company Plus Program.

Business Enterprise Centre Workshops

Introduction to Quick Books (Two part workshop)
Tuesday October 17th and 24th, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Business Enterprise Centre Training Room, $80 (HST Included)
Instructor: Jane Gallagher
The first session of Quick Books provides participants with an overview and access to a trial version of the program. The second session will be questions and answers to address specific issues. Knowledge of basic bookkeeping principles is required. Limited to 8, you must bring your own laptop. (This workshop does not cover the online version of Quick Books)

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