I support BIA’s in principle. I do not support the use of a “Negative Petition Bylaw” in accordance with the Community Charter Act, to facilitate creation of a BIA. I do not support a process where the decision lies solely with the landlord who will, through a triple net lease regime, pass the cost of the BIA on to the business community. In relation to the City of North Vancouver, I do not support the establishment of a BIA tax at this time, nor for the foreseeable future. I might have a different opinion were it not that the tax burden on the City’s businesses is already beyond a reasonable threshold. As such, and until such time as the tax burden is more equitably shared between all resident types, I will continue to oppose a BIA tax or levy anywhere within the City.
IT IS MY POSITION THAT a number of well organized BIA’s all proposed as being under the administrative control of the Chamber, enlarged, strengthened and financially fortified to do this job with money’s provided by the City, will create the opportunity for a renewed dialogue with business, in a way that would draw entrepreneurs back to the City from other jurisdictions, and revitalize our flagging business precincts. To accomplish this goal:
- I would compel the City’s staff to actively work with the Chamber, to develop a new focus which seeks to engage the commercial business community, and to give that community real power and control over the issues which directly affect their long term success, with a budget commensurate to the task, and
- I would support increased funding for the Chamber of Commerce to support all local BIA initiatives with earmarks to each BIA area, and
- I would act on the decisions put forward by each BIA through the Chamber, and ensure that City staff became a facilitator and not an obstacle to the success of the City’s commercial business community.
When I find myself in a position to effect change, the policies setout above will guide my decision-making.