Chamber releases 'talking points' for municipal election

The Yorkton Chamber of Commerce today released its Election 2020 Talking Points document.

Marty Sveinbjornson, Chair of the Chamber’s Policy committee indicated the document is intended to generate interest and discussion about the upcoming Municipal Election this fall. 

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“The Chamber identified three areas of interest to the business community,” he explained at a press conference Thursday. “...The intention is to get people talking about the recommendations so they can discuss these with the candidates for Mayor and Council.”

The three areas of interest include: Transparency & Financial Accountability; Business Growth & Expansion; and Infrastructure Needs.

Not surprisingly business issues rank highly.

While the last few years have been an exciting time for the city in terms of its growth in both the business and residential sectors, the Chamber believes more can be done to assist businesses,” said Sveinbjornson.

The brochure details:

The Chamber is greatly concerned by the number of vacant commercial properties throughout the city.  Providing some seed money is one way to stimulate the economy.  The Chamber is willing to work together with the city in finding ways to mount a rejuvenation of the business community.

The Chamber recommends the 2020 – 2024 Council invest in projects that will continue to make the city attractive to business investors and new residents.  This could be achieved through;

* An incentive program for businesses throughout the city to spruce up their front façades

* A review of current policies to ensure business growth and retention are encouraged

* A review of the development levy and its impact on the sale of city properties

* Providing incentives for ‘first in’ on any new areas of development

In addition the talking points hit on the transparency and financial accountability of the City.

“The City and Council strive to be transparent and accountable.  Since 2010, the Directors of the Chamber have taken turns attending each Council meeting.  Further, based on continued discussions with Council and the city’s senior administrative staff, a number of the recommendations the Chamber has put forth in the past have been implemented,” states the brochure.

The Chamber recommends that the 2020 – 2024 Council continue to;

* Hold open discussions during Council meetings. It is important to the electorate that differing points of view are seen to be discussed

* Ensure the City’s tendering protocols are scrutinized and that standard protocols adopted by the various sectors are followed

* Review departmental budgets and the scope of employment for employees in an effort to reduce redundancy

Infrastructure needs are the third point of interest to the Chamber citing;

* The replacement of water and sewer mains along Broadway Street is necessary in the very near future. The project has been delayed because of the very high costs.  Cost sharing with other orders of government will assist in making this project more affordable

* York Road is also in desperate need of major reconstruction.  It is part of the Urban Connector Program whereby 70 per cent of the funds for upgrades are provided by the Government of Saskatchewan and 30 per cent by the City.  The importance of York Road to the city needs to be impressed upon the provincial government

* Yorkton is in the queue for a new regional health centre

* Over the past few years, the city has endeavoured to find ways to enhance the aesthetics of the city.  The Chamber encourages the Council of 2020 – 24 to maintain the momentum of its beautification efforts to make Yorkton an attractive city to residents and visitors alike

* The Chamber recommends the 2020-2024 Council continue to invest in the regional airport as it is a tremendous asset to the city. The airport is the city’s link to the world

The document also contains information about the nomination process to run for Mayor or Council and the time commitment involved in serving on Council.

The Municipal Election is set for Nov. 9, and Sveinbjornson said the Chamber encourages the citizens of Yorkton to vote in this very important election.

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