I moved to Delta with my wife six years ago. Originally hailing from Denver, I probably should have felt like an alien in the small-town vibe of my wife's hometown.
But I never did.
This community welcomed me with open arms, and now I can’t imagine being anywhere else in the world. I can't think of a better place to raise my son. I couldn’t fathom of being any closer to natural beauty in all directions. This is my home, and I don’t plan on going anywhere.
But there is always room for improvement.
My family started a business on Main Street, and we quickly learned the struggles that small businesses face. Delta has a bad reputation for being hostile to business startups, and this is entirely the fault of our city government. Delta needs to drastically change the way it interacts with the business community, or else we can expect more economic hardship in our future. “Business as usual” is no longer acceptable.
I became better acquainted with the shortsightedness of our City's leadership, and how often they kicked the proverbial can down the road for future generations to deal with. Devil's Thumb Golf Course has cost taxpayers millions of dollars since it opened. Approximately 85% of Delta's capital improvements budget for the next 30 years is dedicated to debt service payments for the alternative truck route. And now our city officials are attempting to extort money from various essential services (fire department, school district, etc.) to create a multi-million dollar handout to a hotel developer, which will burden the budgets of necessary services like fire safety. Debt, bonds, and other efforts to finance boondoggles with money that we don't have—I won't allow these to happen my watch.
I'm not afraid to challenge old ways of thinking. If Delta is going to innovate, then it needs to be open to new opportunities and markets—even the ones that were once taboo generations ago. There is a strange tendency for leaders to talk out of both sides of their mouths when it comes to promoting "free markets," while at the same time dictating what businesses should be "allowed" to operate within city limits. You can't have it both ways. We need to be open to ALL business models, and, yes, that includes recreational marijuana.
I understand the importance of growth while still maintaining a unique sense of identity. I don’t want to make Delta the “next Telluride” or the “next Aspen”; I want to make Delta the “next Delta.” I want to make our city the prototype for others to follow, while still maintaining what makes our city special.
Most importantly, I want my son to inherit a city that he can be proud of and raise his own family in—a place of abundance, generosity, and civility.
This isn't going to be easy. This will likely entail an uphill struggle against the status quo.
But Delta is worth the fight. And I hope to do so while serving as your future City Council member.