For publication in the Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008 edition of The Daily News.
Ideas are good, especially when it comes to candidates for political office. They tell us something about their priorities.
Murphy Kennedy is doing his best to steal the initiative from mayoral opponent Peter Milobar by attacking him and by keeping a reasonable stream of press releases and proposals going out to the public.
Given the fact that Kennedy’s biggest challenge is to become familiar to voters, this is not a bad strategy. As he put it yesterday during our conversation about his latest idea, “I know what I’m up against.”
The strategy won’t work on all counts, and I’ll go into that in more depth on the blog next week, but let’s take a look at Kennedy’s latest proposal.
This week, he released a position paper on something he dubbed KART, for Kamloops Attract and Retain Talent. Clever name for a platform plank on how to make Venture Kamloops more effective in attracting new business.
Several pages long, it’s the kind of detail only policy nuts and newspaper editors would be interested in dissecting.
In part, it’s harmless stuff, focusing on trade shows and career fairs, which aren’t entirely foreign to Venture Kamloops as it now operates. He doesn’t put a price tag on it.
While ideas are friendly, when they come from politicians it’s always fair to ask what it will cost us, and whether they have a snowball’s chance of succeeding.
Kennedy sets out in comprehensive fashion a plan for Kamloops to attract new business, via KART, not only via the marketing angle but by offering tax exemptions. It’s an interesting proposal and, in part, a little dicey. And the parts that are clearly and currently within the jurisdiction of city councils are already being done here. Read the rest of this entry »