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CANDIDATE: Baun Mark (GF -- Council)
I am a Grand Forks businessman and entrepreneur. This city has been my home for 60 years. I started my first business 50 years ago shortly after I finished high school and I have started and operated several successful businesses here in Grand Forks since.
Presently, my wife and I are owners of the Grand Forks Castle Renovation Centre and Castle Flooring & Kitchen Design Centre. I have 6 children aged 6 to 46 years. My wife, Mei-Lan and I have been happily married for almost 19 years.
I’ve decided to run for City Council because I felt I owe a lot of my business success to this City. Grand Forks has been very good to me and my Family, and now I would like to give back to my City. I now have more time to properly give to the City as I now have a new store manager. I want to offer my skills and my business acumen, and to have a part in helping direct the City in a positive direction. I wish to step back a bit from my business duties and dedicate my time and energy to ensure the positive growth of our wonderful City.
I have acquired a lot of business knowledge and I believe my extensive business background would be an asset in City Council. I am experienced with human resources management, management of finances and assets, inventory control, promotion & marketing, negotiations and fulfillment of contractual obligations of purchases, work contracts and commercial leases. But, above all, the most important skills I have learned through my 67 years of life, is to give great customer service and to listen to my customers and genuinely care for their needs and wants.
I feel that the corporation Of The City Of Grand Forks should be run as a business, by persons with business management experiences, after all, it is a Corporation.
City Council is like the Board of Directors of a corporation. Elected members of the Board (or Council), are given a great level of responsibility and trust, responsibility to ensure that the shareholders (taxpayers), get value for their hard earned dollars, responsibility to be good stewards of the shareholders’ (taxpayers’) assets. They must never forget that they are responsible to the taxpayers, you, the “customers”.
I think we now in the City Of Grand Forks, are facing some great challenges. The closing of businesses, losing retail services in our Town and the many empty storefronts certainly has a negative impact on the Town. This gives a negative impression to potential businesses and visitors. Although we say we are “Open For Business”, the sad truth is that we are not getting new businesses or industries coming in. It is quite the contrary. Several potential businesses apparently have inquired, but it seems that they feel we are “not open for business”. Too many conditions and restrictions were imposed and no incentives offered were worth considering.
I want to work towards a positive image for Grand Forks. I want Grand Forks to be unique and special, so businesses and people would want to come here, with job opportunities and growth. I don’t feel the signs at the entrances of our fair City do our City justice. Why the black colour? “Settle Down”? I am sorry, but I must be honest, the signs look like tombstones. I would like to get rid of these signs and replace them with bright sunny ones that will reflect our bright sunny “Sunshine Valley” and accenting that, I would like to have a slogan such as “Solar City of Canada”. After all, we do have the most sunshine hours in B.C. and I even think in Canada. I envision Grand Forks having solar panels everywhere, especially on all of our municipal buildings and properties, providing the city with clean, safe, free alternative energy for all.
When asked to describe myself in three words, they are: “Make-Things-Happen!"
The one thing that makes me stands out as a candidate? Innovative and thinking outside the box.
My Community Services And Offices Held are:
- Promotions Director on the Board with Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce
- Member on Food & Hospitality Advisory Committee for Nelson Selkirk College
- Volunteer Martial Arts Instructor in non-profit Karate Club for Youths
- Instructor for Ladies Self-Defense Courses with Selkirk College & G F Recreation
- Board Member on a local Christian Church for 16 years
- Ordained Head Deacon for over 10 years in a local Christian Church
- Superintendent of Saint john Ambulance Cadets
- Chairman of Squadron Sponsoring Committee of Boundary 841 Royal Canadian Air Cadets (recently taken office)
When you elect me to City Council, I will not take this trust and responsibility lightly; I will work diligently, with integrity and honesty, for you, the shareholders of the Corporation.
I will work for the best interest of the Corporation Of The City Of Grand Forks, your City, my City, and the City of our Children.