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Mortgage broker all-in for Vernon council

Kari Gares will seek a council seat in Oct. 20 municipal election
Kari Gares

Tired of finger-pointing, and not enough meaningful talk where differing views are acknowledged, Kari Gares wants to be part of the change at Vernon city hall.

Gares, a Vernon mortgage broker and co-owner of MHC Mortgage House, has formally announced she will run for Vernon city council.

“A different approach is certainly needed and the City of Vernon and its citizens must consider the positive and negative impact that comes into play when one viewpoint is considered more important,” said Gares. “Falling too left or too right will only help to amplify the problems we are now seeing. A balanced approach is what Vernon needs and that can only come when your city’s representatives are willing to work together for a common goal.”

Gares’ election platform is focused on five key factors:

* Infrastructure development that addresses the needs of the community with a focus on youth development and interaction;

* Attainable housing – working with local non-profit groups, city planners and key business partners to help develop an affordable housing initiative that will help to increase rental stock;

* Encouraging business investment while focusing on small business development;

* Fiscal responsibility and transparency:

* Working with local law enforcement, community policing groups, and bylaw to implement a policy that emphasizes a zero tolerance on the illegal activity that is hindering our community.

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“We need to appreciate that the issues affecting many communities across B.C. and in Canada will require a collaborative approach from the many levels of stakeholders: municipal, provincial, federal, IHA and from non-profit and profit groups,” said Gares.

“There’s not one singular solution that can fix the problems surrounding homelessness or those suffering from mental health or addiction issues but with input from all levels of government, we can start to face these issues head-on as opposed to finding Band-Aid solutions.

“Fiscal responsibility and transparency always seem to be top of mind for many. How do we develop a strong foundation that will encourage economic development in the private sector? How do we protect our small businesses? How do we encourage business investment? It could be as simple as ensuring the city has developed its amenities and infrastructure projects to allow growth among young families and professionals.”

Gares is a mother, a wife, a businesswoman and an individual who cares for the people she interacts with on a daily basis. She was born in Vernon and moved back to her hometown in 2005. When she is not working as a mortgage broker, she spends her time volunteering in the community. Gares has volunteered with the Elizabeth Fry Society, The Vernon Land Trust and North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse Association, where she currently serves as local president.

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“It’s not enough to hang your hat on a concept; you need to get involved,” said Gares. “Engagement is half the battle but we can’t stop here. A willingness to listen is essential when developing new policies that will help govern your community.”

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