Candidates set sights on city hall

McMurray, Pearson and Quiring seek seats as Vernon councillors

Three Vernon residents are hoping to bring their skills and interests to city hall.

Jonathon McMurray, Mike Pearson and Brian Quiring are among the 15 people running for the six councillor seats on council Nov. 19.

“Vernon has been very good for me and my family and I want to give back to the community,” said  McMurray, who has lived in Vernon since 2007 and is a partner in the local A&W restaurants.

“I have been involved in community events and I have found out how great Vernon is.”

McMurray says he doesn’t have significant concerns about the direction the city has followed.

“I like where council has gone and I just want to get on there and help out.”

One area of interest is stimulating the economy.

“A good economy is good for everyone — the people who want jobs and the people who want to start businesses,” said McMurray, who has previously ran for office in Kamloops.

Pearson is a carpenter who has been a resident of Vernon since 1973.

“I have always been politically minded,” he said.

Among the issues Pearson hopes to focus on is affordable housing and development planning.

“We need to build up and not out,” he said.

Pearson also wants to focus on economic conditions,

“We need more jobs here because we have kids leaving the community,” he said, adding that there is a need to focus on jobs that can sustain families.

“I’m tired of hearing of the sunshine tax and we need to change that attitude.”

Pearson is also concerned that city hall regulations make it difficult for residents to develop property, and that city hall doesn’t represent the public’s interests.

“I want council to be more accountable,” he said.

An architect, Quiring has been in Vernon for 18 years and he made a bid for council in 2008.

“I’m committed to the community,” said Quiring, who has been involved with the art gallery, the music school and the city’s advisory planning board.

“I’m a strong urban designer. I’m frustrated with some of the planning decisions and I can help round out the team.”

Affordable housing is on Quiring’s agenda.

“Everyone should have a place to live that they can afford,” he said.

Quiring also believes there is a need to amend policies that hurt businesses and the economy, such as narrowing roads.

“We’re trying to choke the community instead of expand it.”

Quiring also wants to see the city emphasize arts and culture for social and economic reasons.

“They are the core of the community,” he said.

Also running for councillor are Scott Anderson, Juliette Cunningham, Kelly Fehr, Jack Gilroy, Ruth Hoyte, Lily Kerr, Shawn Lee, Catherine Lord, Patrick Nicol, Mary-Jo O’Keefe, Bob Spiers and James Todd.