Candidates step forward

Juliette Cunningham and Dalvir Nahal will run for a seat on Vernon council

There are more people stepping forward to represent Vernon residents.

Longtime Coun. Juliette Cunningham will seek re-election Nov. 15 while community volunteer Dalvir Nahal will also put her name on the ballot.

“I feel passionate about doing this,” said Nahal, a 38-year-old provincial customer service representative who has lived in Vernon for 34 years.

As a councillor, Nahal says her goal would be to improve communications between the city and the public.

“There’s such a disconnect between youth and the city. Some decisions are made for the community and yet the public has not been asked for its input,” she said.

“People don’t have an interest for municipal politics and yet that is the level of government that impacts us directly.”

Nahal also wants improved financial oversight.

“I am sick of taxes being raised every year,” she said.

“It’s ridiculous for young people and families to buy a house and then pay high taxes. There’s no accountability for where the money goes.”

Nahal also wants greater emphasis on economic development.

“I want to attract youth to stay here. We’re losing so much talent,” she said.

Nahal is a director with the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation and has organized the Bollywood Bang fundraisers for cancer care. She is also involved with the Upper Room Mission and the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Cunningham, who grew up in Vernon, has been on council for six years over two separate terms.

“ I understand the level of commitment required to fulfill the role of councillor and am prepared to put in the continued effort in order to make thoughtful,  informed, responsible decisions on the wide scope of issues that council deals with on a regular basis for our community,” she said.

“We have worked diligently these past three years to improve our relationship with our regional partners. We have made significant changes in terms of how we deliver parks and recreation. The City will have control of our local parks which will better serve our citizens .  This has been done while also providing considerable savings to our taxpayers.”

Owner of a consignment store, Cunningham says she understands fiscal responsibility and accountability.

“One must balance investment in services with tax rates when we consider building our community for today and for future generations,” she said.

“Affordable housing and accessibility continue to be a strong area of interest for me as well.  These are aspects of community development where the city can be an effective partner in initiatives that address these issues.”

The other declared candidates for Vernon council are Jack Gilroy, Shawn Lee, Catherine Lord and Brian Quiring.