Election 2014: Five vying for Vernon mayor

City of Vernon: The wait is over and Vernon’s five mayoralty candidates are ready to convince voters they deserve the city’s top job

The wait is over and Vernon’s five mayoralty candidates are ready to convince voters they deserve the city’s top job.

Nominations for the Nov. 15 civic election closed Friday and running for mayor are Victor Cumming, Jamie Morrow, Akbal Mund, Mary-Jo O’Keefe and Klaus Tribes.

All of them expect a steady pace as they campaign for the next month.

“I’ve been attending community gatherings and I will be knocking on doors. There’s social media and it’s about being seen,” said Cumming, who is an economist.

Morrow, an Okanagan College recruiter, will be focused on increasing his profile.

“There will be door knocking and people are e-mailing me and posting on the website,” he said.

“I want to establish personal relationships. It’s about one person at a time because people talk (to friends and neighbours).”

Mund, a former Wendy’s partner, will also be using a mix of social media and traditional methods like visiting homes.

“I will be calling people and knocking on doors and telling them what I am about,” he said. “I’m going to bring out a lot of younger voters.”

Websites, Facebook and Twitter are being used by O’Keefe, as are brochures.

“It’s a hard game to play,” said the current city councillor and owner of MJO Tours of election campaigns. “We have to try and reach out to everyone.”

Tribes, a former city councillor and restaurateur,  plans to hold a meet-and-greet for residents and brochures have been printed off.

“My committee has been working on the campaign and we will let the public know what I’m all about,” he said.

All of the candidates have identified key issues they want to address during the campaign.

“We need to grow the regional economy and ensure responsible financial management,” said Cumming, adding that his focus is also strong relationships with neighbouring jurisdictions and seeking government grants for infrastructure.

Morrow wants to engage youth and focus on the economy.

“I want to create an environment to keep young people here and jobs. If there is a vibrant downtown, that spreads out through the community,” he said.

Mund says he wants to get people interested in city hall.

“A lot of people don’t vote and my focus is to get people to vote. People need to make a choice instead of bickering about what the mayor and council do,” he said.

O’Keefe insists she has a clear message.

“We need to make it easier for people to invest in the community and start the money rolling around in the economy again,” she said. “How do we support families here. You do that by having stable jobs.”

Tribes says he wants to promote town hall meetings and open government so residents are more involved in decision-making.

“The people of Vernon will know what’s going on. I will have an open door as mayor,” he said.

 

Running for the six Vernon councillor seats are Scott Anderson, Juliette Cunningham, Kari Gares, Jack Gilroy, Art Gourley, Janet Green, Shawn Lee, Catherine Lord, Dalvir Nahal, Mark Olsen, Brian Quiring, Bob Spiers, James Todd and Colt Wilson.