Election 2014: Veteran politicians prepare to keep seats

District of Coldstream: Incumbents Pat Cochrane, Doug Dirk and Gyula Kiss seek re-election

A number of familiar faces are looking to retain their seats on Coldstream council.

Incumbents Pat Cochrane, Doug Dirk, Richard Enns, Gyula Kiss and Peter McClean will seek re-election in the Nov. 15 election.

Former councillor Glen Taylor has also put his name forward, along with Shane Hillman, a newcomer to politics.

The seven candidates, along with mayoralty candidate Jim Garlick, had officially filed their papers as of press time Thursday. The deadline for nominations is 4 p.m. today.

For two-term Coldstream councillor Pat Cochrane, who has another 12 years experience on Vernon council, it was an easy decision to run again.

“I am running again because I truly enjoy the job,” said Cochrane, who has been a resident of Coldstream for 21 years. “I believe I can contribute positively to resolving any issue that Coldstream council has to deal with over the next four years.”

Cochrane, 60, owns Vernon Lock and Safe with his wife of 32 years, whom with he raised two boys.

He is eager to continue his service with a seat on council.

“It has been a privilege working with Mayor Garlick and the current councillors to manage the business of Coldstream on behalf of its citizens.”

Incumbent Gyula Kiss is also keen on serving constituents, specifically directing his efforts to ensuring service costs, such as water and sewer rates, are “fair and equitable.”

The 78-year-old father of three, has lived in Coldstream since 1976.

He aims to represent the interests of all the taxpayers and wants to continue in the same spirit.

“My efforts to have the Master Water Plan reviewed will continue,” said Kiss. “I am not going to support it in its present form.”

Kiss also plans to continue his efforts to change the way water rates are collected.

“My intent is to have a fair and equitable water rate structure where the customers of the utility pay for what they use and low water consumers do not subsidize high water users,” said Kiss, who has been elected five times before (including one term as mayor).

“The current ‘base fee’ is incomprehensible and represents the most punishing form of taxation that does not relate to either property values nor water consumption. I hope to find some support among the newly elected group of politicians to change the format to something that is in the interest of all users.”

But the longest serving public servant to throw his hat in the ring for the seventh consecutive election is Doug Dirk.

“I like to be involved in my community and put the value of my experience to use,” said the 62-year-old Lavington resident who has 18 years of experience.

“Politics is not a recreational activity and requires a variety of skills in both process and decision making.  I understand the issues and their complexities as well as the politics associated with them.”

Dirk has lived in the district for 47 years, 42 of which he has been married to his wife Chris, with whom he raised their three children: Megan, Michael and Ben.

Watch The Morning Star, both online (www.vernonmorningstar.com/municipalelection and in print, for all North Okanagan election details, coverage and candidate profiles.


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