A strained relationship with the Regional District of Central Okanagan isn’t keeping Wayne Carson from entering politics.
Carson will run for Central Okanagan West director Nov. 15 even though he had a high profile battle with RDCO last year that ultimately led to him leaving his job as North Westside fire chief.
“This isn’t about sour grapes. I believe the concerns of residents need to be addressed,” he said of his decision to put his name before voters.
Carson, who had been chief for 19 years, resigned Sept. 16, 2013, claiming he had no choice given allegations and job changes being made by the regional district.
He was originally suspended by the regional district for three days in June but details around that circumstance have never been made public.
Carson then returned to duties after the suspension but a leave of absence began July 8, 2013. RDCO has always indicated that Carson requested the leave but Carson has denied that occurred.
A former hotel manager in Vancouver, Carson has lived in the North Westside area since 1986. He was with the fire department for 21 years.
He believes there is a need for new representation at the regional board (current director Jim Edgson is retiring).
“We have no control in our community. We have seen changes to the water system and (garbage) transfer site. We have parks and no improvements have been made,” he said.
“There doesn’t seem to be any effective input from the community. We need a strong voice in the community to take a message to the regional district and get maximum bang for our tax buck in the community.”
Nomination papers are now available for the Central Okanagan West position.
Those people picking up nomination papers have between 9 a.m. Sept. 30 and 4 p.m Oct. 10 to file their completed nomination papers.
Information about running in the election is available at www.regionaldistrict.com/elections.
“Potential candidates may wish to consider the time commitment, remuneration, financial disclosure and reporting and other legal responsibilities that come with holding public office,” said Bruce Smith, RDCO communications officer.
Carson wants assurances that RDCO will get mail-in ballot details out early to residents who are away for the winter or have seasonal property.
“This is about accessibility to vote in the community,” he said.