High housing costs following the struggles of COVID have prompted Erik Olesen to step up towards change.
A Vernon resident since 2015, Olesen is running for mayor in the upcoming municipal election. Olesen previously put his name forward in the Dec. 4, 2021 byelection and ran for mayor in 2018.
Employed as a residential worker for DESC Services, Olesen provides support in a group home setting to individuals with developmental disabilities, autism and mental health challenges.
An active member of the community since moving here in 2015, Olesen wants to do more for Vernon, particularly following the last couple years.
“All of these challenges have made me look at the other side of it, knowing that many individuals and families are facing the same thing I have in our community,” said Olesen. “This is one of the reasons I have decided to step up and run for mayor of Vernon along with the support of the community.”
Olesen’s priorities are:
2. Climate leadership;
3. Economic growth;
4. Effective leadership;
5. OCP development.
Olesen has been with his partner, Damon, for the last four years and they recently added a new addition of the family with Luna.
A former chairperson of the Vernon Winter Carnival, Olesen spent three years as the chair for the Alzheimer’s Walk and has volunteered for the United Way Breakfast Drive Thru and Sunshine Festival.
“In my professional career in leadership roles I have built strong healthy partnerships with communities,” said Olesen, who looks forward to listening to the community and bringing concerns forward if elected.
The decision to run for mayor did not come lightly, but Olesen had community members reaching out in recent weeks asking if he would put his name forward again.
Olesen’s name will be among at least three choices for Vernon mayor in the Oct. 15 election. Incumbent Mayor Victor Cumming and incumbent councillor Scott Anderson are also seeking the mayor’s seat.