Incumbents seek re-election

A trio of veteran politicians in Coldstream remain on board with representing their community’s best interests.

  • Oct. 23, 2011 9:00 a.m.

A trio of veteran politicians in Coldstream remain on board with representing their community’s best interests.

With 15 years experience under his belt, five-term councillor Doug Dirk has a long record of serving his community.

“I’m running again because I still have an interest in council, continue to learn and desire to represent and contribute to the community,” said 60-year-old Dirk.

The retired telecommunications worker also has the time to dedicate to the position.

He has represented Coldstream at the Regional District of the North Okanagan, the Okanagan Basin Water Board and Ministry of Transportation’s Regional Transportation Advisory Committee.

With 12 years of experience on Vernon council plus the past three at Coldstream, Pat Cochrane wants to stick around to wrap up some unfinished business.

“There’s still outstanding regional issues,” said the 57-year-old father and owner of Vernon Lock and Safe. “Another three years have gone by without addressing Coldstream’s concerns regarding parks and water is always an outstanding issue.”

And locally, Cochrane is proud of the many projects and initiatives that council has brought to fruition.

“I felt this council really accomplished a lot over the last three years.”

Fellow veteran Gyula Kiss, who has a combined 12 years experience serving Coldstream (including one term as mayor), is also eager to continue his work.

As a long-time advocate of improving the region’s water and sewer rate structure, Kiss vows to continue his fight for fair costs for customers.

“I think I know more about it than any other politician,” said Kiss, who is always the first to wade into water discussions with his expertise.

“I started out in politics because of my environment involvement,” said the retired forest research scientist, who was instrumental in bringing the Kalamalka Forestry Research Station to Coldstream. “Environment is my top priority.”

Kiss also defends the district from public attacks over a controversial subdivision bylaw (where Coldstream has been accused of treating homeowners like developers).

Despite special interest groups, he says such decisions are made with all views in mind and aim to improve the entire community – something Kiss strives to consider with every council decision.

“My interest is in the betterment of the community and the service of the community,” said the 75-year-old father of three grown children.

Dirk, Cochrane and Kiss are joined by fellow incumbents Maria Besso, Richard Enns and Bill Firman, former councillors Peter McClean and Glen Taylor and resident John Hegler.

The nine candidates are vying for six seats on council, while the mayor’s race is between incumbent Jim Garlick and political newcomer Dave Hrabchuk.

 

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