Community involvement is important to Akbal Mund and he says the next logical step is entering politics.
The 54-year-old announced Thursday that he will let his name stand for Vernon mayor Nov. 15.
“I want to help out more people than I have through all of the other activities I’ve done,” he said.
A previous owner of the local Wendy’s franchise, Mund was president of the Greater Vernon 2012 B.C. Winter Games, co-founder of Wendy’s Dreamlift Day, president of the North Okanagan Sports Society and president of the Vernon Soccer Association.
“I’m strong at leadership,” said Mund, who has lived in Vernon since 1993 and was named Citizen of the Year in 2012.
“I understand the people of Vernon as I have been involved in numerous cultural and sports fundraisers and events since I moved here.”
A primary focus for Mund, if elected mayor, would be improving economic conditions.
“There needs to be an industrial park somewhere and downtown needs buildings taller than four stories, perhaps with housing on top,” he said.
He also wants to see more emphasis on sports and culture and enhancing key infrastructure.
“I have a long-term vision for the city, one where my grandchildren can enjoy the community by residing here, not elsewhere, because we have all of the amenities they require for a healthy and prosperous life.”
But while he says the city must meet the public’s needs when it comes to services, financial responsibility is required.
“We have to look at how to create a surplus so we don’t have to raise taxes every year,” he said.
“We will run the city like a business and create a healthy tax base so that in the future, we can look at the possibility of lowering tax rates.”
While some residents have pushed for amalgamation of Greater Vernon’s jurisdictions, Mund says regional governance is not part of his agenda.
“I will focus my thoughts on Vernon. People need to decide what they want to do. Other communities need to decide what they want to do with governance,” he said.
There are four other candidates for mayor — Victor Cumming, Jamie Morrow, Mary-Jo O’Keefe and Klaus Tribes — but Mund believes that is a positive.
“If there are five different people with five different walks of life, people have a choice,” he said of voters.
“I hope voter turnout comes out and people can make a decision that is best for Vernon.”