Options abound for Vernon voters

Fifteen people have filed papers for the six councillor seats in the Nov. 19 election.

Fifteen people have filed papers for the six councillor seats in the Nov. 19 election.

They are Scott Anderson, Juliette Cunningham, Kelly Fehr, Jack Gilroy, Ruth Hoyte, Lily Kerr, Shawn Lee, Catherine Lord, Jonathon McMurray, Patrick Nicol, Mary-Jo O’Keefe, Mike Pearson, Brian Quiring, Bob Spiers and James Todd.

Hoyte is running for the first time.

“I feel very passionate about the community,” said Hoyte, who owns an insurance business and is president of the Downtown Vernon Association.

A leading concern is Vernon’s relationship with  Coldstream and the electoral areas.

“I see what’s happening at the regional district and we need our partners. Enough finger-pointing,” she said.

Hoyte says co-operation is key to the economy because Vernon doesn’t have land for business.

“We need partnerships to bring good-paying jobs to the community.”

Hoyte also wants to focus on fiscal management.

Lee is a dentist who is seeking a second term.

“I like the direction the city is taking,” he said.

Among the areas Lee is most pleased of is the tone council has set for addressing key issues.

“If men and women of good will get together, even if they disagree, they can make good decisions,” he said.

For Lee, one of his primary concerns is a new RCMP contract that meets Vernon’s fiscal realities.

“When you look at the staff we’ve had to add (at the detachment), we feel frustrated that the costs are not shared more around the region,” he said.

Lee also believes improving infrastructure should be an ongoing priority.

“If we don’t maintain it, we will pay now or later,” he said, adding that there is a need for a long-term plan that spreads out the impact on taxpayers.

Nicol, a former broadcast executive, has been on council for about 22 years.

“It’s an honour to work for the citizens and try and improve the community,” he said.

“I’ve never lost the enthusiasm. I love public life.”

Nicol believes the city has made significant strides in upgrading necessary infrastructure while  trying to keep taxes low.

If elected, he says he would like to see an expansion of park space as well as progress made on the proposed sports facility at Okanagan College.

“I always try and take positions for the common good. It’s all about having vision and enthusiasm,” said Nicol.

Todd was born in Vernon and is an artist and writer.

“Taxpayers just want their councillors and mayor to be an example of common sense, especially when distributing their tax dollars,” he said.

“The economics of these times require this.”

Todd also believes there is an administrative disconnect between what looks good on paper and how policies translate in the community.

“This is  not the time to invest the public’s dollars in great edifices,” he said.

“The next three years is the perfect time to get back to administrative basics and repair and upgrade infrastructure.”