Tribes launches bid for Vernon mayor

City of Vernon: Klaus Tribes seeks top political spot as mayor in Vernon

A passion for the community has a former politician wanting to take the reins of Vernon city hall.

Klaus Tribes, who was a councillor for 18 years over a 25-year period, announced Wednesday that he will run for mayor in November’s civic election.

“I have the drive, energy and desire to give the position my full attention,” he said.

“I intend to be a hands-on mayor and involve myself with the day-to-day operations of the city.”

Tribes, whose political career came to an end after seeking the mayor’s chair in 2002, admits there have been some changes in the community over 12 years, but he is convinced he can actively contribute.

“I know how the city runs. We’ve had mayors without that knowledge and they ran,” said the 74-year-old.

A key issue is the economy and creating an atmosphere friendly for business.

“My attitude will be, ‘How can we make it work?’” he said of projects presented by potential investors.

“Commerce creates wealth, jobs and a healthy tax base. With a healthy tax base, we can afford the amenities that are the fibre of a well-rounded community.”

He supports calls for a second ice sheet, and suggests Civic Arena could possibly be twinned if the facility is proven to be structurally sound.

“I’m amazed at how much money comes into town from hockey tournaments and money creates jobs,” he said, adding that he would also like to investigate development of a trade and convention centre.

“In the past, we didn’t have enough hotel rooms and now we have enough.”

Other issues of concern are costly water system upgrades, road infrastructure and supporting the downtown core.

He is also calling for four town hall meetings a year to consult with residents.

“If I am mayor, I will have an open door policy and will be available to listen to citizens’ concerns and suggestions,” he said.

Tribes says he will not criticize the decisions of the current city council, but admits he wants like-minded individuals to run for council with him.

“I hope people will come out and say, ‘I like what he has to say and I want to be there.’”

A former police officer, he ran a restaurant downtown for almost 40 years and is currently a breakfast ambassador at the Fairfield Inn.

Tribes says all other activities would take a back seat if he is elected mayor.

“I intend to make this a fun job and enjoy it. I can be there from morning to night,” he said, adding that he won’t wait until the fall to pursue voter support.

“I’m going to start campaigning soon and campaigning means knocking on doors.”

Rob Sawatzky, the current mayor, has not indicated if he will seek a second term in November’s election.