The number of candidates for Vernon city hall is growing.
Businessperson Kari Gares will seek a seat on Vernon council as will incumbent councillor Bob Spiers.
“Vernon needs progressive and forward thinkers, those that see the need for business development and infrastructure creation,” said Gares, a 38-year-old mortgage broker who was born in Vernon.
“If we are going to stay true to the families that live here, then it is a must that we do what is needed to keep them here. I see firsthand the challenges that many families face. There is a real need for positive growth both economically and fiscally, and I believe the people want to see these changes reflected in the decisions the city makes.”
Gares says there is a balance between fiscal responsibility and growth.
“I have the knowledge and the will to make this a city that many are willing to call home.”
Gares’ grandfather was on council in the 1960s.
“I would like to help my grandfather realize this by trying to finish what he started all those years ago,” she said.
Spiers, 68, says he wants to continue to protect tax dollars.
“There needs to be a voice of reason and watching out for excessive spending,” said the retired brokerage operations manager who has lived in Vernon since 1990.
“I will continue to vote for those projects and services that truly are required but will be a councillor who has respect for property tax dollars and will never authorize frivolous and unnecessary spending.”
Spiers believes some positive actions have occurred within city hall.
“I’m encouraged by our staffing level not increasing year over year as it used to.”
Another major issue for Spiers are the water rates initiated by the Regional District of North Okanagan.
“We have to come up with a more fair water rate and we missed the boat by not doing a peer review to see if the master water plan should be taken to the table.”
The other declared councillor candidates are Juliette Cunningham, Jack Gilroy, Shawn Lee, Catherine Lord, Dalvir Nahal and Brian Quiring.