COUNCILLOR CANDIDATES The nine candidates for municipal councillor presented their platforms and answered questions at an all-candidates forum on Oct. 4. The municipal election will be held Oct. 20. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Summerland council candidates address importance of good planning

Nine councillor candidates present their platforms at all-candidates forum on Oct. 4

Forward thinking and planning were identified as priorities in Summerland by the nine councillor candidates during an all-candidates forum on Oct. 4.

The forum, organized by the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, drew a full crowd at Centre Stage Theatre. Six councillos will be elected for a four-year term at the upcoming municipal election.

Ron Kubek said inefficiencies at municipal hall and a slow system need to be addressed.

He added that a lack of foresight at the council table is hampering the community.

“We need vision to make our community better,” he said.

Richard Barkwill, an incumbent, said he is running on a platform of change.

“The issues that we face today are not necessarily the issues we will face tomorrow,” he said.

Doug Holmes, an incumbent seeking re-election, spoke of the importance of planning for the future.

He said development and infrastructure upgrades are issues which will require careful thought.

“All of our development planning requires extensive public engagement,” he said.

Mark Smed said council will need to consider development proposals in the years to come.

“We have to have some growth,” he said, “but it has to be balanced growth.”

Martin Van Alphen, who has served as a councillor in the past, said the municipality has said no to many proposals in previous years.

“It is clear that we need a larger tax base to replace our aging infrastructure,” he said.

Erin Carlson, an incumbent, said Summerland needs a good vision for the coming years. She added that Summerland is poised for positive change in the future.

“I want to be part of that change,” she said.

Erin Trainer, an incummbent, said while the past council has made some good progress during the past four-year term, there is still work to be done at the municipal council table.

She also said the atmosphere in council meetings needs to change.

“I want to imprve the environment in council meetings, including public hearings,” she said.

Claude Gautron, a retired teacher, described himself as being pro-development.

“We should plan well in order to have the housing we need and the businesses we want,” he said.

Doug Patan, who has worked in municipal government in British Columbia, said good planning is essential.

“The vision I see is for a prosperous community,” he said. “The development we need has to be responsible development.”

The municipal election will be held on Saturday, Oct. 20. Advance voting will be on Oct. 10 and Oct. 16.

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