October 08, 2014 - 2:29 PM
WEST KELOWNA - Stephen Johnston officially registered yesterday to challenge Doug Findlater for the mayor's seat in the District of West Kelowna.
There are three people registered as candidates for mayor.
"I'm looking forward to a great campaign and getting our message out," Johnston said in a media release. "I'm excited about promoting a vision of a connected and vibrant community that engages our youth, celebrates our identity, and looks to the future through thoughtful and focused development.”
Johnston's platform centres around the concept of a connected community.
“West Kelowna is an amazing place to live full of great neighbourhoods with a lot of history," he said. "But not all these neighbourhoods have substantial hubs: places where people can gather, connect, and get to know one another. One example is we need to utilize our waterfront to maximize our mixed use development potential. I want to see the waterfront become a hub of community interaction, with places where people can linger over a coffee or an ice cream, or even purchase a place to live.”
Johnston describes himself as a family man with young children of his own, committed to providing greater opportunities for youth. He said he believes West Kelowna needs a place where children and generations to come can enjoy safe, fun things to do year-round.
“I’m behind the youth initiative to build a new skateboard park as soon as possible and explore other possibilities that help make our community a great place for young families.”
He also hopes to capture the imagination of those reaching the age of majority by helping establish a junior council at Mt. Boucherie Secondary School; to create a space where students can become involved in the political process and experience how much influence a person in the community has.
As for development, Johnston said fostering sustainable economic growth starts with attracting investors and developers to West Kelowna.
“Currently our development process is prohibitive and covered in red tape. We need to find new ways to show investors that West Kelowna is open for business,” Johnston said. “We can begin to do this by offering priority processing, fee discounts, and short-term tax exemptions in designated development areas. The tax burden needs to shift from homeowners to a more diversified, vibrant town centre. The development of new commercial centres leads to more employment opportunities, so people can really live, work and play in West Kelowna."
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— This story was corrected at 4:14 p.m. Oct. 8 to say three people have registered as candidates for mayor of the District of West Kelowna.
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