John Vassilaki expects to be re-elected mayor of Penticton | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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John Vassilaki expects to be re-elected mayor of Penticton

Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki.
Image Credit: Submitted/City of Penticton

After 16 years of serving on Penticton city council, the last four as mayor, John Vassilaki has decided to run for re-election.

Vassilaki was a city councillor from 2002-2014, lost in his bid to become mayor in 2014, but won the election for mayor in 2018. asked him if he is going to win the Oct. 15 municipal election.

“Absolutely,” Vassilaki said, noting that, as of now, he doesn’t know of anyone is planning to challenge him.

“It’s nice to have people running against everybody,” he said. “Then you have different perspectives, not just the one. It’s good for the community. It’s good for the taxpayers. The more ideas that come forward the better it is.”

Vassilaki’s comments came during an interview about Penticton having the highest crime rate among the largest Thompson-Okanagan cities.

READ MORE: Penticton most crime ridden city in Thompson-Okanagan and much of B.C.

“My personal opinion is, we have to start fighting poverty and not the poor,” Vassilaki said. “If I get re-elected, my main purpose of becoming mayor is to do proper housing, where people can rent or buy below market.”

Nomination papers are available for municipal and school trustee elections throughout B.C. but they can't be filed until Aug. 30. The deadline to file nomination papers is 4 p.m., Sept. 9

One prominent Okanagan politician who will not be running this fall is current West Kelowna councillor and former mayor Doug Findlater.

He was a key player in getting the Westside to incorporate in 2007, served as a councillor for the city’s first year in existence then mayor for 10 years after that. In 2018 he stepped down as mayor and was elected as a city councillor. Current West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom announced in the spring that he will be running for re-election.

In Kelowna, Tom Dyas, who finished second to Colin Basran in the mayoralty race in 2018, has declared he’s running again. Basran has not announced his intentions.

Kelowna is one of the few cities that posts online when people take out nomination papers, as long as they agree to have their names published.

So far, seven nomination-for-mayor packages have been picked up. Those who have allowed their names to be published include Glendon Smedley, David Habib, Elizabeth Angelopoulos, Cory Sperle and Robert Anderson. Forty people have picked up nomination packages for city council and two for school trustee.

READ MORE: Five candidates now in running to become next mayor of Kamloops

In Kamloops, five people have declared their intention to run for the mayor’s chair being vacated by retiring Ken Christian. Those include three current city councillors: Arjun Singh, Dieter Dudy and Sadie Hunter.

Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming has yet to state his intentions.

Municipal election day is Oct. 15.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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