Andrew for Mayor

Fair, Balanced, Experienced Leadership 

Serving on council is part of my commitment to make Penticton a great place to live, now and in the future. I've been on City Council for 10 years. Over the past four years, I have gained valuable experience in the mayor's chair. This experience will help me provide the consistency, stability and leadership required to keep Penticton moving forward. 


Leverage record Development & Business Optimism

Penticton City Council has been part of an exciting period of economic growth. We were strong advocates for the $312 million Penticton Regional Hospital expansion. Since 2014, council has approved the development of more than 1,668 housing units and been part of the Yes project as well as the revitalization of downtown and the Lakeshore Walkway. Other exciting projects include the relocation of Gateway Casino and retooling our Economic Development departmart based on 101 local business interviews. As mayor, I am very proud to be part of the team that helped make these projects happen.  

                   

Right Staff – Continue the Momentum

I am committed to continuing the work we started during my first term as mayor. One year after our current council was elected, Penticton was recognized as one of Canada’s most entrepreneurial cities. I want to build on this momentum over the next four years. We have the right staff in place and a great community story to share. I believe the past 18 months is a good indication that the city is on the right track. We have taken positive steps to improve city services, processes and we are building on our successes.


Building a Strong Team Environment

Creating an environment where council can debate, discuss and disagree on issues, has been an important part of my focus as your mayor. Sharing consensus on decisions as a council, in a respectful manner is vital to our success. As members of council, it is difficult to please everyone but we strive to balance the needs of some 34,000 people who call Penticton home. Serving on council can be challenging, but it is also rewarding when you have a strong team in place.

                                                                                                                                              

 

Term Highlights:

I am proud of the feedback I receive from residents and visitors about the improvements we have seen in Penticton over the past four years. Council's support of plans to build 1,668 homes and our commitment to youth, in particular the YES (Youth Engagement Strategy) project are part of the important steps we are taking to improve the quality of life in our community. Downtown revitalization has helped to transform downtown with significant private investment and housing taking place. Keeping Cascade Casino in Penticton is also highlight for me. The casino will generate $100 million in revenue over the next 40 years. Another positive step is our work on community engagement on major issues. We now have more than 3,300 active participants sharing their views and helping shape our community. We have committed to major policy updates (Parks/Official Community Plan/Asset management) that will provide solid direction moving forward. We also took a stand against inappropriate behaviour in public places; while creating support services for those in need. 

                          

Past Challenges:

As mayor, I accept responsibility for the public concerns expressed over the Skaha Park Project. The lack of a clear community engagement process resulted in two years of conflict which ultimately overshadowed what has been an exciting time for our community. Council and city staff took proactive steps to resolve the situation by creating three park policies which include clear engagement requirements. This will ensure all future decisions related to parks will be community-driven.  The lessons learned during this difficult time resulted in the development of an engagement strategy that will uphold the values of the community, and ensure these issues are clearly understood before any major policy decisions are considered by council. 

Biggest Challenge of the next term:

Penticton faces many challenges including mental health, drug addiction and homelessness. I am deeply concerned about the effects these social issues have on our community, and I understand the growing frustration expressed by residents. These issues, which are part of a national crisis may seem overwhelming. As your mayor, I will continue to work on behalf of our community to find solutions that work for all our citizens including the most vulnerable. We need straight talk on the reality of the situation, and a concerted effort to identify gaps and build partnerships. What we don't need is negative rhetoric and false promises. 



Crime in our community is another issue that requires strong leadership. As elected officials, we must find a balance between supporting those in need and meeting the expectations of residents and local businesses. Any approach must be multifaceted and include input from a wide cross-section of the community. Local governments must be advocates for changes to our court systems as it struggles to deal with prolific offenders, including those with chronic mental health or addiction issues. 

The City of Penticton is taking positive steps to deal with crime by declaring the "Party is Over." This includes discouraging criminal behavior by increasing the number of by-law officers, extending shifts into the evening, and increasing RCMP patrols including the Target Enforcement Unit. The creation of CAST (Community Active Support Table) provides local government representatives and social agencies an opportunity to work together to help individuals who need help. In addition to providing support services for those who want them, we need to lobby the provincial and federal governments to help deal with the small number of offenders who have have multiple interactions with protective services personal and medical services. 

We can all agree that there are no easy solutions to the costs and anxiety associated with criminal activity in our community, but through honest dialogue and a commitment to finding solutions we can begin to make a difference.