Back in the spring, those who looked ahead to the upcoming municipal election in November didn’t have a lot to get excited about.
There did not appear to be a formidable candidate to take on incumbent Mayor Sharon Shepherd, and that seemed to have a negative slant on others who might choose to run for council.
For the folks at Kelowna City Hall who have the task of trying to increase voter turnout at the polls, it was looking grim.
But here we are in September, and how things have changed.
Former mayor Walter Gray has decided to take another run at his city council rival for the mayor’s chair, and he promises that others will run for council now that his name is officially in the municipal election ring.
And Orchard Park Shopping Centre has decided to provide a voting station on election day to make it more convenient for their shoppers to vote.
Christmas has come early for those concerned voting folks at city hall who worry about percentages.
Now the question is: Will you voters out there pay attention and exercise your democratic right, or will you remain paralyzed by apathy and continue to whine about what city hall does or doesn’t do?
Gray appears intent on drawing not only differences between himself and his mayoralty race rivals, but also between himself and the existing council.
His comment of the need to correct “inactivity, procrastination and too many frivolous studies” that tax the time of city hall staff and taxpayers is a shot directed not only at Shepherd, but most of the current incumbents on council.
This race has the potential to draw some clear divisions on the city’s future development path and city council’s role in making that happen.
Voters made a clear statement about the city’s future direction back in 2005, and they are called upon to do the same again this fall.