Letter: Think twice before jumping in
Open letter to all candidates for Kelowna city council and mayor:
First, let me say thank you for considering to serve this great City of Kelowna. It is great to see so many people wanting to be involved.
However, if you really care about this city, then I must ask you to consider not filing your nomination papers.
Presently, we have had more than 50 people pick up candidate packages for council and 11 for mayor.
If like most Kelowna voters you are concerned about the direction we are going with the present mayor and council, then you also realize that with this number of potential candidates, it just increases the chances that we will have the same group sitting around the table for the next three years. I feel we deserve better.
Some of you have run numerous times without success. While you are certainly entitled to try again, but—and it is a big but—the chances of you getting the required number of votes to win a seat doesn’t look very positive.
Most of you could double or triple what you got in votes in 2008 and still not be at the table. So now is the time for personal reflection.
If you really want change and you can’t beat an incumbent, then please, please, find a candidate that does have a chance, that shares your views and values and place your support behind that candidate.
Who are these potential candidates? Good question.
Someone who was within 500 votes in 2008 has a good chance if they have been able to keep their support or perhaps grow that support with endorsements from those willing to step aside for the good of the city.
Some new high profile individuals have come forward, which gives them a good chance because name recognition is big in civic elections.
Gerry Zimmermann, as an example, is extremely well known, so I would suggest he has a strong chance. (Note: I have never met Gerry so this is not a personal endorsement, just an example.)
Turning to the mayor, it is a two-person race—no ifs, ands or buts on this one.
The last time Walter Gray and Sharon Shepherd squared off, the next closest candidate received a total of 378 votes or one per cent of the vote, while Shepherd finished with more than 53 per cent of the vote and Gray had more than 44 per cent.
These two both bring different ideas and management skills to the table, so lets have a good debate between them.
Hopefully, we can have less than 15 candidates for council. Then the all-candidates meetings will take on some meaning as we can have a full debate on the issues with them as well.
If we go with the present 50-plus, then I think we all know what the result will be.