Wayne Carson, the current Central Okanagan West regional director, is not only running for re-election to that post in the Oct. 20 civic election, he is also seeking a seat on Kelowna city council. —Image: RDCO

Central Okanagan candidate running two races in two different communities

Wayne Carson wants to keep his regional director’s job, and wants a seat on Kelowna city council

One candidate, two ballots.

That will be the case next month when voters in Kelowna and the regional district electoral area of Central Okanagan West head to the polls in the civic election.

Wayne Carson, the incumbent Central Okanagan West regional director, is not only seeking re-election for that post, he also wants to be a Kelowna city councillor—both at the same time.

Carson confirmed he is running and said he is serious about both election bids, saying despite the fact he lives in Killiney Beach—located north of West Kelowna—working for a friend who owns a concession at Orchard Park Shopping Centre in Kelowna for the last 18 months has opened his eyes to several issues facing the city.

“I feel I can change things in Kelowna,” said the retired former chief of the North Westside Fire Department.

Related: Here are your 2018 civic election candidates in Kelowna

He said the main issues for him in Kelowna are transit and transportation.

“I want to fix public transportation and fix the gridlock on the roads,” Carson said.

There is no rule saying a candidate has to live in the municipality where he or she is running when it comes to civic elections in B.C. There is also no rule limiting how many races a candidate can enter at one time during a civic election.

In the past, Carson has expressed his displeasure with Kelowna directors on the regional board, saying they have too much power over of the affairs of his Central Okanagan West electoral area.

Seven of the 13 voting seats on the regional board (the WFN has a non-voting representative) are held by Kelowna appointees. Kelowna city Coun. Gail Given is the chairwoman of the board.

Related: Two-candidate races in both Central Okanagan regional district electoral areas

All the Kelowna regional board directors from Kelowna are appointed by council.

Carson said from a regional perspective he would like to see the three regional districts in the valley amalgamate, more regional planning take place, a Skytrain-type light rail system be built to serve the Valley from Penticton to Vernon and possible regional police and fire services.

In the Oct. 20 civic election, Carson will be challenged in Central Okanagan West by John Michael Cole, and in Kelowna he will be one of 22 candidates vying for the eight available councillor positions. The candidates include all the incumbents with the exception of Tracy Gray, who is not seeking re-election, instead opting to run for the federal Conservative Party nomination in Kelowna-Lake Country.

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