Well-known local entrepreneur Tom Dyas is taking another run at the Kelowna mayor’s chair.
“Kelowna has seen tremendous growth over the last eight years and while we’ve seen some positive changes, our leaders have failed to address many of the key priorities of our residents,” said Dyas.
“Residents need a mayor who will listen to them when they say crime has gotten worse, housing is unaffordable, roads are congested, and a 29 per cent increase in property taxes is too much.”
Dyas, a former chamber of commerce president and lead on the city’s successful 2020 Memorial Cup bid, came second to current Mayor Colin Basran in the 2018 campaign.
“Kelowna has one of the highest crime rates in the country, housing prices are out of reach for too many, our infrastructure is aging and yet we’ve seen a 29 per cent increase in taxes over eight years,” added Dyas.
“It’s time for residents to get results.”
Dyas officially kicked off his mayoral campaign with an event at the Centennial Hall in Rutland, attended by more than 30 supporters.
Dyas said he chose Rutland to launch his campaign, which he also did four years ago, because the hall availability fit his campaign schedule and to acknowledge Rutland’s need for new and improved amenities should not be ignored.
In a media scrum after speaking to his supporters, Dyas touched on several issues including taking a leadership role in addressing solutions to reduce crime, encouraged the province to continue studying initiatives for a second Okanagan Lake crossing, and wanting to see more specifics before addressing provincial government calls to override city control of housing development and rezoning.
In response to ongoing development, Dyas said his position is to ask the question ‘What is in it for Kelowna?’ before saying yes to new projects.
He said issues like daycare, rental affordability units, parks, road improvements should be addressed from the city’s self-interest perspective.
“We have a lot of the right talk but not a lot of the right action. That’s why I want to run for mayor,” Dyas said.
Dyas has been involved in Kelowna Minor Hockey and sat on several community steering committees and boards dealing with community development including the Journey Home Task Force, Airport Advisory Committee, Child Advocacy Centre, and an Okanagan College committee tasked with designing new courses.
“As your mayor, my promise to you is to never say that good is good enough and to never say that any issue we’re facing as a community is not my problem,” said Dyas.
“Being a leader means listening and stepping up when others won’t. That’s what I’ll do as your mayor.”
Colin Basran has not yet declared if he will run for the mayor’s seat in October’s municipal elections.