1) What do you feel is the most significant issues facing West Kelowna and how would you suggest it be resolved?
My platform outlines what I consider to be major issues facing West Kelowna.
• Fostering sustainable economic growth
• Creating a connected community
• Providing greater opportunities for youth and families
These issues are unpacked in depth on my website, I encourage you to view the full platform here: www.stephenjohnston2014.com/platform/
2) What personal characteristics or background do you possess that make you an ideal candidate for mayor?
• I’m a local entrepreneur and currently operate a full service General contracting business in West Kelowna
• I have been a board member at Emmanuel Church for 4.5 years and I’m also the chairman of the Emmanuel Church Building Committee and oversee our current $3.2M, 15000sqft expansion.
• Additionally I am a member of the Board of Directors for West Kelowna Minor Baseball where my role is Director of the U9 division.
• I am a committed family man and a visionary leader, and posses a natural ability to connect with people of all ages.
3) What is your vision for any future development of West Kelowna’s waterfront along Okanagan Lake?
• Our waterfront is a landmark feature, and while we’ve made numerous improvements over the years I still believe there is room for new initiatives
• How nice would it be to go for a walk on our waterfront and be able to stop and shop or grab a bite to eat, or have a coffee and interact with people? These are the types of new experiences we need to work toward creating. We need to provide more opportunities much like our neighbouring communities do.
• The addition of mixed use developments inspire a greater level of connectivity and social interaction, as well as offer new places for people to live.
4) What can the District of West Kelowna do to attract more business investment to the community?
• Increase the visual appeal of West Kelowna. We have a great benchmark in the new Brown Road improvements and need to ensure that same level of upgrade is applied to the rest of the Westbank Centre as soon as possible. Not only is West Kelowna the gateway to the central Okanagan but we are also the gateway to ourselves. We need to solidify our identity (Who are we? Where are we headed? What does WK look like in 5,10, and 20 years), create a brand around that identity and produce a strong marketing plan complete with incentives in order to grab the interest of developers and increase private investment in West Kelowna.
5) Why do you agree or disagree that a second bridge crossing of Okanagan Lake is important to the future of West Kelowna?
• It’s too early to develop conclusions on a second crossing, however I’m eager to see the results of the Province’s second crossing/corridor study.