Black Press Media is reaching out to all candidates running for West Kelowna council in the 2022 municipal election, asking for their response to three specific issues about the community, as well as a fun question. Responses will be published in the order they are received.
Garrett Millsap – Council candidate
If elected, how do you think council should manage growth, development and attainable, affordable housing in West Kelowna?
West Kelowna City Council will need to manage growth with a balanced approach. I think we live in a place where everyone in Canada wants to live. Being born and raised in Kelowna/West Kelowna I have seen both cities see massive growth, especially in the last 5 years. I feel that it is critical that infrastructure takes a front seat before it’s so far behind that we never catch up. I would like to see a standardized more streamlined process for developers to be able to build housing. I would like to see developers actually finish developments, not just leave park spaces, right-aways, and amenities behind for the city to have to pay for and finish. I want to see community centers with amenities like grocery stores, hair salons, pharmacies, and other things we use in our day-to-day lives.
In your view, what is the council’s responsibility to help address street and property crime in West Kelowna?
I have had my car broken into twice in the last year in my own driveway. I feel the council’s role is to actively engage with the RCMP and Bylaw Enforcement to find out where the hotspots for crime are. We need to find out where the criminals are who are actively preying upon those with mental health issues and hold them accountable. We also need the provincial government to step up and help those with mental illnesses and provide a safe place where criminal activity isn’t their means to survival.
What steps do you think council could take to improve traffic flows and road infrastructure in West Kelowna?
If elected I would be a loud voice in lobbying our provincial government to begin the process of a second crossing of Okanagan Lake. The first thing that needs to be discussed is all of the traffic lights on the Kelowna side of the bridge. Do we really need to have them every 200 feet when Bernard Avenue is closed in the summer months, which happens to be the busiest time of the year? The city needs to create more jobs and a thriving economy in West Kelowna so residents who live here can actually work here, therefore, not having to travel across the bridge twice a day to earn a living.
Who is your favourite Okanagan celebrity and why?
Phil Johnson, AM1150.There is nothing like his radio show anywhere and it is so nice to hear people living in the Okanagan share stories and opinions on a daily basis.