After 25 years at Cut Technologies, 12 of them as plant manager, Daryl Clarke has decided to switch careers.
“I am going to devote myself to council,” said Clarke, announcing his intention to run for Penticton city council this fall.
Preparing his nomination package, Clarke said he decided the 10 signatures should represent a wide swath of the community, from different economic sectors and left to right on the political spectrum.
“My nomination form is a key to my campaign. I haven’t got 10 of my friends to sign it, I have 10 people in the community,” said Clarke.
That includes people like Kevin Epp, from the Okanagan Skaha Teachers Union to Frank Conci of the Penticton Industrial Development Association.
“I wanted to know if I had broad support,” said Clarke.”I am trying to show that inclusion in the community and speak to a broad spectrum of people. I think that is something the current council has missed.”
Clarke said he is standing for a broader economic diversity in Penticton.
“Tourism and everything is fantastic, but the industrial area is shrinking and the year-round mortgage paying jobs are being chipped away at. We need to try and concentrate on the year-round jobs,” said Clarke, adding that while tourism is important, but industrial jobs are as important, if not more so.
“One by one, little by little, we are losing the jobs up there,” he said. “Those guys work year-round and they are paying mortgages year round.”
Clarke said he’s not just looking at that one issue. He’s been involved in the community over the years, both as a businessman and a volunteer with a number of events and organizations.
“I am not coming in with an axe to grind. I am not coming in because I am mad at the previous council,” said Clarke. “I have more to give to the city. I believe in community service.”
Clarke also stresses his skills as a consensus-builder.
“I am proud of the fact that I managed that plant (Cut Technologies) for 12 years. It is a union shop and I did not have to deal with one grievance,” said Clarke. “We talked everything through and we solved all of the problems before they went to that.”
Clarke’s wife Shelley has been a school trustee for 11 years. Along with sitting on City of Penticton committees and being a director for the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, he has also been on the Parent Advisory Committees for KVR Middle and Penticton Secondary Schools, as well as chairing the District Parent Advisory Committee.
The couple have been married for 27 years, and have two adult children, Kalvin and Janna.
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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