Update 8 p.m.
Polls are now closed.
We caught up with voters earlier today to find out what issues brought them out.
Check back often for updated results and stories.
Voters across British Columbia head to the polls on Saturday to choose a mayor, council and other leaders in local government.
Polls are open in Penticton at the following locations until 8 p.m. PT:
Penticton Trade and Convention Centre
Penticton Seniors’ Drop-In Centre
Who is running for mayor?
James Blake had a tough teenage life, spending some time homeless before receiving support to build himself a better life. His hard work paid off and it eventually lead him to be responsible for almost 80 theatres, the biggest cinema chain in California. Blake said he has repeatedly built successful teams and is running to bring the city’s people together as a team to create a better Penticton for everyone.
Jason Cox is a long-time entrepreneur who owns the People’s Soda Co. He previously was a commercial banker and has a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from UBC. He said being active in the community, on boards and committees, gives him considerable perspective on issues the city is facing. He wants to put Penticton on a safer and more prosperous path.
Andrew Jakubeit has been on council for 10 years (the last term as mayor), is a local business owner and has lived in Penticton for 27 years. He said he chose to run again because Penticton needs stability and consistency on council, particularly in the mayor’s chair, to leverage the positive momentum the city is experiencing.
Jukka Laurio has lived in Penticton for 15 years and he became a business owner due to the lack of jobs available in the city to lead the semi-retired lifestyle he wanted to lead. He also previously operated a cannabis dispensary in Penticton, that was ordered to be closed by the City of Penticton, and then in Okanagan Falls — which was raided by the RCMP. Laurio said Penticton is a faint reflection of its former glory and he believes he can fix that. He has ran for mayor twice before.
John Vassilaki has lived in Penticton for 63 years, has a business background and previously was on council for 12 years. He believes he has the experience and vision for the position of mayor. His priorities are focused around improved safety in Penticton and improved prosperity.
Dominic Wheeler has lived in Penticton for 15 years and is a security guard and former taxi driver. He lists public safety as one of his main platform issues and wants to increase the size and scope of Penticton’s bylaw office to enable the officers to act more proactively in enforcing the bylaws fairly.
Who is running for council?
Karen Brownlee has lived in the city for 30 years running her own business, Okanagan Lawn Care Ltd. and a magazine called Encompass. She is running because of her concern with the way the city has declined.
Frank Regehr worked with School District 67 for 22 years as secretary-treasurer and has served on the arena task force committee and the utility rate review committee. His main focus for council is to improve financial making decisions, promote accountability, search for a way for residents in adjoining areas of the RDOS to pay a portion of Penticton’s recreation facility deficits, support public safety and the protection of parkland.
Isaac Gilbert is a park ranger that moved to the city two years ago. He is the president of the Penticton Toastmasters, supports PACA, teaches public speaking and leadership qualities at SOICS and runs an improv theatre group. He wants to see the city transform into a sustainable city environmentally, economically and culturally.
Katie Robinson is an experienced businesswoman with a financial and management background. She was previously a councillor in Penticton from 1990-1999 and 2013-2014. She said city council needs to be more acceptable to the citizens and wants to help council move down that path to serve and protect its citizens.
John Archer is a retired businessman who volunteers at the Penticton Art Gallery and SOSPride. He is a member of the Protect Penticton Parks Society, the seniors centre and community centre. Archer is passionate about protecting the city’s environment, improving neighbourhood safety and enhancing the beauty of the community.
Marie Prior is a long-time Penticton resident with a background in banking and as a counsellor in private practice. Her concerns centre around seniors, policing, safety, drug overdoses, public health, tax benefits of economic zones, residential taxes and non-residents using city facilities with no contribution to taxes.
Daryl Clarke has lived and worked in the city for the past 29 years. He volunteers extensively in the community and has been a member of the chamber of commerce for the past 12 years (a director for the last five). He feels the city needs to have “real conversations” to move forward in a positive direction.
Julius Bloomfield believes everyone should be engaged at shaping the community, through volunteering, sitting on committees or being a part of political administration. He is focused on progress that deals with housing, tourism, city infrastructure, agriculture, the arts and public involvement in the governing process.
Max Picton was a city councillor this past term and is running again to ensure council makes direct, honest and informed decisions. He has lived in the city for 37 years and has worked hard to build a career as an entrepreneur.
Jake Kimberley was first elected as a councillor in 1986 and held the position until 1990 when he was elected as mayor. He sat as mayor for two terms and then re-elected in 2005 to 2008. He said many projects were completed under his terms as mayor including the water filtration plant, revitalization of Front Street as well as the construction of the SOEC.
Doug Maxwell is a downtown Penticton resident for the past 23 years and is a retired business owner and licensed auto technician. Maxwell is a volunteer at the food bank, board member with PDSCL and the Penticton Creek restoration. He regularly attends city council meeting and wants to keep the small town atmosphere in Penticton.
Kevin Proteau is the publisher of the Locals Supporting Locals calendars and wants to be a watchdog at city hall. He said it is time to clean up city hall’s bad reputation for backing corporate policy and for not listening to what the public wants.
Christopher Millin owns and operates Saint-Germain Café Gallery and said after four years of attempting to run a small business, he believes he has a point of view and voice that will benefit everyone. He wants to focus on strengthening the city’s draw for small business, government transparency, cultural enhancement and providing more recreational activities for young families.
Glen Clark has lived and worked in the city for 27 years. he said he brings a unique, balanced and positive perspective. Clark said he is running because of the issues that need to be faced including employment opportunities, crime and wealth inequity.
Campbell Watt is an incumbent councillor that brings with him six years on the Downtown Penticton Association board (twice as president), sid years on the chamber board (twice as president) and was voted business leader of the year in 2014. Watt said he knows that council has had some “hiccups along the way” but believes the city is moving in a positive direction.
Christopher Evansin is running to ensure there is proper representation of young adults on council. At 20-years-old he said he has been a leader in many different environments thanks to having progressed through the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Program.
Connie Sahlmark ran in the 2017 provincial election for the Green Party, garnering almost 19 per cent of the vote. She wants to see more affordable housing, smart infrastructure, clean energy and development in compliance with a community-driven Official Community Plan.
Duffy Baker is a small business owner, volunteers with a number of organizations in the city and sits on the Affordable Housing Committee. Baker wants to be the bridge between the city and the residents.
Jesse Martin has worked at the Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School for the past seven years. His focus is to go above and beyond to help Penticton residents raise their quality of life. He has laid out strategies for dealing with Penticton’s drug, crime and homelessness problems.
Judy Sentes is a long-serving city councillor and said she committed to enhancing a vibrant, healthy and sustainable community and to be an advocate for affordable housing. She also wants to create more accessible healthcare opportunities for seniors and others requiring assistance.
Joe Frocklage owns Epenticton Mobility and says over the years he has helped many people get off the street and back to school or work. Frocklage said he is aware of the challenges of today’s youth and seniors and is an aggressive decision maker.
David O’Brien said he is down to Earth and easy to talk to. He said he has worked in commercial property management, tourism and hospitality and public transportation. O’Brien wants to bring a fresh outlook to city council and has a tendency to think outside the box.
Lynn Kelsey says she is the people’s advocate and wants to see change in more affordable housing, especially for young families and single adults. She also believes in a living wage for Penticton. Kelsey is calling for public transit to be affordable and accessible and wants the Official Community Plan to include principles of smart growth.
Darryl Sanders is a local business owner that is running for council for the second time. Sanders thinks Penticton is losing its small town feel. He promises to donate money from his councillor salty to youth sports programs and to support disability programs.
Who is running for school board?
Shelley Clarke has served as a school trustee for the past 11 years. She has previously worked with persons with special needs and at-risk youth. She was involved with her children’s schools as a PAC volunteer and coach and remains an active volunteer in the community.
Tracy Van Raes is a mother of two and a marketing and community relations manager at Total Restoration Services. She is heavily involved in the community and has a variety of board experience. She is running for trustee so she can be the “strong voice of advocacy for children in our district.”
Derek Hurst has lived in Penticton since 2003 and chose to run because he saw it as a natural profession of his relationship with the school district. He is an active member on three school PACs and for the past six years was the chair of the SD67 district Parent Advisory Council.
Dan Walton is a journalist and is running because he covered, in-depth, the school closures that School district 67 was facing. He believes centralizing schools is not the way forward and was concerned when all four trustees running for re-election voted to close three schools. He wants to be the voice to protect the schools.
Barb Sheppard is an entrepreneur, volunteer and champion of education in Penticton. In 2014, she won a trustee seat, promising to serve the community for a minimum of two terms. Sheppard said she had good knowledge of working boards and budgets.
Teresa Hebert said she is passionate about education and believes the past board worked well together. She said if elected, the biggest challenge ahead will be the first year of working together with new faces around the board table.
James Palanio plans to ensure a focus on student achievement and a direction that benefits the entire district and our communities within it. His top priorities as trustee are to support our students in a variety of ways. He has volunteered on many boards and is the president of the B.C. Real Estate Association.
For all of our stories on the municipal election, click here.