The nomination period for the Sept. 7 municipal by election closed Saturday, with one last candidate entering the councillor side of the race at the last minute.
Kevin Andrews is no newcomer to Penticton’s political scene. The former school trustee has also run for city council in past elections, but said he isn’t put off by not managing to win a seat.
“I don’t get discouraged. I believe that every person has the opportunity to attempt to make a difference in any way they can contribute,” said Andrews. “It tells the community and ourselves that we care.”
Andrews waited to put his name in, he said, until he had considered whether he was sure he could make the commitment and manage his job and family.
“There are a lot of things going and I wanted to make sure I had time to put my best into it,” said Andrews. “I work full time and have kids, so like many people I have a busy time of it.”
While he doesn’t have a specific platform, Andrews sees himself as bringing different insights to council.
“It’s nice to have a little new blood in there every now and again. I’ve been in the community a very long time, so I think I could certainly have some insight into what we might need here, what would make a difference here, how we can make things better for the people who are coming and the people who want to stay,” said Andrews.
Along with his experience on the school board, Andrews also has more than two decades of experience in the health field to draw on. He’s employed by Interior Health as volunteer co-ordinator for both Penticton Regional Hospital and Kelowna General Hospital.
He agrees with the current city council that the PRH expansion is long overdue, but said that in dealing with higher levels of government, you have to go through their process.
“I think the public, the people, need to take responsibility; to keep at it, to make sure they are persistent in their drive and reasonable in their expectations,” said Andrews.
Andrews joins Pat Buchanan, Lynn Kelsey, Andre Martin and Kate Robinson in running for the councillor seat vacated by Garry Litke. Litke will be contending with Brian Henningson and Vic Powell in his quest for the mayor’s chair.