Community member hosts discussions on hot button issues

Pentictonite Jason Cox is planning to keep the conversation going about community issues in the run up to municipal elections this fall. (Submitted photo)

Jason Cox isn’t saying whether he’s thinking of another run at Penticton city council.

“I’m just trying to lead a conversation around what the issues are leading up to the municipal election,” said Cox, adding whether that culminates in enough support and ideas for him to run or it inspires someone else to do is another matter.

The conversations might also, he said, inspire a ratepayers group or a time for change movement.

“I think the real point of having the events is for the discussion to continue. An exchange of ideas,” said Cox.

Cox’s first get-together was a private one, held in November. This week though, he spread the invitation wider for people to come talk about housing issues.

“This event is just one of a series of events I am going to be doing all year, leading up to the election,” he said, explaining that his Nov. 1 event didn’t have a single focus.

“We talked about what I think are a lot of issues leading up to the election. Now every month, perhaps even every couple of weeks, we will put on one of these events to drill down on one of the topics,” said Cox. Housing was the choice this time, because of the ongoing official community plan work being done by city hall.

“The city was really good, they loaned me some materials, some maps to show what approvals and land processes have been done over the last few years as well as some fact sheets about trends in current land use,” said Cox. The city also asked that Cox pass on the discussion from the meeting for part of their process.

Related: City said good cross-section of community showed up for ExpOCP

Cox said the point is to get people involved in the discussion, and he also encouraged people to take advantage of the OCP engagement and share their ideas directly.

“That’s exactly how we affect the change in land use going forward,” said Cox, explaining how his events are to get people involved in the conversation.

“The events are really roundtable discussions and I invite specific people who are interested in and have experience in the area we are discussing but it’s also open for anyone to attend,” said Cox. “We haven’t had designated guest speakers so far.”

Cox is an entrepreneur, who appeared on the Dragon’s Den last year with his craft sodas. He’s also a former president of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, and also ran for city council in 2011.

Related: People’s Soda earns Dragons’ seal of approval

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