Election 2014: Five more in for Penticton council race

City of Penticton: New crop of candidates cite business experience, desire to give citizens stronger voice as reasons for running

A handful of people have come forward announcing their intentions to run for Penticton council seats in the upcoming municipal election.

Among those is Doug Maxwell, who ran against Dan Ashton in the 2012 provincial election as an independent for the B.C. First party. Maxwell has lived in Penticton for over 20 years and has retired from his small business (Maxwell’s Auto Service Ltd.) which he operated for two decades.

“I have some good ideas to bring to council and believe at my age I have good wisdom to put forward,” said Maxwell.

Maxwell describes himself as economically conservative and lists water conservation among some of his priorities, along with effectively handling growth.

“I don’t mind Penticton staying smaller. We don’t have to grow. Instead of getting bigger we should focus on being better. We should have the cleaned beaches, have the safest community and a whole range of things we should be the best at,” said Maxwell.

Patrick Buchanan is also a name voters may recognize as he ran in the Penticton mayor byelection in 2013 when Ashton vacated his seat winning the provincial election. Buchanan said the reason for him choosing to run for council is simple.

“I feel it is my civic duty,” he said.

Buchanan, a small business owner, is involved in youth sports, other organizations and was an auxiliary RCMP member for nine years. He is campaigning on his vision to maintain Penticton as a family-orientated community. He also puts municipal spending high on his priority list.

“I want to concentrate on the infrastructure and how money is being spent on parks, arenas and other facilities. I would also like to make the entrances into Penticton a lot nicer,” said Buchanan.

Debra Slater does not have a background in politics but feels she will make a good member of council because she represents the average person.

“I feel like things have been a little out of hand with council the last while. I am someone that always has something to say. I am a voice and I feel strongly that if there are enough voices that get together someone will listen and that we can change things,” said Slater.

She said she decided to throw her hat into the ring after she heard that the city sent a letter to resident Elvena Slump warning her of legal action for defamation regarding a letter to the editor. Slater has lived in Penticton for over five decades and is a manager at a storage centre.

“This is a beautiful city to live and work in, but we are struggling and we need to get some balance back in this area,” said Slater. “I’m honest, maybe a little bit outspoken, but I really believe Penticton can be a wonderful place to live for all ages.”

Providing better representation for residents and small businesses will be one of the key planks in Don Dumesnil’s campaign to win a seat on Penticton city council.

The 47-year-old father of two works as a payment adviser for PayVida, which supplies businesses with equipment and support they need to process payments from debit and credit cards.

“Because of the work that I’m involved with, I get insights into the small business community and what concerns they have and what they’d be looking for,” he explained.

Dumesnil has lived in Penticton for 18 years and took one other shot at office in 1993, when he ran unsuccessfully for the Canada Party in the federal riding of Saint Boniface near Winnipeg. If elected here, he promises to provide “a stronger voice and honest and straightforward representation on Penticton city council.”

Darryl Sanders is also running for council. The businessman does not have any political experience but has been a member of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association for six years, sat on the executive for Penticton Slo-Pitch for four years and has been a volunteer firefighter for the Penticton Indian Band for the past six years.

The 40-year-old decided to run because he wants a voice on council for people in his age demographic.

“Someone needs to stand up for them and it needs to be someone that is going to listen to what people in this city want,” said Sanders.

Sanders said he moved to Penticton in 1997 and has seen a drastic change.

“I moved here because it was booming, things were happening and there was stuff to do. Now everything is slowing down so much. My fear is in another five or six years we are going to end up in a position where nothing is going to be happening but for people to get up and fly out to alberta to work,” he said.