Election 2014: Perrino pulls plug on political career

District of Summerland: Summerland mayor says she won't run for re-election this fall

Janice Perrino with Premier Christy Clark during a surprise visit to Penticton's hospital in early 2013.

Janice Perrino with Premier Christy Clark during a surprise visit to Penticton's hospital in early 2013.

After a dozen years on Summerland municipal council, including the last six in the mayor’s chair, Janice Perrino will step away from politics.

At the district’s regular council meeting on Monday, Perrino announced she will not put her name forward for the Nov. 15 election.

“Over my six years, I’ve worked with two incredible councils and along with amazing staff we have achieved more than I ever dreamed possible,” she said.

“I have to say all of my major goals that I came to this table with have been accomplished.”

Among her goals outside the community was a B.C. government commitment to fund a $325-million upgrade, including a new ambulatory care tower, at Penticton Regional Hospital.

Perrino helped secure the project through her other jobs as chairwoman of the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District and as executive director of the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.

She said her role with the foundation will require a significant time commitment in the years ahead as she works to raise $20 million to cover the cost of all the medial equipment for the hospital expansion.

“It’s the biggest project we have ever taken on and we can’t fail,” she said.

“I wouldn’t be able to give the mayor’s job the time and commitment I’m used to giving and what I know is required.”

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton said Perrino will continue to play an “integral role” in the hospital’s redevelopment.

“Janice has a wonderful personality and has always been a pleasure to work with,” said Ashton, who, during his time as Penticton mayor, sat with her on the board of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and joined forces to work on issues of importance in both communities.

Penticton Mayor Garry Litke echoed those sentiments.

“It was great working with her. She was so committed to improving health care in this region,” said Litke, who

Other accomplishments during her time as mayor that Perrino cited included holding two citizen surveys in 2009 and 2012, water separation and water metering work, the new RCMP building, a scheduled transit service to and from Penticton, a new home for the library, plus road upgrades and roundabouts.

Perrino’s first mayoral win came in the 2008 election, when she received 2,183 votes to Peter Waterman’s 1,651.

Both had been councillors on the previous municipal government.

In the last municipal election in 2011, Perrino was the sole mayoral candidate.

She also ran for the B.C. Liberal nomination in the Penticton riding in 2012, but was among the three people bested by Ashton in that race.