Penticton city council working on respective election platform projects

Find out what the mayor, councillors have been working on since their election in October 2018

Penticton’s new city council has been hard at work tackling issues and topics important to them.

Julius Bloomfield told the Western News in September 2018 that he was running for council on a platform of “intelligent progress that deals with housing, tourism, city infrastructure, agriculture, the arts and public involvement in the governing process.” Coun. Bloomfield put forth a motion to council on Feb. 19 to look into funding opportunities for infrastructure developments of renewable energy production, and to pass on the findings to future meetings with the Penticton Indian Band.

“The reasons for the motion are fairly obvious, there’s a consistent interest for renewable energy production for the city,” said Bloomfield. “The city is perfectly positioned to take advantage of renewable energy systems and their power production. I think this is an ideal year to search for funding, being that it’s a federal election year and that’s when the cheques get written.

“We should take every opportunity that we can. The feedback I’ve received from the community is that there is a good level of support for both levels of this motion.”

The city did not apply a timeline to Bloomfield’s motion, which passed unanimously, in order to watch the grants that become available from the federal government.

In September 2018, Coun. Campbell Watt told Western News “the city is moving in a positive direction and I would like to continue to have as much influence as I can” when he announced he was seeking re-election. On March 5, he presented a motion to be considered by council at the next regular council meeting in relation to speeding in the downtown.

Related: Who’s running in Penticton’s election?

“Very simply, after our conversation with regards to speed limits downtown, I thought it may be appropriate (for a) motion that council direct staff to investigate the options and cost and necessity of monitoring vehicle speed along municipal roadways,” said Watt.

When Coun. Jake Kimberley announced he was running for council, he highlighted his past achievements as mayor – which all focused on infrastructure – as his continued platform. Mayor John Vassilaki told the Western News in September 2018 that his platform was to focus on “improved safety for all citizens, improved prosperity with increased household incomes and managing community assets for future generations.”

Kimberley and Vassilaki presented a notice of motion to be considered at the next council meeting on March 19 in relation to the suitability and costs of the potential installation of washrooms and a stage and green room to Okanagan Park and the addition of lights and outdoor fitness equipment at Gyro Park.

“My reason for bringing this motion forward along with Councillor Kimberley is that with all the events that are held at Okanagan Lake Park, there’s an enormous cost to the folks that put all the events in place to rent not only the stage, but also the lighting is required,” said Vassilaki. “There are also not proper green rooms for all the performers that take place, especially during Peach Festival. There’s no nice place for them to hang out while performers are going on and off.

“It’s a needed piece of equipment in that park, for now and for the future, if we want festivals to continue in our community. As a lot of you know, Penticton is the festival capital of the Okanagan and I would like to see that continue.”

Kimberley said he is backing the motion due to safety issues in Gyro Park, noting that motion lights would add to security in the area, which sees “a lot of nighttime activity.”

A resident enquired during the public question period if a the installation of a playground in Gyro Park could also be included in the motion, noting that the nearest playground to the downtown is Lakawanna Park across from Okanagan Beach at the corner of Power Street and Lakeshore Drive. Vassilaki said this could be added to the motion to investigate its feasibility.

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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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