The following is part of Penticton Western News coverage of the 2022 municipal election.
Mayoral candidates were asked to provide a short bio about themselves, and then respond to three questions concerning key issues for Penticton residents and voters. very candidate was given the same limitations in the size of their bio and responses, as well as the timeline in which to provide them. Candidates were allowed to decide how they wished to distribute their words. Here are the answers from mayoral candidate Jason Reynen:
My name is Jason Reynen, and I have called Penticton home since childhood. I continue to invest in the city both personally and professionally. I am a devoted husband and father of 3, I operate 2 local businesses and enjoy every chance to work, play and share the bountiful opportunities found in our beautiful community with friends and family.
I am a compassionate, hard-working man who will go to great lengths to accomplish his goal of making a positive difference for Penticton. I am known as a leader in the community who has integrity and is both honest and transparent.
1. What are your solutions to housing supply and affordability in Penticton?
Housing supply has a lot to do with our current rental market. The short-term rental market has had a negative impact on our community, as the cost of rentals has continued to climb. First, we need to look to other municipalities that have been successful when they applied a municipal accommodation tax. This is a tax that our local municipality
can apply to short-term rentals. The MAT could possibly help the city fund the development of some of the downtown areas and give us the ability to look at building affordable housing closer to our downtown while following our current OCP.
Short-term rentals are in direct competition with hotels and motels. I believe it is only fair that they pay equal taxes to the hospitality industry. Also, we need to lobby with other local municipalities to address the provincial tenancy act, in order to have equitable rules for both the owner and tenant. Currently, the tenant has too much power, and the result is a lack of protection for the owner, which discourages owners from choosing long-term rental options.
2. What are tangible things the city can do to improve public safety?
The municipality can act to increase opportunities for community engagement, involvement and information sharing – similar to the model we have incorporated through Clean Streets Penticton. Increasing the availability and efficacy of communication between RCMP, Bylaw officers and all other security personnel will support increased effectiveness and distribution of these resources.
3. Are you satisfied with how the bike lane was implemented and would you support expanding the bike lane network?
While I am in support of the bike lane, in theory, our municipal bike/walk score is extremely low and needs to be increased. I believe the general design, and visual aspects fall short. I have seen many successful bike lanes that were far more visually pleasing in other cities. They were also less obstructive to local businesses and worked cohesively with their current infrastructure. I believe there is still potential to listen to the public and complete the bike lanes with a less intrusive, more cost-effective approach. With this approach, we would be able to save money for an additional bike lane networ