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KelownaNow reached out to all mayoral, council and school trustee candidates running in Kelowna’s and West Kelowna’s 2014 Civic Election and asked them questions submitted by you, the reader.
Responses of those who chose to participate will be posted between November 3rd and November 14th in a randomly selected order.
Carol Zanon - West Kelowna Councillor Candidate
1. What career experience do you have to be a Councillor for the District of West Kelowna? Please provide a specific example of a decision you made that affected the community.
I have experience. I have been a councillor since incorporation. As well I was a member of the Governance Committee for four years preceding incorporation. I was elected Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Westbank Irrigation District (WID). As a specific example that affected the community: we made the decision to build the Powers Creek Water Treatment Plant, which delivers some of the cleanest drinking water in BC to over thirteen thousand residences. Academically I hold the Master of Science and Juris Doctor degrees.
2. How are you going to attract businesses, residents and visitors to West Kelowna’s downtown?
We presently attract businesses to West Kelowna town center, following our Strategic Priorities economic initiatives. Council has chosen 3641 Elliott as the preferred location for the development of a civic centre. There is continued investment interest in the area, demonstrated by several private and public projects that have taken place in 2013-2014. Among them: Gateway Urban Village, The Heritage Retirement Residence, Paynter’s Market upgrade, as well as the Brown Road Streetscape Phase 1, the Okanagan Regional Library expansion and the Rapidbus exchange and service.
3. What do you think about West Kelowna’s current road system and what needs to be improved in the short term?
It is a lot better than it was. Think back to pre-incorporation and the infrastructure deficit that we inherited. We have a Master Plan and are following it. Systematically, each year we reconstruct several kilometers of our roads. In the short term, we have just opened the completed Westside Road project and the next phase of Gellatly Road is scheduled for 2015.
Photo Credit: KelownaNow
4. As West Kelowna continues to grow, how do you plan to keep up with providing enough educational institutions?
Primary and secondary education is under the jurisdiction of School District #23. We work together on recreation programs, facility use and school safety issues. Post-secondary and continuing education is mostly offered in Kelowna where it provides the best use of resources. Our new Rapidbus system provides reliable transportation to the UBCO campus and to Okanagan College for our students. The new trades facility being constructed at Okanagan College will offer world-class education and training to our students and will benefit our community. In my business visits throughout West Kelowna, I frequently hear of the need for trained workers.
I continue to lobby the possibility of establishing a training centre for helicopter servicing, similar to Flightcraft in Kelowna, as we have several companies in West Kelowna.
5. Do you think the waterfront is being properly utilized as a tourist destination in West Kelowna? What changes would you like to see made?
Yes, I do. It is well-used now. Changes will follow according to the Waterfront Master Plan. The next phase of the Gellatly Road improvements is scheduled next year. It will be even better. It also makes economic sense. The long range plan will link the waterfront and the Wine Trail together in the same manner. Right now you get from the wine trail to the CNR Wharf and on to the Gellatly Nut Farm and the Farm Loop.
6. Where do you feel West Kelowna residents would most benefit from a second bridge crossing?
In the long term it is needed. It is too early to say where it should be just now. Why? Because we must first have a corridor study done by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI). There are many implications that have to be considered in West Kelowna’s best interests, such as how a second crossing would affect our Transportation Plan, intersection expectations, the couplet and local road traffic, etc. and linkage with the proposed Peachland Pincushion Mountain bypass.
7. How do you plan on growing Agri-Tourism in West Kelowna?
We have an Agricultural Master Plan (not all communities do), and agri-tourism is part of it. Also we listen to our Agricultural Advisory Committee. We value the rural roots of West Kelowna. This summer we just opened the Farm Loop and it is proving to be of interest to both locals and visitors. With the assistance of our economic development officer, we will continue to explore the opportunities to further develop this sector.
8. West Kelowna is growing at a rapid pace, what are your top priorities to keep up with the increasing strain on infrastructure?
This is “The top priority”. I see it as the biggest job and directional switch ahead of us. We have been busy as a new community creating our foundational plans while we govern the everyday workings of our community. The plans are almost complete. The Master Water Plan is scheduled to come before council within the next couple of weeks. When it is done we then must integrate it with the other plans that govern our growth, the Official Community Plan, zoning bylaw, transportation, storm water, wastewater, parks and recreation (about 20 plans in all) and implement them in the most cost effective manner.
Carol Zanon - West Kelowna Councillor Candidate
9. What will you do to strengthen the partnership between the District of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation?
I encourage communication and exploring partnerships. It is important to have an open dialogue based on mutual respect and patience. We have a memorandum of understanding and agreements on efficient delivery of protective services.
I am the West Kelowna Trustee on the Okanagan Library Board, responsible for a cachement area of about 380,000 people. During the past couple of years while I was the Chair, both Westbank First Nation and Penticton Indian Band became full participating members of the 25 member board.
10. What would be your number one priority for the next four years as a Councillor for the District of West Kelowna?
See my website (carolzanon.com) on opportunities and challenges. Council has to look ahead with the implementation and integration of the master plans in an affordable manner that does not unduly burden our taxpayers.
Outside of our own jurisdiction in West Kelowna we must have a broad range of vision. We have to protect the watershed. We have to be aware of the concerns and interests of neighboring jurisdictions. We must always be in touch with the needs of our citizens.
I will listen.
The civic election is Saturday November 15th, 2014.
For the most up to date and current information, visit our 2014 Civic Election Page.
For current information on candidates running in your community, visit the following sites:
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