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West Kelowna Candidate Questionnaire | Mary Mandarino for Mayor

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.

Mary Mandarino - West Kelowna Mayoral Candidate

1. What career experience do you have to be Mayor of West Kelowna? Please provide a specific example of a decision you made that affected the community.

  1. I have been a resident and businesswoman in West Kelowna since 1986.
  2. I have also been a community volunteer during this time.
  3. I was the first Chairperson of the first Communities in Bloom Committee. We won 5 Blooms and an Honourable Mention in the Heritage category.
  4. As the Chairperson for the Westside Residents and Business Association we obtained a $15,000 TD Canada Trust Tree grant to beautify and create the Park at the corner of Ross Rd. and Bartley Rd. in front of the Petro Service Station.

2. How are you going to attract businesses, residents and visitors to West Kelowna’s downtown?

New Businesses: Highway 97 is a main corridor to Vancouver and Alberta also to the south and into the US. Developing a good marketing plan with DWK’s Economic Development officer is necessary to communicate this to these locations.

Businesses: Businesses are attracted to areas where taxes are reasonable, good infrastructure is in place, economical housing, good schools, and a reliable source of electricity.

Residents: A good marketing plan is required. Housing developers need to be encouraged to build affordable housing for young people this can be accomplished by reducing red tape and development cost charges.

Visitors: We are a tourist destination. We need to market what we have to offer and people will come. My current business is in the tourism sector thus enabling me to do my part in the marketing process as I am on a number of committees that promote tourism. There are many spinoff opportunities for local businesses as a result of the tourism industry.

3. What do you think about West Kelowna’s current road system and what needs to be improved in the short term?

West Kelowna’s current road system: in various neighbourhoods need to be upgraded and repaired. Some have major safety issues which need to be addressed immediately.

4. What improvements, if any, do you feel need to be made to Highway 97?

Highway 97 requires some adjustments and upgrades to make it more efficient, especially in the summer months with the major influx of visitors.

Photo Credit: KelownaNow

5. What do you feel are the benefits and disadvantages of changing from a District to a City?

Benefits to changing to a City may make West Kelowna more attractive to business opportunities.

Disadvantages to changing to a city will take away the small community feeling that is important to most residents.

6. Where do feel West Kelowna residents would most benefit from a second bridge crossing?

This is the dilemma. Is a second crossing required or do we make what we have in place more efficient? Will we pay for the proposed second crossing through a tax added cost to gas prices?

7. Where are our alternative modes of transportation going in the going in the years to come?

Another dilemma. Dangerous for bicyclists. There are many empty buses travelling the highway.

Seniors are the most vulnerable with the present busing systems. Many are unable to do distance walking to an existing bus stop. This is an issue that needs to be rectified.

8. When I think tourism I don’t think West Kelowna, how are you going to change that?

As I am presently a tourism operator I can assure you that there is a lot of opportunity available to attract tourists to our community. I will continue my efforts to attract tourists.

9. West Kelowna is growing at a rapid pace, what are your top priorities to keep up with the increasing strain on infrastructure?

We need to plan for this growth and determine how best we can meet these increasing demands on infrastructure.

10. What would be your number one priority for the next four years as Mayor of West Kelowna?

My No. 1 priority would have 2 parts:

  1. Look at ways to make our community safe for ALL our residents, businesses and visitors
  2. To ensure a reliable source of electricity

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:

Kelowna Votes, West Kelowna Votes, Lake Country Votes, or Peachland Votes.

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