Councillor Keith Fielding running for mayor

Coun. Keith Fielding, shown in front of the Peachland Community Centre. Photo Joanne Layh

Joanne Layh

A second Peachland councillor has thrown his hat into the ring in the run for mayor in this year’s municipal election – Coun. Keith Fielding told the View this week he’ll be seeking a third term as mayor. 

Fielding served two terms as Mayor of Peachland from 2008 to 2011 and 2011 to 2014. He made an unsuccessful bid for re-election in 2014, when he was ousted by Cindy Fortin, before returning to council chambers in 2018 as a councillor.

Last week Coun. Patrick Van Minsel announced he’d be running for mayor this year; Mayor Fortin hasn’t publicly announced yet if she’ll be seeking re-election.

Before entering politics, Fielding’s professional career included senior management and management consulting roles with the Greater London Council, the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Bermuda Government and the City of Toronto. He relocated to Peachland 21 years ago, where he’s currently president of Peachland Seniors Support Society, chair of the Phase 2 seniors housing committee and a member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Climate Change. He’s also past president of the Peachland Wellness Centre and a past director of both the Regional District of Central Okanagan and Okanagan Basin Water Board.

Fielding says his priorities are open and respectful governance, fiscal responsibility, no four-laning of Hwy 97, managed growth and building community.

If elected, he envisions a reorganization of the planning department to ensure it can effectively plan, as well as effectively respond.   

He’d also like to engage the community in a review and update of the Charette-derived Downtown Sustainable Plan, the Beach Avenue Neighbourhood Plan, and Official Community Plan elements that “lack suitable clarity and cause dissent.”

Fielding says Peachland needs to establish growth targets consistent with the community’s vision for its future and ensure that sustainable development principles and the need to maintain Peachland’s small town charm underpin the management of future growth. 

“I want our future to be defined by our citizens rather than by the ambitions of developers or the personal views of elected officials,” states Fielding.

If elected, Fielding says he wants a council that is open and respectful, with a consultative orientation that encourages citizen input and reflects the community’s will in its decision making.

He supports the goals of the ‘Hub’ committee and the next phase of seniors housing.

Fielding says he stands for responsible and transparent fiscal management. Some of the ways he sees that being achieved are through the continuous quest for efficiency and effectiveness in all district services, development cost charges and amenity contribution revenues that truly reflect the costs of growth and the financial benefits accruing to developers from rezoning, the pursuit of all attainable grant sources, and taxation that is linked to inflation, unless otherwise directed as the result of informed community demand.

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One Comment

  1. Nancy Merrill
    July 8, 2022 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Good to see Mr. Fielding is willing to take this job on again. I hope to hear more about his perceptions of what the larger community wants the community planning process to achieve. Specifics of his action plan for implementing those intentions would also be helpful to know before the election.
    I have witnessed Councils for the last 20 years pushing aside the wants and needs of Peachland residents that were explicitly identified when hundreds of us showed up and participated in community planning consultations. Instead, municipal budgets approved hiring or contracting planning and engineering staff to cater to private profit making land developer requests. This spending policies adopted in those budgets amounted to residential taxpayers subsidizing wealth creation for a few corporate owners. But the policy has not satisfied the need for affordable housing.
    The exceptional work done by Mr. Fielding and other members of the not for profit Seniors Housing Society points the way forward toward the role Council can take in responding to the need for affordable housing.

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