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.