Peachland Councillor Mike Kent announced this week that he’ll be seeking a third term in the upcoming municipal election.
Kent says he is committed to sound fiscal management of Peachland tax dollars, pointing to council’s modest 2.27 per cent tax increase during an inflationary time when other governing organizations imposed phenomenally high tax hikes.
If re-elected, Kent says he will continue to advocate for full protection of Peachland’s watershed and support policy and initiatives that protect the community’s watershed and source water.
He strongly supports the expansion of the sanitary sewer system and believes this can be best achieved by strategically targeting provincial and federal grant funding and adjusting future applications in order to place the district in the best possible position to be awarded funding.
“I view expanding sidewalks, greenways and paths as a priority,” says Kent, who supported the acquisition of Turner Park, where he hopes to see a top level soccer field.
Because building sidewalk infrastructure is so expensive, Kent told the View the way to achieve that is to capitalize on opportunities that present themselves when development comes along by piggybacking on top of improvements the developer is required to make.
Kent says he will continue to work to ensure diverse housing options are available to Peachland residents and will support policies and initiatives that contribute to a thriving economic environment.
“We have to look out for everyone, not just the single-family homeowner,” said Kent. “We have to take care of every segment of our community.”
He supports the proposed new protective services building, noting the risk of serious fire is increasing in the dry Okanagan.
“Our fire department requires the tools to be able to protect Peachland property and lives. The current 60-year-old building is at the end of its serviceable life,” says Kent.
Kent promises to continue to fight for a preferred alternate route rather than four-laning through Peachland; he also supports the continued lobbying of MOTI to implement safety improvements along Hwy 97, such as new lights and upgraded intersections.
Over his eight years on council, Kent counts prudent management of funds, the acquisition of upland area Turner Park, construction of the water treatment plant, and acquisition of the Duck and Pug waterfront property among the primary achievements that council has made.
“We’ve seen the Ponderosa development, which has been stalled, move closer to moving forward. We’re also seeing that New Monaco is close to moving forward. A lot of things that have been stagnant before I came to council eight years ago have been moved forward through diligent work with the development community, law and policy and ensuring there is a concerted effort in looking at increasing vital infrastructure for the community.”
Kent says he is a strong proponent of updating the official community plan every five years to ensure it accurately reflects the community vision. If re-elected, he promises to advocate for the use of a statistically significant citizens survey to help guide council priorities and decision making to ensure they are aligned with the priorities of the residents.