Black Press Media is reaching out to all candidates running for Kelowna council in the 2022 municipal election, asking for their response to three specific issues about the community, as well as a fun question. Responses will be published in the order they are received.
Tom Macauley – Council candidate
If elected, how do you think council should manage growth and development in Kelowna?
We need to change the anatomy of how city council operates to properly review and manage development. We need to establish a development advisory committee that is made of experts, members of the community, city staff, and councillors. This committee would make omnibus recommendations to council on development.
We also need to take action on what is causing the rental inventory shortage. Main factors of rental shortage are a few major things: exponential growth at UBC (out-of-town student population), Air BnB, not enough seasonal worker housing on ALR land, and a massive influx of tradespeople moving to Kelowna. We need to take immediate action on all of those fronts.
In 2021, Kelowna had the second highest property rate crime in the country, what should city council do to help address street and property crime in the city?
We need to:
- Lobby federal and provincial governments to reduce catch and release of repeat offenders.
- Lower housing demand so we can actually, hire more officers. RCMP can’t recruit officers to move here because they can’t afford it.
- We need to focus on creating positive spaces and programs for our youth and young adults. They are the most vulnerable population and they need positive reinforcement to ensure they don’t go down the wrong path. Right now there is absolutely not enough preventative work going on to combat the cycle.
In your view, what is council’s responsibility in assisting those experiencing homelessness, and providing affordable housing for Kelowna residents?
Whether you are a conservative or a progressive, this is an issue that should unite us all. Right now it is much more expensive for us to maintain the status quo. The cost of policing and emergency rooms alone is enough to probably build a new home for everyone currently living on the street.
I believe council should be advocating for the creation of a 500-600 bed mental health and addictions campus in the Okanagan. If the province can afford a billion-dollar renovation for a museum they can sure as heck afford that. Let’s lobby for a headline solution – not another bandaid.
Who is your favourite Okanagan celebrity and why?
I would say, Phil Johnson. The guy is thoughtful and articulate and always usually has something positive to say every morning on the way to work. Even if he’s talking about a tough subject, I find he’s always trying to find a positive or hopeful tone.