Rick de Jong – Incumbent councillor
As a three-term city councillor I continue to support smart growth. Council can help with housing attainability by encouraging and supporting the development of various housing forms such as apartments, duplexes, townhouses, compact housing, and single-family residential houses so that the different needs of those who call West Kelowna home can be met. In-fill development is already happening throughout our community and such development needs to be respectful of the existing neighbourhoods they are in. At the present rate of growth, West Kelowna is well positioned to meet the housing demands of our community over the next 10-20 years. Our community is expanding and we are moving forward together!
Safe streets are one of the core focus points of my campaign. City council works with our local RCMP detachment to set the community policing strategic priorities. West Kelowna residents pay the majority of the costs associated with policing within our community. City council should ensure the money to support local policing is in place. However, accountability for how those dollars are being spent is also important. The city needs to continue lobbying the provincial government to meet its policing responsibilities in the greater area around West Kelowna. Focusing on community policing leads to safer streets and neighbourhoods.
Traversing West Kelowna can be challenging, especially during the morning and afternoon commuting hours. We need to continue to prioritize and upgrade our road networks, including the development of new sidewalks and biking paths where appropriate. The Highway 97 corridor is managed by the province but council does have a role to play through lobbying efforts and supporting provincial capital plans that improve the flow of traffic.
My favourite Okanagan celebrity is Ben Klick. I like country music, Ben is a great musician, and he is from West Kelowna! Congratulations Ben Klick for winning the BC Country Music Association’s Interactive Artist of the Year award!