Gran back to reclaim her seat

It's becoming clear.

Leadership, or a perceived lack of it, will be one of the central issues of the upcoming Kelowna municipal election and it could get ugly.

Carol Gran, who served one term on council from 2005 to 2008, is the latest high profile candidate to take a shot at what she says is a lack of leadership on council.

Council candidate Gerry Zimmermann and mayoralty hopeful Walter Gray also cited leadership as the number one issue when they announced their intentions to run.

The upstart grass roots organization FourChange.org, which will soon announce four new candidates it will endorse for council, also cites a need for more leadership on council.

Gran did not seek re-election in 2008, choosing instead to spend more time with family in Arizona.

"The people of Kelowna are looking for leadership -- some comfort that in a bad economy someone is looking out for their well being," says Gran in announcing her candidacy.

"Seniors on fixed incomes are worried about taxes, families are worried about their futures, young people want good paying jobs and the business community feels left out of the process."

Gran, who butted heads with Mayor Sharon Shepherd over the issue of leadership numerous times during her three years on council, says it's up to mayor and council to create an environment that encourages business to expand and hire -- to inspire confidence.

"Kelowna has so much more potential than most other cities, but it takes leadership to move ahead. We must have a successful and thriving business community to provide competitively priced services to our citizens and jobs for all ages."

She says development that enhances the community also provides good paying construction jobs and enormous spin-offs to business.

"Plus, they contribute huge tax dollars to the city that helps to keep taxes lower for homeowners."

With an operating budget of nearly $93 million, Gran says decisions on how that money is collected and spent directly affects our lives.

"This election is not about age, male or female, pro-development or pro-business, it's about choosing the right people to make policy decisions, to spend your money wisely and work together as a team.

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