Castanet News has distributed a questionnaire to city council candidates in both Kelowna and West Kelowna to help voters get to know those putting their names forward. Between the two cities, 45 people are running for city councillor.
All candidates have been given the same questions and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity when needed. Responses will be published daily in the weeks ahead. An interactive database of Okanagan candidates, including previous questionnaire stories, is here and is being updated daily.
Election day is Oct. 15.
Kelowna candidate: Elaine McMurray
Why would you make an effective city councillor?
I am a personable and friendly person. I would be effective because I would be in the community and I would listen to what people had to say and bring those creative and innovative ideas to the discussion. I believe council members need to have more input into the decision making process.
In your view, what is the number one issue facing the city today, and how would you deal with it knowing city hall only has so much power?
Safety and housing go hand in hand. If we can house people then safety lessens as mental health improves. We need to work with all levels of government to address the national housing crisis. Meanwhile for safety we can begin to address the lack of resources to provide support to people with mental health, addiction, and other issues.
It could be decades before a second bridge is built across Okanagan Lake. How do you deal with Kelowna's transportation bottleneck in the meantime?
We need to improve alternative methods such as improved bus service, better lighting on bike and pedestrian walk areas, educate drivers, pedestrians and cyclists on the rights and responsibilities of moving in public. Perhaps there are better ways to synchronize traffic lights? We also need to develop community hubs so we don’t all need to drive to the grocery store
Do you think Kelowna is growing too fast?
Yes and no. It is exciting but the growth is happening faster than the accompanying community needs such as schools, playgrounds, community centres, libraries and more.
How would you make Kelowna more affordable?
Affordability comes with adequate supply. We have a lot of housing under construction, hopefully as units come available it will help, meanwhile can we look at building modular homes or smaller homes or…
If you had $1 million to spend on anything in the city, how would you spend it?
Community centre hubs that include a branch library, grocery store, pharmacy, recreation area, perhaps outdoor skating or skateboard park.