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: Dan Schlosser
Why would you make an effective city councillor?
I have lived in Kelowna for 47 years. During that time I have been active in the community; coaching sports, attending school committees, and committing time to help organizations such as the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club.
In 2005 I became a search manager and was elected President of Central Okanagan Search & Rescue. I have helped develop many policies that brought COSAR to the forefront of Kelowna.
Kelowna is growing rapidly, and with that growth comes new challenges for us to face together. My experience, dependability, and deep love for this city will help us continue to cultivate a thriving community.
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?
The people living on the streets is arguably the biggest issue in this city. When visitors come to this city they can see the day-to-day struggle that a few people have with homelessness, substance abuse and addiction. This ongoing battle is complex and contributes to the level of crime and lack of safety that we experience on a daily basis. More policing needs to be implemented; whether it is hiring more RCMP or developing a more effective Community Policing to support the RCMP.
Kelowna Council needs to work with the provincial government and bring in the experience and expertise to develop a realistic approach. One that not only gives the homeless food to eat and a warm place to sleep for the night, but also helps them overcome their addiction and find a new purpose in life.
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?
I'm not convinced that a second bridge is the solution — at least not by itself. As mentioned in the question it's the bottlenecks and approaches that are the issues. Kelowna needs to work on alleviating the congestion, build a better transit system and provide incentives to get more people out of their cars.
Do you think Kelowna is growing too fast?
Yes and No. Kelowna is an amazing place, that's why everyone wants to move here. Kelowna council just needs to find a way to grow with it - responsibly. We are like an awkward teenager clumsily trying to figure out how not to trip over our size 12 feet.
How would you make Kelowna more affordable?
Kelowna continues to grow as more and more people discover our community. Along with that growing interest comes an ever-increasing population and a serious need for affordable housing. If you are already established in the housing market this may not be a problem, but if you have yet to buy your first home or are transitioning from a less formidable market, you are most likely deterred by the high cost of housing in Kelowna.
Today the average cost of a home in Kelowna is around $1,000,000. Even with the prices dropping, as they often do in the Fall season, this is far out of reach for the working class, which is so vital for any community. Kelowna council needs to come up with innovative ways to in-fill the city strategically. By looking at re-zoning affected areas and allowing more affordable housing such as townhouses, condos/apartments, secondary suites, and carriage houses.
I understand that this is not a simple cookie-cutter process. Kelowna city planners need to look at the supporting infrastructures that make our community function, like schools, parks, shopping, transit, and firefighting, to name a few.
If you had $1 million to spend on anything in the city, how would you spend it?
Well, you're missing a couple of zeros there.
I would use it towards the unhoused individuals and the prevalent drug addictions in our community.