Tom Dyas wants your vote to become Kelowna's next mayor

Dyas: One-on-One

Mayoralty candidate Tom Dyas says Kelowna residents are frustrated their voices are being ignored by city hall.

During a one-on-one interview with Castanet News, Dyas says that's one of the main reasons he's making a second run at the mayor's chair.

"Over the last eight years, a lot of concerns people have in the community have gotten worse," Dyas stated.

"I feel there has been a lot of talk, a lot of communication, but there haven't been action on those items. The community wants action.

"They want things to change. They are looking for someone to come forward who understands you need to work with all levels of government, but it's not good enough to say we can't do anything without their support."

Dyas says there are things city hall can do on its own to make the city a better place, and says he is the person to deliver those actions.

He pointed to the Central Okanagan's standing as having the worst crime rate among the country's 35 Census Metropolitan regions, the most homelessness and traffic the city has ever seen, concerns over housing affordability and the taxation rate, which he says is among the highest of the 10 major cities in B.C.

In terms of crime, Dyas says there is more the city can do on its own to alleviate the growing crime rate.

"Things like a citizens patrol which is in place in communities around us. A simple little thing, but that's action.

"There's a lot of construction, but none of it is done through the lens of how it is architecturally built so there are no dark spots.

"Action is the most important...little thing that can be done to move the dial. Speaking with people, it is one of the the biggest issues I have heard."

While he applauds the announcement of 20 complex care beds coming to the city, there are concerns as to when they will be put in place and where.

As for prolific offenders, he says recent recommendations released by the province don't include actions to be taken.

And, he adds removing those prolific offenders won't move the dial enough to affect the city's crime rate.

In terms of development, Dyas believes the city needs to balance the need to plan for an influx of 40,000 to 50,000 new residents over the next 20 years while also not forgetting the 150,000 already here.

"Families that have grown here, and their children want to stay here are having difficulty finding affordable housing," he said.

"We are losing those families."

Dyas says the current policy of building density within urban areas is good planning, doing so when it runs against the new Official Community Plan is frustrating to people in the community he has spoken with.

"Our infrastructure is suffering because you have more traffic on the roads."

He says developers who receive height variances need to pay more in development cost charges, or provide more in the way of amenities to the community.

Dyas points to his many years in business and serving on various boards as a reason he can lead the city effectively for the next four years.

"What I've done over the years is put smart people in a room, smarter than me, and whiteboard those issues and come up with answers that are able to fix problems.

"This once was a small town that is turning into a major city and, with that, there are cracks that are beginning to show.

"I felt it was important for me to deal with some of those issues."

An edited version of the interview is at the top of this story. The full, uncut version is below.

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