I offer 22 additional questions that may be helpful to ask prior to the Oct. 15 Kelowna municipal election:
1. In 2018, why did the City of Kelowna reduce its sponsorship of the three-day Fat Cat Children's Festival from $20,000 to $5,000? (This past August, under the direction of the mayor and council, Festivals Kelowna organized the one-day Kelowna Made festival with a budget of $50,000, which was sparsely attended.)
2. It is more common for a city council to vote a pay increase for the next council than for themselves. In 2021, did any Kelowna city councillors vote against an automatic annual pay increase for themselves?
3. When asked what his vision for Kelowna is, he replied "Tech and towers." Who said that?
a) Coun. Loyal Wooldridge
b) City manager Doug Gilchrist
c) Mayor Colin Basran.
4. Over the past eight years, council has encouraged biking, and increased the network of bike lanes and paths. Ask each councillor: “How many times have you ridden a bike from your residence to a council meeting?”
5. Why didn't city staff or council notify Hart Road residents of a pending 16-unit trailer park application, or the date when the issue would be decided at a council meeting? (July 11)
6. Why weren't Hart Road residents allowed to address the council at the July 11 meeting?
7. Which member of council, in an Aug. 25 interview, attacked the motivations of those who want to see a ward system for city council?
8. According to Zumper.com (a major online rental site), in August, was Kelowna the third, fifth, or 10th most expensive Canadian city in which to rent a one-bedroom apartment?
9. On Sept. 26, council voted to change 23 zoning designations to just six. What were the reasons for the change?
10. The 11-member Liveable Kelowna panel endorsed five male candidates and one female candidate for council. How many panel members are men?
11. A truly liveable city has a reliable public transit system, where residents can travel from A to B within a reasonable time. How would you rate the Kelowna public transit system?
Colin Basran (then a 2014 mayoral candidate) said: "It is important to improve the connectivity between them [town centres] via public transit and active transportation corridors. Not only does this promote health and active living, it also encourages people to leave their vehicles behind and off our crowded road system. As you are probably aware, we have one of the highest vehicle ownership rates in Canada, not something to be proud of, which incidentally are the biggest contributors of greenhouse gas in Kelowna. Thus, encouraging growth in our town centres, where all the popular amenities are located, can help reverse that trend." (Sept. 29, 2014)
12. Ask each councillor: “How many times have you used public transit during the past 12 months?
b) 6 to 11
c) 1 to 5
13. Should council incumbent candidates be given opportunities to attend city-sponsored events during the campaign period?
14. Should non-incumbent council candidates be given opportunities to attend city-sponsored events during the campaign period?
15. Regarding proposed changes to the Parkinson Recreation Centre, which of the four options from the 2015 feasibility study do you support?
16. Do you support the newest recreation centre proposal that would cost taxpayers about $80 million more, for a total of $166 million?
17. Coun. Maxine DeHart, director of sales and marketing at Kelowna's Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre, is again running for re-election. Is it appropriate for Maxine DeHart's United Way Drive-Thru Breakfast to always take place just days before the election?
18. From Mayor Basran's 2022 campaign flyer: "I will not make unrealistic promises to win votes." Over his eight years as mayor, are there any promises he made that are still unfulfilled?
19. Do you believe 18-to-30-year-old Kelownians have the power to determine who's elected to city council if even 25% of this group voted?
20. Do you think incumbent council candidates prefer low or high voter turnout?
21. What should the new council's number one priority be over the next four years?
a) Affordable housing
b) Reduce traffic congestion
c) Reduce homelessness
d) Public safety
e) Increase infrastructure
f) Environmental sustainability & green space
22. If Mayor Basran and all other incumbent councillor candidates are returned to office for another four years, what do you imagine Kelowna will be like in Oct. 2026?
David Buckna, Kelowna