Castanet News has distributed a questionnaire to each candidate running for local council in the South Okanagan.
All candidates have been given the same questions, and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity when needed. Responses will be published daily. An interactive database of Okanagan candidates, including previous questionnaire stories, is available here and is being updated daily.
Election day is Oct. 15.
Katie Robinson: Penticton incumbent council candidate
Why would you make an effective city councillor?
Experience is the main reason. I have a proven record of sound decision making and I have “walked the talk”.
I’ve never been a one issue candidate. Nor do I pretend to have all the answers, however due to the experience of having served on Penticton City Council for just over 14 years, and the RDOS for nine years, spanning 30 years, I believe I have a solid understanding of the concerns facing our community. And I will never give up trying to improve our 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?
Crime and safety would have to be the number one issue facing Penticton with affordable housing in the number two spot.
This is a frustrating problem to deal with because so much of it is out of our jurisdiction. Our justice system is seriously flawed and there appears to be no appetite to deal with the prolific offenders who are plaguing our city. There are no consequences for criminals and they know it. Our pleas every year at UBCM to the Attorney General are going unheard and local judges even refuse to meet with Council to discuss our concerns.
I feel the City should read a “Community Impact Statement" similar to Victim Impact Statements, in court, at every prolific offenders trial, so the judges understand how their decisions are so negatively affecting our community. We need a "Made in Penticton" solution to this problem as it’s become abundantly clear there is no help coming from the province.
How would you make Penticton more affordable?
I believe this question deserves to be looked at in a broader spectrum. I have always strived to make sure Penticton remains competitive in comparison to other communities in the surrounding area, as well as comparable in size. This would apply to tax rates, electrical costs, mill rates, building permit fees, etc. Keeping taxes low while keeping up with the cost of living is essential to avoid double digit taxation further down the line.
What is one example of a time you agreed with city council over the past term and one when you disagreed?
This current council has been remarkable to work with... we seem to manage to work well together and for the most part many of our issues have a unanimous decision, such as the Northern Gateway Project to revitalize our community.
One decision I voted against was the five-storey housing development on Main Street downtown, which the Downtown Business Association was in opposition to as well.
We clearly did not learn from the same mistake made on Front Street with regard to height restrictions in our downtown core. Great project...wrong location.
If you had $1 million to spend on anything in the city, how would you spend it?
Probably on affordable housing for seniors and workers.
Picture Penticton 20 years from now. What are the key aspects that are making it thrive?
My long term vision sees Penticton as the Canadian centre for wine, food and the Arts.
Penticton would be a safe place to live with little crime and affordable housing for all. A healthy, age friendly community that welcomes locals & tourists alike. A thriving business community with a co-operative spirit that capitalizes on our existing assets by maximizing the use of our Trade & Convention Centre and the South Okanagan Events Centre. But most of all... A place to live forever.