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. An interactive database of Okanagan candidates, including previous questionnaire stories, is available here and is being updated daily.
Election day is Oct. 15.
Doug Patan: Incumbent Summerland councillor
Why would you make an effective municipal councillor?
My 20+ years’ experience working for municipal governments in Alberta and BC has allowed me to have a perspective on policy, procedure and bylaws in the different jurisdictions. My past experience as the manager of Building & Permitting for the City of Kelowna allows me to assess how councils’ actions and decisions affect our community.
Currently I am the council liaison with the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR), Municipal Insurance Association of British Columbia (MIABC) and the Summerland Chamber of Commerce which has given me the privilege to work with these non-profit organizations.
In your view, what is the number one issue facing Summerland today, and how would you deal with it, knowing Municipal Hall only has so much power?
Aging infrastructure is an area that needs to be a strategic priority of Council in 2023. We know that our roads are a major concern, we also know the cost high cost of replacement based on the Giant’s Head Road project currently ongoing. The District has a roads condition report in hand, now we need to formalize a plan on where to start. With the District budget process starting after the election council needs to earmark funds on an ongoing basis for road / infrastructure upgrades.
How would you make Summerland more affordable?
Affordability has impacted most municipalities in BC. We need to densify; this would allow more housing stock with the increased units. We expedite the building permit process, the longer the timeline for issuance the more building costs rise. We partner with a nonprofit organization and a nonprofit developer to create some affordable / attainable housing units on vacant municipal property. On private lands where multi family units are being proposed we ask that 10 per cent of the units be rented at 10 per cent below market renal rates.
What is one example of a time you agreed with Summerland council over the past term, and one where you disagreed?
I agreed on the Eco-Village proposal on Cartwright, this project will open a multitude of housing options while bringing municipal sewer to Deer Ridge giving relief to property owners with aging private septic systems.
Though it was a council decision I felt that the solar site should have been located at the landfill on a decommissioned debris cell, this land cannot be used but would have accommodated the solar project quite nicely.
If you had $1 million to spend on anything for Summerland, how would you spend it?
The District just completed the Memorial Park playground at a cost of approx. $200,000.00
I would invest in the Julia Avenue Park and Peach Orchard with new playground equipment and the required repairs on the wharf at Rotary Beach and if any monies were left use the funds to maintain some walking trails that were damaged in the 2017/18 floods.
Picture Summerland 20 years from now. What are the key aspects that are making it thrive?
Our downtown has grown into a vibrant urban community with business opportunities being capitalized on. Housing units in all forms of owned and rentals for young and old alike within walking distance. An influx of young family’s into the area utilizing our parks, playgrounds, pool, arena and skate board park. Memorial Park being a gathering place for concerts and other forms of community gatherings.