Castanet News has distributed a questionnaire to each candidate running for local director in the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.
All candidates in a given area 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.
Election day is Oct. 15.
Bob Coyne: Incumbent director for Area H - Rural Princeton
Why would you make an effective Area H director?
I've been doing this now for two terms. My family and I, we've been here forever, and I think I've done a really good job of representing people. I got really good local knowledge, and I have connections throughout the entire region. And I think I've done a good job. I'd like to continue.
In your view, what is the number one issue facing Area H today, and how would you deal with it, knowing the Regional District only has so much power?
The number one issue changes weekly. But right now, the big thing is recovery, I believe, from the flood last year, and the wildfires, because our tourism took a pretty good hit in our area.
We have to rebuild that tourism base. And the KVR is a big part of that. And so we need to work with the province and see what we can come up with. It's gonna be a really creative solution.
The Regional District board has 19 voting members. How do you ensure Area H concerns are addressed when it comes to regional issues?
I have had a really good rapport with all of the members of the board. We all have our differences of opinion at times, but I present my case. I work the phones a little bit with with the other members. And so far I've been very successful at getting our message through and our needs through to the rest of the board.
If you had $1 million to spend on anything for Area H, how would you spend it?
It's one of two things that I would do, if you free money fell out of the sky. One would be to distribute to our emergency services, as I have over the years. And the other portion of that money, we're looking at a huge, huge project in the next couple of years with the replacement of the Chain Lake Dam. Depending on how it goes as to what we get for funding, there may be very few people holding the bag. And a lot of money is going to need to be spent. So that's probably where it would go.
Picture Area H 20 years from now. What are the key aspects that are making it thrive?
In 20 years, I think the big thing that's gonna happen is they we're getting more and more increased tourism dollars. We have more and more users of the back country. We're so close to the coast, that we get a lot of weekend people to come and use our back country. And I believe that we're going to have to, I don't want to say take advantage, but we're going to have to use that to our advantage to build our local tourism economy, because industry is doing a phenomenal job of growth in our area. But we need to concentrate a little bit on our secondary tourism industries.