New Armstrong mayor has plans to tackle affordable housing

Big shoes to fill

Joe Cramer admits he has big shoes to fill.

Cramer was acclaimed as the mayor of Armstrong and will take over duties from longtime mayor Chris Pieper.

Between acting as mayor and a councillor, Pieper was an elected official in the North Okanagan community for some 30 years.

This is Cramer's first foray into politics, and he said it is a little intimidating, but he is up for the task and he thankful to be mentored by Pieper.

“I'm excited to be acclaimed. I have been working with Chris and some of the other city councillors for some time now,” he said. “Chris kind of took me under his wing and explained how some things work. We will be working together a fair bit, he's got a bunch of things he wants to bring me up to speed on.”

Cramer, who moved to Armstrong from Pitt Meadows almost five years ago, will also be working with a relatively inexperienced council, with four incumbents deciding not to run in 2022.

First on the agenda for the new mayor is to take stock of where the community is at.

“Looking at the old OCPs (Official Community Plans) we haven't accomplished all that we want to accomplish. I know housing is a big issue for us in Armstrong.”

Cramer said he wants to develop a plan of what is required such as where high density and low-density housing can go, “so the public is more informed, builders are more informed."

“I've asked all of the politicians I have spoken to, to define affordable housing and they have not been able to do that. I want to find out what an affordable home looks like, and then try to build for that.

“We've got to figure out what people can afford and work that into our plan,” Cramer said.

“We need to know where we are in order to get where we're going.”

More Vernon News