Vernon mayoralty candidate Olesen slams inaction on crime

'What cost to business?'

A challenger for mayor in Vernon is condemning crime in the city, and says current council members have done little to stop it.

"We continue to see an increase in commercial B&Es, but little focus is being put on it," Erik Olesen said in the wake of a fourth incident at Helmut's Sausage Kitchen.

"Leaders apologize and call it unacceptable, but when will leadership actually take meaningful action? Local businesses are taking the financial hit while leadership is slow at working towards long-term goals to create change to this continuous pattern."

Olesen said current members of council have "started conversations and built platforms on trying to resolve these issues over the next four years in office," but have made little progress.

"Councillor Anderson has had eight years, Mayor (Victor) Cumming four years, to show leadership towards addressing these issues, but have not been up to the task. Sadly these very same discussions were happening when I ran for mayor in 2018 and yet businesses are the ones still suffering four years later.

"My opponents are asking for another four years to get the job done, but at what cost to our local businesses?"

Olesen says he wants to bring "a fresh face to the table" and a "fresh start that many are hopeful for."

"We need new ideas and new ways of thinking to start rebuilding trust in our business community," he says, pointing to partnerships with the chamber of commerce, Downtown Vernon Association and RCMP as a way to "bring hope back to municipal leadership."

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