Olesen wades into mayoral feud in Vernon election campaign

Olesen wades into feud

The third candidate in Vernon's mayoral race says the other two are distracting from the issues with their heated war of words over committee pay.

"The ongoing feud between Councillor Anderson and Mayor Cumming continues to delay the discussions, progress and action needed," Erik Olesen said in a press release Wednesday.

"It's unfortunate to see that the same behaviour that has been on display over the last four years on council has become a focal point of this campaign for mayor," said Olesen. "The concerns of residents and businesses are falling to the back burner as we see the lack of leadership by either of these candidates for an effective vision for the city."

Olesen said the "unprofessional behaviour of both current elected officials is very apparent to the community."

He says the democratic process is built on having tough conversations through respectful dialogue when faced with opposing views or policies, "however, it is not built on name calling or disrespectful language."

Olesen agreed that the structure of committee compensation needs to be looked at, "specifically for the mayor."

He said it's "disappointing" that Anderson is focusing on Cumming's expense claims "without being transparent" about his own.

"Councillor Anderson has had the highest compensation claims by any member of council three out of five years, and second highest compensation claims for one year, omitting 2020 during the heightened pandemic measures. In fact, Councillor Anderson could have raised these concerns in 2018 to change the structure but did not, nor did he attend the meeting in August this year to voice his concerns."

Olesen said while his counterparts "focus on attacking each other," he will continue to focus on meeting with organizations, individuals, business owners and stakeholders.

He says his focus remains on the issues of housing/affordability, climate action, the economy, and "meaningful leadership."

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