Castanet News has distributed a questionnaire to city council candidates in both Kelowna and West Kelowna to help voters get to know those putting their names forward. Between the two cities, 45 people are running for city councillor.
All candidates have been given the same questions and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity when needed. Responses will be published daily in the weeks ahead. An interactive database of Okanagan candidates, including previous questionnaire stories, is here and is being updated daily.
Election day is Oct. 15.
West Kelowna candidate: Jasmine Naaykens
Why would you make an effective city councillor?
I would make an effective city councillor because I genuinely love my city. I want to be apart of the team that moves this city forward. I listen to my community and work hard to involve many resources to ensure I make data influenced decisions. More about me can be found on my website here.
In your view, what is the number one issue facing the city today, and how would you deal with it knowing city hall only has so much power?
I prioritize our outdated infrastructure. If we can focus on a progressive approach, we can eliminate a plethora of inconsistencies that the residents of West Kelowna are facing.
- Affordable housing
- Safety (homelessness)
- Cost efficiency
- Conservation of mountainside
- Safe drinking water
The city is directly responsible for how we zone land, approve the plans for our future communities, lobby the provincial government for changes regarding expansive infrastructure (highways etc.) and raise/budget funds for all the above. I will be approaching these areas by being involved with the community and involved on council taking my constituents opinions and ensuring I stand for their ideals by putting them forward, not waiting for concerns to arise.
It could be decades before a second bridge is built across Okanagan Lake. How do you deal with West Kelowna's transportation bottleneck in the meantime?
Traffic management is incredibly unique to each location. It factors in elements such as, length of block, green time, merge points, sprawl, under development, human error and so on. Since the science of traffic pattern is so intricate, I do not wish to state I have the answer. I believe it would be cost efficient to bring in a traffic engineer technologist to monitor our traffic patterns and find a solution. Keeping the guess work out of it will ensure we don’t waste money or simply move the problem.
Do you think West Kelowna is growing too fast?
Absolutely, and we need the right team to manage the changes that come with it. As a resident born and raised in West Kelowna it has been shocking to watch the fast-paced growth of our once, small town. This is a key factor for my inspiration to run for council. I can see the value in welcoming the growth and I want to take part in the process to ensure we are making decisions that benefit the new and honour the existing.
How would you make West Kelowna more affordable?
The goal is to keep our financial gains within our community. If we can continue to drive infrastructure forward developing desirable places to live and work that will cause multiple service providers to open causing an ecosystem for competitive rates to be available. The more diverse opportunities for work will bring in new employees who will then reinvest in the businesses available locally. Keeping our financial gains in our community and the cycle continues.
If you had $1 million to spend on anything in the city, how would you spend it?
My goals for a windfall of $1 million would be to invest it within an asset that has a modest annual return on investment of 8%.
I would probably choose to leverage the million dollars as a 25% down payment to control roughly $4 million of real estate or real estate development power ideally building city-owned housing (through the new economic development corporation) which would hopefully begin our journey of tackling our affordability issues as well as providing us with an $80,000 return (8% of 1 million) to continue to reinvest in more income producing assets or community programs which would continuously add value to West Kelowna’s growth and connectivity.