Kelowna City Council – Election 2018

I have put my name in to run for a position on the Kelowna City Council. There are several main planks to my platform that I feel are critical and I have listed them here.  As the Election moves forward I will add any important items that come forward that I support.

  • I will address the lack of a workable plan for Public Transit with the goal being a reduction of the gridlock we find the roads in, and to make Kelowna accessible to all regardless of your preferred mode of transportation or where you live.
  • Amalgamation of the three regional districts within the Okanagan Valley into one seat of government that more effectively represents the geographical area we live in.  Our valley is one airshed, one floodplain, one transportation grid, etc. etc. yet we have three Local Governments that don’t work or communicate well with each other in an effort to maintain control over their little fiefdoms at great expense to the single taxpayer.
  • I will call for a review of past spending practices and existing policies of Kelowna City Council to ensure value to the residents in both cost and effectiveness.
  • Elimination of all single use plastics within the City of Kelowna and show leadership that will ensure the surrounding communities follow.  Let’s be the example to all our neighbours and do the right thing here.
  • I will also address the poor and deteriorating relationships between Kelowna, the surrounding Municipalities and Electoral Areas.  This is a relationship that needs to be based on cooperation and respect, two aspects that are sadly lacking with several directors currently on the RDCO Board.   The Regional District must work well and in a democratic manner for everyone at the RDCO Board Table or it works well for no one.

Vote Wayne Carson – Kelowna City Council

October 20 2018

October, 15 2018 – Come and join me this Tuesday October 16 2018 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm at the Okanagan Mission Residents Association 2018 Civic Election Meet n Greet. The hall is located at 4409 Lakeshore Road. I and the other candidates will be there to explain our platforms and answer questions to help you choose the best candidates to represent you for the next four years. This is your opportunity to get involved and make sure your interests and concerns are heard. FYI – My issues are Traffic Gridlock / Realistic Public Transit Plan; Amalgamation of the Valley’s three Regional Districts to one Valley wide governance model and the total elimination of all single use plastics.  I also believe that all Kelowna City budgeted programs, policies, grants and such need to be reviewed for value, effectiveness and cost to and for the taxpayer if found wanting they need to be eliminated.

October 07 2018 – I have now had an opportunity to speak with many taxpayers and residents as the campaign moves along. I found the residents that attended the Rutland Residents Association’s public forum last week a friendly group with legitimate concerns for the current direction of Mayor and Council. Almost to a person the residents speaking to me stated a desire for change in the people and ideas coming from their elected city representatives. I have listened to the council incumbent’s campaign rhetoric and find nothing new or innovative just the same old same old…

Another interesting aspect I noticed was that none of the current incumbent councilors or the mayor even mentions their appointments to the RDCO Board Table. Councilor Given, the RDCO Board Chair receives a $47,000+ top up to her Councilor wage while the rest of the councilors would get a further 15-16 thousand dollars each. Currently Kelowna sends seven councilors to a Board of thirteen, why they already dominate both the vote and committee appointments and have done so for years? Six votes out of twelve would still win every debate for Kelowna where is the value in sending the seventh? This is just another example of the waste in government that must be dealt with if we are to properly fund the solutions to our current problems.

On behalf of the residents of Kelowna, we want to thank you and congratulate you for stepping up to represent the city. 
As part of our coverage of the municipal election, invites you to complete the following questionnaire, which will be published in a section of answers with other candidates. Our goal is to help voters get to know you better and where you stand on important community issues. 
Please complete the following questions. Be as brief as possible. Submissions over 300 words may not be accepted. Off-topic or offensive answers may also be rejected. We reserve the right to edit submissions for style and language. 
Please complete the questions before Friday, Sept. 28. We will not accept late submissions. 
Return completed questionnaires to
Good luck in your campaigns and if you have any questions or concerns, contact editor Marshall Jones at or call me at 250-718-2724. 
Thank you,
Marshall Jones
1. Who are you and why should voters choose you?
I am a retired fire chief with local government experience. It is my goal to provide a voice to the resident taxpayer and ensure their taxes are invested in a manner that shows their money is spent cost effectively and with documented results. My main Issues are 1/ Public Transportation/Traffic Gridlock 2/ Amalgamation of the three Regional Districts in the Valley to ONE. 3/ Elimination of all single use plastics in Kelowna 4/ Evaluation of current policies and programs for proven results and cost effectiveness, recent tax increases need to be justified or reduced. 
2. Street crime, homelessness issues and discarded needles have become a major issue in the past few years, particularly downtown. Is this primarily an enforcement issue? If yes, should the City of Kelowna increase its budget to pay for more private security/bylaw officers/RCMP officers to deal with this?
Yes this is an enforcement issue and the most effective control would be existing city by-law officers as they will be more cost effective and responsive to city hall direction.
3. Some downtown businesses are concerned with the concentration of social services on the west end of Leon Avenue in the downtown core. Where, specifically, should they be in the city? These services need to be centered where needed and this location and area need is established already. To try to move it now will just create the same issue elsewhere, it is where it is and the city needs to provide support to the local business to try to lessen the negative aspects to their interests. 
4. Do you support the recommendations of the Journey Home task force and if elected, would you vote to carry them forward? If not, how would you change the plan? I believe that this program should be reviewed by a new Council to determine the effectiveness and costs associated with the current recommendations. 
5. Kelowna is undergoing an unprecedented construction boom. Planning staff have recommended, and Kelowna council has endorsed, several variances that allowed the height of downtown high-rises to go well beyond what the zoning allowed.  Do you believe development variances should be allowed or should zoning restrictions be adhered to? Development Variances are necessary if Council and the city wish to move forward with the type of growth we have come to expect.  The more critical issue is to tie development with the transportation needs that come with this level and type of growth.  This is something the current Mayor and Council seem to be oblivious of and it is not being addressed as traffic on the main corridors through town are in  or close to gridlock. 
6. Do you support the city’s efforts to bring water quality and use under the management of City of Kelowna or should the other major irrigation districts be left to operate independently? Both Provincial and Federal Governments seem determined to bring water under one provider and set of health standards.  If senior levels of government are to provide funding in the manner of grants we will have no choice but to meet their expectations.  This type of infrastructure work is very costly and these grants are necessary to  take the burden off of the city taxpayers.
7. Do you agree with the recently-adopted Healthy Housing strategy to push multi-family housing or should the market decide? Should the city continue to offer grants and tax exemptions to encourage construction of rental housing? The market should decide.  Yes, rental housing id very important in this day and age where the dream of home ownership is becoming less of a reality for many, they also need a place to live in the city.  I believe that a realistic and workable public transportation plan is necessary and currently lacking by existing Mayor & Council.
8. Do you think it’s about time the City of Kelowna broadcast its own council meetings and take responsibility for ensuring public access? Transparency is key and an independent broadcast of Council Meetings would better serve that goal.