ELECTION 2014: Lake Country’s at-large race pits five hopefuls for two seats

District of Lake Country: Five residents running for two councillor-at-large seats at council

With councillor Jamie McEwan deciding not to run this year, the councillor-at-large race is between one incumbent and four challengers, including a hard-of-hearing candidate as well as a former councillor.

Incumbent Penny Gambell is looking to continue a long run on council, after nine years as a member of local government.

Gambell, former councillor Bill Scarrow, deaf candidate Arlene Brenner, along with businessmen Don Rae and Richard Issler are running for the two at-large positions in Lake Country.

“I am available to listen to the concerns of my constituents with an open ear,” said Gambell.¬†“As an independent thinker, I am keen to question and search out answers to help us make the best decisions for the future of Lake Country. Growth will come to this community without doubt, but how we manage the growth is the job that council needs to do well.”

Most candidates during the election campaign pointed to infrastructure as one of the main issues facing Lake Country as it moves ahead.

Scarrow, a BC Transit employee, also said while much has been done to progress the area’s water systems, more needs to be done.

“I feel water source protection and expansion are essential in all wards. Our progress with our water systems¬†has been excellent in the last 19 years but so much more needs to occur,” he said.

A software developer and admitted non-politician, Rae was the only candidate to mention a lack of doctors in the area during either of the public candidate forums and also said the key to the area’s tourism industry is to find more niche tourist operations like the highly-successful kangaroo farm.

Brenner, a deaf candidate who is running for the first time, is campaigning to improve Lake Country’s accessibility for people who need help with wheelchair access, hearing issues and other issues people with disabilities run into.

“I have concerns about water and transportation,” she said. “No one is talking about seniors. They should be our priority.”

Running for municipal council for the first time, Issler is running on a campaign to try and save the Aspen Grove Golf Course, sold last year to the Central Okanagan School District.

A former engineer, he says he has done a site survey and feels there is ample room for a golf course as well as playing fields, as the school district has planned.

“We can have the students using the kitchen to learn culinary skills and have them learn about irrigation in helping with the golf course,” he said.