Ongoing concerns in Lake Country neighbourhoods about pedestrian safety, a listless pace of progress in Winfield’s Town Centre, and bylaw enforcement issues are top priorities for Oyama resident Jayson McCarthy.
The former two-term Lake Country municipal councillor is running for the mayor’s chair on Nov. 19, and says the time has come for the community to see decisive action on a wide range of local needs.
“I want voters to have a choice – an opportunity to find solutions that work by choosing new style of leadership this fall,” says McCarthy, who has lived in Lake Country all his life and served on council from 1999 to 2005. “In considering my decision to run this November, I have heard many local residents expressing a desire for local government that is more active and responsive to their concerns.”
McCarthy says issues raised by residents include the need for sidewalks to improve pedestrian safety to and from school, more diligent enforcement of unsightly premises and weed control, and a Town Centre in Winfield that remains largely vacant despite a comprehensive Town Centre Plan given council approval more than a dozen years ago.
“Lake Country council has heard from residents on these issues for years, yet people see little being done to address the problems,” says McCarthy. “I am committed to moving forward on these and other matters by providing a fresh perspective, and a more active approach to leadership. I’m ready to take up the challenges and work with residents, council, and our partners to find solutions more quickly than we have seen in the past.”
McCarthy, 44, was vice-chair of the Area ‘A’ Restructure Committee from 1991 to 1994, a committee that examined the prospects for creating the District Municipality of Lake Country, and negotiated terms of incorporation with BC’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs. The community approved incorporation in 1995.
Since that time, McCarthy served as chair of the District of Lake Country’s Community Development Commission from 1997 to 1999, chair of Lake Country’s Planning and Building Committee from 1999 to 2001, and chair of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission from 2005 to 2009.
“Over the years, during my time on council and as a volunteer on commissions, committees and recreational groups, I have seen our community grow and evolve,” says McCarthy. “We have much to be proud of in Lake Country, but much more remains on the to-do list. I want to work toward a more responsive local government that gets these important initiatives done.”
McCarthy says he enjoyed his years on council through the early 2000s, and is now ready to return to council chambers, this time with even more to offer.
“Serving as municipal councillor was a remarkable and rewarding experience that taught me a great deal about the issues facing our community,” he says. “But many of these issues continue to dog council, and they need solutions that work for the municipality as a whole and our local neighbourhoods.
“Fortunately, I am now at a point in life that allows the time to be a highly effective, engaged mayor, and I have the experience and knowledge to do that. I’m ready to serve my community in a new capacity,” he says.
“As mayor, I will devote my time and passion to make Lake Country an even better place to call home, raise a family, and do business.”