Maxine DeHart is running for a seat on Kelowna council. (Photo/Maxine DeHart)

Maxine DeHart is running for a seat on Kelowna council. (Photo/Maxine DeHart)

Kelowna Votes 2022: Maxine DeHart

Black Press Media is asking municipal election candidates their thoughts on various community issues

Black Press Media is reaching out to all candidates running for Kelowna council in the 2022 municipal election, asking for their response to three specific issues about the community, as well as a fun question. Responses will be published in the order they are received.

Maxine DeHart – Incumbent councillor

If elected, how do you think council should manage growth and development in Kelowna?

The 2040 Official Community Plan has redefined how the City of Kelowna will grow. Kelowna needs to continue to densify and diversify. We can achieve this by fostering thriving neighbourhood “town centres” which the city has identified to include vibrant areas, including downtown Kelowna, Rutland, Mission/Pandosy, Capri Centre and Central Kelowna, in the Orchard Park area. This will ensure additional use of transit, biking and walking to live, play and work in these neighbourhoods. In turn, this will provide more eyes on the street to foster safety for residents, businesses, and tourists.

In 2021, Kelowna had the second highest property rate crime in the country, what should city council do to help address street and property crime in the city?

Public safety affects how we live, work and play. Improved public safety will attract and retain people, business, and investment in our community. I will continue to lobby governments to change the laws to keep repeat offenders off our streets, work with communities and police to make residents safe in their homes and businesses and ensure people of all ages and abilities can enjoy the Okanagan lifestyle safely. This also means giving the required resources to police officers and city bylaw officers.

In your view, what is council’s responsibility in assisting those experiencing homelessness, and providing affordable housing for Kelowna residents?

The city has little control over the housing market and the demand for housing in this area. We can only provide help to build more diverse types of housing for rental or purchase, including condominiums, townhomes, carriage homes, single-family dwellings, and suites. More housing on the market will allow the market to change in the right direction. We should constantly be assessing our permitting and development processes and how they affect the cost of housing. We also must work with other governments to assist with housing for those experiencing homelessness in our community including safe shelters. This, however, must be done in a respectful manner for both people of homelessness and the public in various neighbourhoods.

Who is your favourite Okanagan celebrity and why?

I would say that Tom Budd of the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation would be my favourite Okanagan celebrity. Although he has been through much pain in recent years, he continues to help the community by supporting mental health, along with many other charities and organizations in our community.

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City CouncilCity of KelownaElection 2022Municipal election

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