Matt Vader wants to take a second crack at representing Carr’s Landing on Lake County council in the November municipal election.
Vader ran for the Carr’s Landing ward in the last election, losing out to Barbara Leamont.
“The last election was my first time running for public office, and since then I’ve continued to be involved in the economic and planning development of Lake Country,’ he said.
Vader works for the Canada Revenue Agency in its Kelowna office, and was an inaugural member of Lake Country’s economic planning and development committee.
“My role on that committee is to collaboratively provide advice and support to the district for its economic development initiatives. I believe these initiatives are important to the sustainability of Lake Country as its own community and not just a bedroom community for Kelowna and Vernon.”
For a community of Lake Country’s 12,000 population, he says promoting the retail and service sector will be key to alleviate the bedroom community identity.
“I do work in Kelowna, like a lot of people who live here, but we also live in Lake Country and I want to see a thriving small business community well supported by local residents,” he said.
Lake Country “is a viable (size) to grow the business community. With the right zoning, the right availability of land and appropriate timeless for the district to approve new business opportunities, that bedroom community stigma can start to change.”
Vader points to more interest in development on Main Street as a sign that the business opportunity Lake Country offers will be realized.
“With a university education in finance and business management, and experience as an equity trader on the stock markets, I have gained the valuable qualities of insight, good judgement and responsibility necessary to handle difficult financial situations,” Vader said.
Married to a Lake Country school teacher and with a two-year daughter, Vader said while there are pros and cons to the ward system, he said no system of election is perfect and Lake Country residents have voted in support of maintaining it.
He said the plus side is that each ward can elect one person to represent its specific interests on council, however, representation can be skewed by population. For instance, Winfield has more people than Carr’s Landing.
Vader sees the issues for his area being road upgrades and maintenance, and improving water quality. “If the water quality is bad, that is a huge factor on the value of property,” he said.
As the second candidate to publicly announce their intention to be a civic candidate this fall—retired Lake Country psychologist Mary Dougherty has stated she will run for the Okanagan Centre seat—Vader said he thought it might be advantageous to get his name out there early.
Traditionally, candidates for an upcoming civic election announce their candidacy in September, but that has changed this year, which will be the first election where candidates will be running for four-year terms on council.
In Kelowna, Coun. Colin Basran has already publicly unveiled his plan to run for mayor to succeed the retiring Walter Gray while others have stated their intent to run for council.
“For me, I just thought announcing now would get my name out there earlier on, to get my message out there and for people to get more comfortable knowing what I’m all about,” Vader said.