West Kelowna resident John S. Martin is running for West Kelowna council. (Photo contributed)

West Kelowna resident John S. Martin is running for West Kelowna council. (Photo contributed)

Years of public service prompts retired fire captain to run for West Kelowna council

‘I feel I can bring a lot to the table that isn’t there right now.’

Dedication to public service and public safety has motivated John S. Martin to make a bid for West Kelowna council.

Martin, who was born in Prince George, spent 31 years with the Toronto Fire Service and moved back to B.C. four years ago. He told Capital News he believes he can contribute to guiding the city’s growth, having attended almost all council meetings over the past few years.

“I felt a duty to do that even though I wasn’t thinking about running for council four years ago. As I grew to recognize the potential with West Kelowna, and the issues that should be brought forward, the community has asked me, and my wife agreed to it, so I decided to run and give back to the community.”

Martin was also actively involved, along with other Casa Loma residents, in opposing the Sol Aqua (Blackmun Bay) development planned for Campbell Road. He added public safety needs to be a top priority for a council.

“The public is what we’re responsible for as a councillor, as a mayor, or as a city. Anything that you’re doing or passing should be brought into a public safety issue right away.”

Smart development and making well informed decisions are also items Martin said he’d push for if elected.

“You signed up to make decisions for the community based on full information not on just what’s being presented,” he said. “A developer is going to show you the rose, not the thorns down the stem. I dig for information, process that information, and make a common sense decision. If it doesn’t seem right, I dig further.”

Martin said he does believe the current council is doing a good job overall, but cautioned that better decisions need to be made and urged West Kelowna shouldn’t follow Kelowna’s lead.

“What I’ve heard over the past few years is ‘it’s always Kelowna.’ We’re not the same. Do we need high rises here? No, we don’t. We don’t have the infrastructure for high rises.”

West Kelowna’s Official Community Plan allows consideration for increased density and building height along corridors (such as Hwy 97), where there is a substantial benefit to the community as long as guidelines are met, and that height and density should decrease with distance from Highway 97. Clean water, recreation, community projects, job creation, and tourism are also part of Martin’s platform.

“I’m not an incumbent, but I’m going to be putting in my full effort to get on,” added Martin. “I feel I can bring a lot to the table that isn’t there right now.”

Martin is launching his official campaign next week.


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BC municipal electionCity CouncilCity of West Kelowna